Olympique Lyonnais Continue Their Pre-Season Preparation With New Faces In Training

Olympique Lyonnais holds the esteemed reputation of being the most accomplished women’s team globally. They have clinched the D1 Arkema, the French national league fourteen times and clinched the UEFA Women’s Champions League title a record eight times.

Unfortunately for the French team, the 2022-2023 season witnessed Chelsea eliminating them from the Champions League at the quarter-final stage. The Blues’ goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger had the upper hand during the penalty shootout session securing the victory for her team.

This defeat was particularly disheartening for Olympique Lyonnais, as they are accustomed to staying in the competition for a longer duration.

As they enter the 2023-2024 season, the team is determined to get its revenge. Keeping the D1 Arkema in Lyon remains a significant objective but the main priority is bringing that Champions League title back to Lyon.

To accomplish this objective, Sonia Bompastor, who became the only coach in the world to win the Champions League both as a player and a coach, managed to successfully strengthen her squad with three notable signings: the French Kadidiatou Diani, the Haitian sensation Melchie Dumornay, and the German Laura Benkarth.

The Open Training Session

On Wednesday, August 30, Olympique Lyonnais hosted an open training session that attracted around 300 devoted fans. These fans had two primary motivations: the first was to catch a final glimpse of their favorite team before the season’s opener against Paris Saint Germain. Secondly, and perhaps importantly, they were eager to meet the club’s three new recruits as an unofficial presentation was scheduled.

The supporters also had the opportunity to participate in a Q&A session in which shirts and match tickets were distributed. A great policy by the club to further engage the fans.

The Presentation Of The New Recruits

Kadidiatou Diani

August 2, 2023, is a day the French international will forever remember. Not only did she score a hat trick for her country against Panama at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Olympique Lyonnais also announced signing her for four seasons.

The 28-year-old Diani finished the 2022-2023 D1 Arkema season as the MVP and the top scorer with 17 goals in 17 matches.

In recent years, the French international has become a major figure for the French national team as well as for her former club, Paris Saint Germain, which she joined back in the summer of 2017. She is yet to win the Champions League but she has won the French League with les Parisiens in 2021 and the Coupe de France on two occasions, in 2018 and 2022.

Diani’s addition to the squad enforces Bompastor’s offensive options. The former French international now enjoys an even broader selection of world-class players ready to score goals. Her options include the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg, France’s all-time leading top scorer Eugénie Le Sommer, Amel Majri, as well as talents like Melchie Dumornay, Selma Bacha, Vicky Becho, and Melvine Malard, and several promising academy players such as Liana Joseph and Julie Swierot.

Melchie Dumornay

Olympique Lyonnais had officially confirmed the acquisition of the talented Haitian midfielder last January. Born in 2003, Dumornay has caught the attention of several European clubs, courtesy of her remarkable athleticism and technical abilities.

Dumornay signed her first professional contract in 2021 with Stade de Reims (D1 Arkema). She continued the remainder of last season with Reims before joining the Lyon squad after her World Cup participation.

In an interview for OL Play minutes after signing, the Haitian declared that she chose Olympique Lyonnais because “it is a big club, and it was my dream to play with a big club, to be able to be among the best, to play against the best. I wanted to win trophies,” before continuing “in my plans, I saw that OL was the club that could help me win individual trophies but also, I would like to win a lot of trophies with this club.”

Laura Benkarth

The German goalkeeper joined Olympique Lyonnais for two seasons after a successful experience with the German league champions, Bayern Munich.

Benkarth says that the French club’s ambitious project for the future convinced her to join and is ready to fight for her place as the starter. She completes the trio goalkeeping team composed of the Chilean international, Christiane Endler and the French U19 international, Féérine Belhadj. The three players are coached by the new goalkeeping coach, Simon Pouplin.

Last Friendly Played Behind Closed Doors

Bompastor’s side will play one last friendly match on Sunday, September 3, against another D1 Arkema team, DFCO Dijon.

The coaching staff decided to play this match behind closed doors as it is the last match before the upcoming head-to-head with their runners-up, Paris Saint Germain on September 10 for the first title of the season, le Trophée des Championnes.

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