For the second season, UEFA has compiled a technical report on the UEFA Women’s Champions League aimed at assessing the top-level teams from a coaching perspective. The report has been prepared on the basis of analysis by experienced technical observers at the matches played from the quarter-final stage through to the final in Reggio Emilia, with the entire technical team then meeting in Milan to discuss what they had observed during the season.
The observers for 2015/16 were Hesterine de Reus (Netherlands), Patricia González (Spain), Jarmo Matikainen (Finland), Hope Powell (England) and Anna Signeul (Sweden). All have extensive experience as national-team coaches and all are UEFA (and FIFA) instructors.
The objective of the Technical Report is to offer comment, analysis and debating points which, it is hoped, will give technicians food for thought and – by focusing on the clubs involved in the high-profile knockout rounds of the competition – contribute to the continued improvement of women’s football. The aim is to provide coaches active in the development levels of the game with information that may be helpful in terms of working on the qualities which will be needed by the players and coaches who will play leading roles in shaping the UEFA Women’s Champions League of the future.
In terms of promoting the competition and women’s football in general, the 2015/16 edition represented a return to the formula of staging the final two days prior to the men’s UEFA Champions League final – a format which had been disturbed in the previous season by clashes of dates with the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
This was the first UEFA Women’s Champions League final to be played in Italy. Taking place at the Stadio Città del Tricolore in Reggio Emilia, home to Serie A club US Sassuolo and Pro Lega team AC Reggiana 1919, the event drew a crowd of 15,117 spectators. Patrizia Panico (110 goals in 204 games for the Italy national team) acted as UEFA’s ambassador for the final and played a prominent role in the presentation of the trophy to the mayor of Italian city in the presence of Antonio Conte and Antonio Cabrini, then the respective men’s and women’s national-team coaches.
Another notable feature of the lead-up to the final came two months before the match when the UEFA Women’s Champions League trophy was displayed at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome to mark International Women’s Day and highlight the campaign to enhance breast-cancer awareness.