Eugenie Le Sommer is two goals away from breaking France’s all-time scoring record and has won multiple trophies with club side Olympique Lyonnais, but she says that her main goal going into next year is simply to keep her place on the team.
The forward has won every trophy there is with Lyon since joining in 2010, scoring 13 league goals last season to help them secure another treble that included record-extending triumphs in the league (17th title), the Coupe de France (10) and the UEFA Champions League (6).
Yet, competition is fierce with Lyon boasting a strikeforce that also includes Germany’s Dzsenifer Marozsan, Norway’s Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg and young English forward Nikita Parris, who was signed during the off-season.
Despite her many achievements, Le Sommer, who is two shy of overtaking Marinette Pichon’s record total of 81 goals for France from 1994 to 2006, is not getting complacent with regard to her place in the Lyon lineup.
“Every year, it’s the same. With my club, I want to win everything. Ligue 1, Coupe de France and Champions League,” she told reporters at Visa Europe’s headquarters in London. “I think I’m in the best club in the world and I want to beat records now. Win the most trophies I can, but also stay on the team. It is hard to play on this team, because we have a lot of good players. So I want to improve day after day, and I want to score the most goals I can and make the most assists I can.”
While the 30-year-old Le Sommer has lifted a trophy every year that she has been at the Ligue 1 side, silverware on the international stage has proved much more elusive.
Expectations in France were high going into this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, with the hosts aiming at least to improve on their previous best result — their fourth-place finish at the 2011 tournament in Germany.
However, despite boasting a 100 percent record through the group stage and the last 16, they came up against eventual champions the US in the quarter-finals.
Two goals from this year’s Ballon d’Or winner Megan Rapinoe were enough to end France’s quest in front of a packed Parc des Princes in Paris, their fifth successive quarter-final exit at a major tournament (including the Olympic Games and European Championships).
“I am disappointed about the World Cup, because we could be better and it’s not a good memory on the pitch. We didn’t play well and I didn’t enjoy the game,” Le Sommer said. “But off of the pitch, it was amazing — and out of the stadium, in the media, in the newspapers, everything was amazing... This changed a lot for women’s football in France, but also in the world in general.”
“On the pitch I was not happy, because we can do better, but it’s football — it’s like that,” Le Sommer said. “Of course, we wanted to win, but we played against the best team in the world — and we were close, but not close enough.”
“Up until now, for three or four competitions, we have always lost in the quarter-finals. We want to be better. We want to win something with France. We have good players, but maybe we miss something and we want to be better every day,” added Le Sommer, who has 167 caps for her country.
France’s extra-time 2-1 victory over Brazil in the World Cup’s last 16 was watched by 59 million people — making it the most viewed women’s soccer match of all time.
That support has extended beyond the final in July, as last month a record 30,661 fans were in attendance for Lyon’s 1-0 league win over Paris St Germain, beating the previous best of 25,907 set by the same two teams in April.
France will be hoping for similarly enthusiastic support in April when they continue their bid to qualify for Euro 2021 by welcoming North Macedonia, in a match where Le Sommer could write her name in the record books.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two