Hey! This is Katriina Talaslahti, the professional football goalkeeper playing for OL, Olympique Lyonnais Feminine in Lyon, France.
We are the Winners! Olympique Lyonnais Feminine is the Women’s Champion League Winner 2020!
My first season 2019-2020 in Lyon is now in the package – I got great experiences to play with the professional OL’s team who won 5 gold medals during the season.
At the beginning of the season, I set a goal to win the Champions League before I’ll celebrate my 20 years birthday on September. My goal became true! Absolutely awesome! I got to know that I also made history by being the first Finnish woman to win the Champions League in its current form. On the men’s side, only the Finnish football legends Mr. Jari Litmanen and Mr. Sami Hyypiä have managed to achieve the same.
During this season 2019–2020, our team first won the French league championship and the French Cup as well as Supercup. However, the highlight of the season was the Champions League final tournament. This tournament was played in the end of August in Bilbao, in Northern Spain. After two playoff games, we reached the final match. The final tournament as a whole was unforgettable and very exciting as only the winner of the match went on to the next match. In the final match, we faced with the German champion, Wolfsburg.
In the final, I think, OL Feminine [OLF] played its best match in the tournament, resulting in a 3-1 victory! It was great feeling to be as a 2nd goalkeeper in the squad. I was ready to go to the pitch at any time, if they would had asked me. Although I didn’t get playing time this time, I was breathing the hectic atmosphere every second as you all know! We all on the bench were strongly encouraging our teammates in the field – we had been doing so hard work thus we were really waiting to achieve the trophy and to hold it in our hands! It was a great feeling to be able to raise the winning trophy over the head after the match!
Anyway, the past season gave me really many great experiences. I got to know the new teammates and got them really good friends. I’ve been able to train with exceptionally talented and world-class players. At the same time, I have enjoyed systematic training and facilities, which my club provide us. This first year in Lyon, in France was also my first year as a real football professional.
Olympique Lyonnais give activities and principles to support the work of professional players. This first season allowed me to have a full focus on training and playing. I’ve developed a lot as a goalkeeper over the course of the year and my big goal is another step closer, which I give my all and work for. This all contributes to my goal of achieving a number one goaltender spot in the team at some point – And of course, a 20-year-old player needs to have high goals to pursue!
Our team is filled with national team players from around the world’s best football teams. I’ve been able to train with exceptionally talented and world-class players. At the same time, I have enjoyed systematic training and facilities, which my club has been able to provide us. This first year in Lyon was also my first year as a football professional. It allowed everyday life to focus fully on practice and play. I think I also developed a lot as goalkeeper during the year. This all contributes to my goal of achieving at some point the number one goalkeeper position on the team. Now I know much better what it takes to play at the absolute top. So, I continued towards the season 2020-2021 with full of enthusiasm, energy and expectations.
Before my time in Lyon I lived in Germany for almost six years and most of it in Munich. The previous four seasons, I played for FC Bayern Munich as professional contract and, at the same time, I also played for Bayer’s state representative team. In FC Bayern Munich, I won two German Bundesliga Championships in 2017 (WU17) and 2019 the Women’s 2. Bundesliga, and very much appreciate that I learned a lot from there, especially to strengthen the will to win through one of the world’s great clubs. Also, I studied and graduated from Bavarian International High School from Munich. Therefore, I actually did two jobs at the same time and was lucky to be very successful during that time.
Originally, I come from the city of Espoo, tiny Finland, a country of thousands of lakes. I played for many years for local football clubs: LEPA and FC Honka. I received my first goalkeeping lessons from my Italian goalkeeper coach, thus my greetings and thanks to him. Above all, I appreciate the good coaching and playing experience I got during my junior days.
There are also many other things in my life besides football to keep my life balanced, energetic and happy. Dear friends, I appreciate having all of you around the world to support on the way my journey, and of course my closest family who have supported my football career all along. I’m passionate about to travel whenever it is possible for me, fashion and nature. For me, it’s easy to communicate with you in English and German, and my French is getting better and better every day. Sure, my mother tongue is Finnish. I love that you’re on my trip and reading this with your friends!
Have a good day everyone!