When Emma Hayes took her seat at Stamford Bridge for the 2013 Women’s Champions League final, she dared to dream.

Hayes had not long been in charge of what was then Chelsea Ladies, nine months in fact. The date was 23 May 2013, and the Blues had started the WSL season – which ran from April to September - with two wins, a draw and a defeat.

However, only one more victory in our remaining 11 league games left us second from bottom. We had a long way to go.

Fast-forward nearly a decade, and the circle is complete. Lyon will be at Stamford Bridge next Thursday, but this time they do face Chelsea in a European showpiece, the second leg of our Champions League quarter-final tie.

‘I remember the final between Wolfsburg and Lyon in 2013, I remember sitting in the crowd and thinking one day I would love to be in a position to bring Lyon to Stamford Bridge,’ Hayes says.

‘Now I’m looking forward to seeing the fans next week. It will be a passionate crowd that want to be there and have spent money being there.

‘I want to talk about the fact we have a game at Stamford Bridge that is not about free tickets. People who are coming are paying and want to come to this game.

‘We’re finally building an audience for top class women’s Champions League. It’s an important development for our game in England.’

  • You can join the many thousands who have already bought tickets for the return leg at Stamford Bridge next Thursday 30 March. Tickets start at £9 for adults and £1 for juniors and seniors, and are available now.