This Technical Report – the third of its kind to be published by UEFA – focuses on the top teams who managed to qualify for the quarter-final stage of a competition which, in the 2016/17 season, continued its growth in stature.
The eight clubs corresponded to five of the 48 national associations that had booked places on the starting grid when the ball started rolling in 2016. The objective of this Technical Report is therefore to reach out to the wider coaching community and to offer information which is potentially helpful to those engaged in the development of players and the overall level of women's football in Europe – where many clubs and national associations are involved in stimulating projects aimed at equipping teams to compete with the best and to enlarge the continent's elite.
The Technical Report provides information, statistics, comment, analysis and debating points which, it is hoped, will give technicians food for thought. It is based on the input from a team of experienced coaches who attended and analysed matches in the latter rounds of the competition and who pooled their information and observations at the first UEFA Women's Champions League final to be played in Cardiff, two days before the final of the equivalent men's tournament. The team of observers comprised Patricia González (Spain), Jarmo Matikainen (Finland), Anja Palusevic (Germany), Hope Powell (England) and Monika Staab (Germany), all of them former national team coaches and/or UEFA and FIFA instructors.
The final of the UEFA Women's Champions League, steadily acquiring a higher profile within the football calendar, was held at the Cardiff City Stadium in the Welsh capital, with current Wales national team manager Jayne Ludlow – herself a winner of the trophy with Arsenal LFC in 2007 – acting as UEFA's ambassador for the showpiece game. The local profile of the event was raised when, to herald the '100 days to go' milestone, 100 members of the Cor Glanaethwy (North Wales Choir) surprised the Cardiff public with a flash mob performance. This promotional activity also featured heavily in the 'This is Welsh Football' photography competition which culminated in an awards ceremony and exhibition at the UEFA Champions League Gallery at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff on the eve of the women's final.