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.
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