Emma Hayes hails 'inspirational' Chelsea stars ahead of Women's Champions League final

16 May 2021 12:30

Emma Hayes couldn't dream of managing anyone but Chelsea as she prepares to take her team into the Champions League final.

The Women's Super League champions have enjoyed another historic season and will become only the second English team ever to contest a Women's Champions League final when they face Barcelona on Sunday night.

Hayes was recently linked with a move into men's football, but quickly shot down insulting suggestions that she could swap the biggest stage in the women's game to join League One side MK Dons. Her strong stance on that matter is being vindicated by her team this season: they are one game away from clinching a league and Champions League double, an unprecedented feat in the English women's game.

Hayes told the Chelsea website: "The realities are we are one game away from becoming Champions of Europe and I wouldn’t want to be in another dressing room. It’s a group of fantastic women that have led from the front, not just this season, but throughout my time here.

"There is no bigger opportunity than to play Barcelona in what I think with be the most watched women’s game, at least of this year.

"I’m excited about it, I feel relaxed about the game because I know the qualities in the dressing room."

With players like Millie Bright, Frank Kirby and Sam Kerr among the most recognisable in the women's game, Chelsea are leading the way in driving the WSL forward. For the first time in the WSL era, an English team will be represented in the biggest game on the women's calendar, and that represents another big step forward for a league that is now recognised as one of the best on the planet.

The Blues have won the WSL four times in six years under Hayes' tutelage, and she says her stars are an inspiring generations of football fans - of all genders.

"When you work hard on a project like Chelsea, the journey of getting to this point is the part of the job I love the most," she went on. "That includes the set-backs, that includes the disappointments, that includes signing new players and that includes winning and losing new things.

"When I talk about it being a dream, me being in this dressing room, they are amazing women that are inspiring generations.

"I’m not talking just about little girls, I’m talking about boys too because they are also becoming big fans of women’s football."

Source: 90min