EMMA HAYES revealed watching martial arts ace Rose Namajunas played a part in inspiring her side’s dramatic 4-1 thrashing of Bayern Munich.
A clip of the two-time UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion uttering “I am the best” before knocking out Zhang Weili caught the attention of fight fans.
Emma Hayes admires the positive attitude of ‘mentality monster’ Rose Namajunas[/caption]
Rose Namajunas won the UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship by knocking out Zhang Weili in April[/caption]
In UFC 261 in Florida Namajunas delivered a brutal first-round left-footed head kick that stunned Weili who has won 21 of her 23 MMA bouts.
The victory saw Namajunas claim the women’s strawweight belt less than four years on from her first title win with a first-round knockout of Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
Hayes, whose team play Tottenham next, said: “I showed the players a video of Rose Namajunas saying ‘I am the best’ before her fight.
“At the end (after she’d won) an interviewer says to her, ‘I heard you saying before you are the best’ and she replied ‘I am the best’.
“And I said to the team mentality monsters (like Rose) block all the noise out, don’t hear anything and tell themselves ‘we are the best’.
“I think this team and the spirit we have has demonstrated why we’re going to the first (Women’s) Champions League final for an English team in a long time.”
Chelsea’s 5-3 aggregate semis defeat of German league leaders Bayern will see Hayes become the first female manager in 12 years to lead a team into the final of the tournament.
And on Sunday 16 May – at the stadium of Sweden’s national women’s team in Gothenburg – her WSL juggernauts will face a Barcelona side looking to make history of their own.
Like Chelsea, the dogged Spanish outfit who are top of the La Liga Women’s division, are targeting their first major trophy win in Europe.
And Lluis Cortes’ team – currently 14 points ahead of second-placed Levante in Spain’s top flight – endured heartbreak in the 2019 finals when they were beaten 4-1 by Lyon.
Chelsea will take on Barcelona in the Women’s Champions League final on May 16[/caption]
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Chelsea’s clash with the queens of women’s football in Spain will mark a phenomenal milestone in Emma Hayes’ 20-year journey as a coach.
A journey that has taken Hayes from grassroots work with West Euston girls’ football team in north London all the way to steering Chelsea to nine trophies since her 2012 appointment.
And the Kingsmeadow boss will be plotting to win a piece of silverware that has eluded the Blues since the club first took part in the Women’s Champions League back in 2014.
Before then Hayes’ players will turn their attention to domestic matters and their final two games of the season.
Maximum points for Chelsea away to Spurs and then home to Reading will see them claim their fifth WSL title in six years and their first treble.
Hayes is the first female manager in 12 years to lead a team to the Women’s Champions League finals[/caption]
Hayes added: “We have to win on both fronts and I want to win the league.
“I want to win the league as much as anything as that’s your bread and butter.
“That’s what Vic (Akers) taught me. It’s your bread and butter.”
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Wins for Chelsea against Tottenham and Reading in the league will see them retain their WSL title[/caption]