Every club in the world has its own culture and method of operation, but few clubs come close to Olympique Lyonnais and its philosophical approach to the world of football. President Jean-Michael Aulas introduced a one of a kind business model cleansing the club of its depts after taking over in 1987 and promoting it to the Ligue 1 just three years after. Since then, Lyon has become one of the richest clubs in the world and perfected its successful business model applying it to Olympique Lyonnais Feminin after acquiring an already established FC Lyon in 2004.
Les Lyonnaises have cemented their dominance over the world of women's football once again claiming the 2019 IFFHS World's Best Woman Club award for the fifth year in a row. In fact, this is their sixth since 2012 with VFL Wolfsburg winning it in 2013 and 2014 spoiling what could've been eight straight years of total domination. This is Lyon's eleventh IFFHS Award since 2012, six for the club, three for goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi and two for attacking midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsan.
Football experts from over 90 countries determined that Olympique Lyonnais was miles ahead of every other club last season. Lyon was given 284 points leaving a massive gap from last season's Champions League runner-up, Barcelona, sitting at 105. The NWSL champions, North Carolina Courage FC, were placed third with only 36 points.
Lyon's trophy cabinet is the most decorated in the history of women's football. Since their early days as FC Lyon, the team has amassed 17 Division 1 Feminin titles, 10 Coupe de France Feminin trophies and six UEFA Women's Champions League cups. This 2018/2019 season was one to remember for Lyon winning the Treble, a feat that the French giant has accomplished four times prior to this year.
Lyon has an illustrious history of buying players for cheap and selling them for the big bucks. Of course, most of this history is based on its men's team. But when you have one of the richest clubs in the world and player contracts for women are nowhere near the men's, Aulas did not hesitate to invest in Lyon's women's team and monopolize women's football.
Money is not the only thing Lyon has to offer to its players. The small and elegant town located in between rivers west of the Alps is home to beautiful architecture, economic soundness for those in the middle-class, some of the best restaurants in Europe known locally as bouchons and the birthplace of cinema. The club has garnered the town's comfort, elegance and financial stability and applied it to its model.
Players like Ada Hegerberg, Lucy Bronze, Marozsan, Eugenie Le Sommer, Amandine Henry, Bouhaddi, Wendie Renard, Amel Majri, Delphine Cascarino, Nikita Parris and Alex Greenwood are playing the best football of their careers at Lyon. Hegerberg, Bronze, Maroznan, Henry, Bouhaddi and Renard are all Ballon d'Or contenders.
Here are some names of players who have excelled at the club since the 2000s:
Alex Morgan, Corine Petit, Elise Bussaglia, Elodie Thomis, Hope Solo, hoda Lattaf, Katia Texeira da Silva, Laura Georges, Lotta Schelin, Louisa Necib, Megan Rapinoe, Sabrina Viguier, Sandrine Bretigny, Sandrine Dusang and Shirley Cruz Trana and many more.
Expect Lyon to keep doing great things in the world of women's football, but it is only a matter of time until other clubs invest more money and time in their women's team. The competition will rise and increase popularity. It's a great time to get invested in women's soccer.