The Women’s Champions League kicks off its preliminary round today, marking the first of two stages needed to advance to the group stage.
The 8 teams that emerge on top of their respective groups will qualify for the second and ultimate playoff round set to take place later in October. It will feature a two-legged tie and in which only four clubs will secure their places in the group stage of the 2023/2024 UEFA Women’s Champions League.
In Group 3, Paris FC will compete against FC Kryvbas in the first semi-final and Arsenal will go head-to-head with FC Linköping in the other. The two victorious sides will face off in the group’s final on September 9.
Paris FC Women holds a prominent position in French football, boasting a rich legacy and a storied history in France as well as in Europe.
First created in 1971 as the women’s section of Étoile sportive de Juvisy-sur-Orge, the team later changed faces and became the Football Club Féminin Juvisy Essonne in 1985, before lastly being absorbed by Paris FC in 2017.
With 6 French first-division titles (1992, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2006), one French Cup (2005), and one appearance at the semi-final UEFA Women’s Cup (the old name of the current UEFA Women’s Champions League) in 2013, Paris FC has proven itself, over the years, as one of France’s most successful women’s football teams.
Paris FC At The UEFA Women’s Champions League
Unfortunately, for last year’s edition of the UEFA Women’s Champions League, Paris FC failed to qualify as they were eliminated on penalties by AS Roma.
Les Parisiennes will try yet again this year despite finding themselves in a tough group alongside last year’s semifinalists, Arsenal.
Finishing third in the D1 Arkema last season, PFC will be looking to progress to the final playoff round in October and aim for qualification to the prestigious tournament’s group stage.
The Parisian team, coached by the former French international Sandrine Soubeyrand, places great emphasis on its academy for nurturing top-tier talent.
Over recent years, they have consistently been contenders for the league title, with notable players such as Clara Mateo, Gaëtane Thiney and Mathilde Bourdieu defending the team’s crest.
Coach Soubeyrand extended her contract as the women’s team head coach last March until 2026 and managed to convince Gaëtane Thiney and Julie Soyer, two historic PFC names to continue the adventure with her at the club. “We wanted to keep Gaëtane Thiney and Julie Soyer because otherwise I have a very, very young team with a lack of experience,” said Soubeyrand before adding “Paris FC is a mix of experience and youth. I’m very attached to this.”
A Paris FC player since 2008, Thiney extended her contract for an additional season, the ultimate of her immense career. With more than 350 matches and 182 goals scored, she’s a club legend and playing in the UWCL in her last season will be the reward she deserves.
Following their arrival to Sweden on Sunday, Paris FC trained on Tuesday at Arena Linköping, the match’s venue, as they continue their preparation to play the hosts, this Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. (Paris time), live on Paris FC TV.
From the two 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup faces, the Nigerian goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, and the French maestro Clara Matéo passing by the club’s legend Gaëtane Thiney, to the Women’s U19 Euros MVP Louna Ribadeira, and the prolific striker Mathilde Bourdieu, Sandrine Soubeyrand has a blend of experienced veterans and promising young prospects providing her with a well-rounded and dynamic squad.
In June 2023, the French tricolor Kessya Bussy and Paris FC made the exciting announcement of her signing with the club for a two-season stint.
Unfortunately, Paris FC fans will have to wait before seeing the former Stade de Reims star put on the marine jersey as she is currently recovering from a foot injury.
Paris FC Squad
16- Chiamaka Nnadozie, 30-Inès Marques, 40-Louise Demarest Pouplet
21-Alsu Abdullina, 3-Lou Bogaert, 19-Théa Greboval, 23-Teninsoun Sissoko, 2-Célina Ould Hocine, 31-Assia Sidibé, 27-Julie Soyer, 18-Melween Ndongala
15-Margaux Le Mouël, 8-Daphné Corboz, 4-Kaja Korošec, 17-Gaëtane Thiney, 5-Sarah Hunter, 11-Julie Dufour
10-Clara Matéo, 7-Louise Fleury, 20-Louna Ribadeira, 9-Mathilde Bourdieu
Injured: Kessya Bussy
Wednesday 6 at 9:00 p.m. (Paris time): Paris FC Vs. FC Kryvbas – Arena Linköping – Live on PFC TV.
Saturday 9 (timing – to be decided): Paris FC Vs. Arsenal or FC Linköping – Arena Linköping
Round 2 – In case of qualification
15 September – Round 2 draw
10/11 October – First leg
18/19 October – Second leg