Wendie Renard Reflects on her Career in an Exclusive New Video
The championship-winning footballer burst on the scene at just 15 when she joined her favourite club, Olympique Lyonnais. Now team captain, she reflects on the journey that took her from the Martinique island to the pinnacle of the sporting world in an exclusive new video.
Most elite athletes begin their sporting journey during childhood, but legendary footballer Wendie Renard got an even earlier start. "I was already playing in my mother's womb," she says with a laugh in an exclusive new video (at the end of the article) in which she answers questions submitted by Mastercard cardholders. "It came naturally, without any question."
Growing up on the French island of Martinique, Wendie was constantly in motion, playing a variety of sports. While barely into her teens, her talent and determination on the football pitch got her noticed by an influential counselor at the island's top athletic center. Before long, she had a tryout in mainland France that led her to a spot on her favourite club, Olympique Lyonnais (OL).
It was the beginning of a stellar football career that continues to this day. Since her debut, Wendie has helped the Olympique Lyonnais win 14 French championship titles and 6 European titles. These include a thrilling 2011 victory in the UEFA Women's Champions League Final, the club's first. And while she believes every goal is worth celebrating, her score in that match was particularly notable.
"I've scored a lot of goals. I don't care too much about whether it's beautiful or not, the most important thing is that the net shakes," explains Wendie. "I'm going to say (about her most beautiful goal), the first UEFA Champions League won. I scored the first goal (...) it allowed us at that moment of the match to be more calm, more serene and to control the game a little more".
This trifecta of talent has not only earned her the captaincy of the Olympique Lyonnais but of the French national team as well, which she led in the 2015 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The accomplishment represents a significant milestone for someone whose first major football memory centered on Les Bleus.
"I was eight years old and it must have been the World Cup in '98," Wendie says of the tournament, which was won by host country France with a decisive final victory over defending champions Brazil. "It's a moment I'll never forget."
Not one to rest for long, Wendie has been going nonstop for nearly her entire professional career—and has the numbers to prove it. A look at her stats shows more than 121 appearances and 24 goals for the French national team. With the Olympique Lyonnais, she's scored an impressive 115 goals in 366 appearances.
Fans looking forward to seeing more from this electrifying player will soon get their chance as football resumes following a coronavirus-related pause. Renard will take the field as captain once again on 22 August, when the Olympique Lyonnais faces off against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Women's Champions League Quarterfinals in Bilbao, Spain.
Watch this unique Q&A to hear Renard share her inspiration, responsibilities as team captain, and best Olympique Lyonnais memories in her own words. Then, tune in to the match to experience a moment of Priceless football for yourself.”