This is Katriina Talaslahti, I’m a Finnish professional football goalkeeper playing for Havre Athletic Club, France, seasons 2023-2025. It was my honor to make a contract with Havre Athletic Club (HAC) starting from July 2023.
Even though I’m still young, I’ve had the opportunity to work, train and play in good teams and with national team-level teammates in several clubs for a long time. So, I’ll tell you a little about the phases I’ve had in my career.
Originally, I come from the city of Espoo, Finland, a country of thousands of lakes. I played many years for the following local football clubs: Leppävaaran Pallo and FC Honka. I received my first goalkeeping lessons from my Italian goalkeeper coach, who gave me a very warm introduction to becoming a goalkeeper. Above all, I appreciate the good coaching and playing experience I got during my early days.
I already moved abroad from Finland as a junior, when I was 13 years old. I lived in Germany for almost six years and most of it in Munich. During four seasons, I played for FC Bayern Munich with a professional contract and, at the same time, I also played for Bayern’s state representative team. In FC Bayern Munich, I won two German Bundesliga Championships in 2017 (WU17) and 2019 the Women’s 2. Bundesliga. I very much appreciate all that I learned from there, and it made me believe in myself and my abilities to continue my career at the highest level. Also, I studied and graduated from Bavarian International High School in Munich. Therefore, I’m grateful that I managed to do successfully two jobs at the same time.
From Munich, I was offered the opportunity to move to Lyon, France, to Olympique Lyonnais (OL) starting from the summer of 2019. At the beginning of the season, I set a goal to win the Champions League before I would celebrate my 20th birthday in September. Later my goal became true! I soon realized 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 Jari Litmanen and Sami Hyypiä have managed to achieve the same.
The Champions League 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, we faced the German champion, Wolfsburg. In the final, I think we played our best match in the tournament, resulting in a 3-1 victory! It was a great feeling to be the 2nd goalkeeper in the squad. I prepared myself to go to the pitch at any time, if needed. Although I didn’t get to play this time, I was fully enjoying the exciting atmosphere.
The seasons 2019-2021 in Lyon really gave me many great experiences. We won also the French league championship and the French Cup as well as Supercup. Our team was filled with national team players from the world’s best football teams. I got to know new teammates and we became really good friends. I also enjoyed systematic training and facilities, which the club provided us. I think that I developed a lot as goalkeeper during my Lyon years.
After Lyon, I was offered the opportunity to move to another team in the French D1 Arkema first-level league, FC Fleury 91, for the 2021-2023 seasons. Fleury is located in the greater Paris area, some distance south of the center. In the first season, I got a lot of playing time, although there were also a few injuries during the season. We placed in the league even better than expected, in 5th place, which was significantly better than the previous year. In the second season, we continued where we ended up in the previous season, improving a little, to 4th place. In the second season, I didn’t get as much playing time as in the previous season. However, I was left with a very positive feeling about playing in Fleury, and the Paris environment in general. And once again I had the pleasure of training under a very good goalkeeper coach, thank you for that. I feel like I’ve developed under Fleury.
Now the new playing season, the 2023-2024 season, has started, with the training period at the beginning of the season. I’m looking forward to the start of the season and getting to know new people again at a new club, Havre Athletic Club, HAC.
There are also many other things in my life besides football that keep my life balanced, energetic and joyful. Dear fans and friends & family, I’m thankful for your support from all around the world throughout my entire journey. I’m passionate about traveling whenever it is possible for me as well as fashion and nature. Also, for me at the moment it is easy to communicate with you in English, German and French, and I’m still working hard to improve my French day by day. Surely, you can also communicate with me in my mother tongue Finnish. Lastly, I love that you’re with me on this journey and I hope that you enjoy exploring more about me on this website.
Stay safe and have a good day everyone!