The UEFA Women’s Champions League is heading into the quarter-finals, and there’s plenty of Canadian content to choose from.
For the first time ever, a Canadian international will be involved in each of the four Champions League quarter-finals. 
The first leg of each quarter will take place Wednesday, with the second legs scheduled for next Wednesday and Thursday.
Lyon, the five-time UWCL reigning champions, will face French rival Paris Saint-Germain. Canadian centre back Kadeisha Buchanan has won four UWCL trophies with Lyon, while her compatriots, Ashley Lawrence and Jordyn Huitema, will look to end Lyon’s dominance.
Three other Canadians will also be vying for a chance at their first Champions League trophy: Janine Beckie (Manchester City), Jessie Fleming (Chelsea), and Stephanie Labbé (FC Rosengård).
The semifinals will take place in late April and early May, with the final scheduled for May 16 in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Paris Saint-Germain vs. Lyon
One of the biggest rivalries in women’s soccer, French powerhouses Lyon and PSG have met five times in the past seven years in the Champions League, with Lyon winning four of those ties. PSG last eliminated their French club counterparts in the Round of 16 in 2014-2015.
The rivalry has historically been one-sided, with Lyon winning 14 straight league titles in Division 1 Féminine to go along with their five consecutive UWCL trophies. But PSG has been closing the gap and currently hold a one-point lead over Lyon for top of the league table. Paris also beat their rivals 1-0 earlier in the season, ending Lyon’s four-year undefeated run in Division 1 Féminine – a streak of 80 games.
Buchanan has enjoyed great success with Lyon since she joined the team in 2017. The 25-year-old from Brampton, Ont., was the first Canadian international to ever raise the Champions League trophy four years ago, and she has done it every year since. 
Buchanan, the reigning Canadian Women’s Player of the Year, has seen regular playing time over the past year, partnering with captain Wendie Renard while French centre back Griedge Mbock continues to recover from injury. Buchanan has played every minute of Lyon’s current UWCL campaign, and she also scored her second-ever Champions League goal in the Round of 32 against Juventus.
Lyon has continued its UWCL dominance in this campaign. They cruised past Juventus 6-2 on aggregate in the Round of 32 and won by a combined score of 5-1 against Brøndby in the Round of 16. Lyon is now unbeaten in 30 straight UWCL games, setting a new Champions League record for both women and men.
Facing off against Buchanan and Lyon will be Canadian teammates Lawrence and Huitema. Lawrence, 25, has been a fixture for PSG since she signed with the club out of college in 2017. In her first year with the team, the native of Brampton, Ont., faced off against her childhood friend, Buchanan, in the 2017 Champions League final, just 10 days before her 22nd birthday. Lawrence would convert a penalty, but Buchanan and Lyon would take home the trophy.
Lawrence, who can slot in at both fullback and in the midfield, has started two games for PSG in this year’s Champions League. She also notched her first career UWCL goal in the Round of 16 tie against Sparta Prague.
Huitema is in her second season with Paris after forgoing college and signing with the club out of high school. The native of Chilliwack, B.C. started both games for PSG in the team’s Round of 32 tie against Górnik Łęczna, which Paris won 8-1 on aggregate. The 19-year-old scored in each leg, bringing her career total of UWCL goals to six. 
Huitema did not feature in the Round of 16. She was an unused sub in the first leg, and PSG was forced to forfeit the second leg after several of its player were put in isolation due to COVID-19. Sparta was awarded a 3-0 win, but PSG still advanced on aggregate thanks to its 5-0 victory in the first leg.
Barcelona vs. Manchester City
After two straight early-round exits in the Champions League, Manchester City is looking to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2018. They’ve faced little adversity so far in this year’s UWCL campaign, defeating BK Häcken 5-1 on aggregate in the Round of 32, and advancing past Fiorentina by an 8-0 aggregate in the Round of 16. 
Canadian forward Janine Beckie is in her third season with City, and much like her inaugural year with the club, she has struggled to find consistent playing time. Last year, Beckie, 26, saw more minutes playing out of position at right back when she filled in for injured Aoife Mannion. 
But this season, Manchester City is stacked with talent. Not only did the team add arguably the best right back in the world in Lucy Bronze, but they also brought on American standouts Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle. Beckie is competing for playing time on a frontline loaded with goal scorers like Ellen White, Chloe Kelly, and Georgia Stanway.
But Beckie has had success in the UWCL. Last year she led City with five goals in the Champions League, finishing tied for seventh in UWCL scoring. This season she has yet to find the net in the UWCL, recording 62 minutes over three matches. 
City is currently second in the Women’s Super League, just two points back of Chelsea for top of the table. Last season, which was shortened because of COVID-19, Manchester finished with the most points in the league, but Chelsea was declared the WSL champions based on points-per-game.
Barcelona has reached at least the UWCL semifinals in the last two years, losing to Lyon in the final in 2019.  They’re currently top of the table in Spain’s Primera Division, holding a nine-point lead over Levante.
Chelsea vs. Wolfsburg
After failing to qualify for the Champions League last season, Chelsea is back and looking to advance to the semifinals for the third time in four years. Standing in their way is German giant Wolfsburg, who has eliminated the Blues in the UWCL three times since 2015.
Canada’s Jessie Fleming is playing in her first season as a professional after signing with Chelsea last summer. It has been a learning experience for the 23-year-old midfielder, who has had to fight for playing time throughout the season. Fleming often finds herself lower in the depth chart than she is used to while playing for Canada or during her collegiate days at UCLA. Chelsea head coach Emma Hayes tends to lean on other midfielders like Ji So Yun, who has been with the club since 2014 and was on the shortlist for FIFA Player of the Year in 2020. 
But Fleming has seen the pitch in this season’s Champions League. The London, Ont., native got her first UWCL experience when she was brought on in the 61st minute in the first leg of the Round of 32 match-up with Benfica. Fleming played the entire 90 minutes of the second leg and saw just over 20 minutes on the pitch in the Round of 16 tie with Atlético Madrid. Chelsea won both rounds by a combined aggregate score of 11-1.
Fleming is also coming off one of her best games with Chelsea, playing the full 90 minutes in the FA Women’s League Cup final and helping the Blues to a 6-0 win over Bristol City.
Along with their recent League Cup trophy, Chelsea sits atop the Women’s Super League, led by duo Fran Kirby and Sam Kerr who have combined for 24 goals.
Wolfsburg has reached the final in two of the last three UWCL seasons, losing to Lyon both times.  The club is currently second in the Frauen Bundesliga, five points behind Bayern Munich for top spot in the league.
Chelsea forward Pernille Harder will also have a chance to eliminate her former team. Harder played four seasons for Wolfsburg before signing a three-year contract with Chelsea last summer. The Danish international led the Bundesliga with 27 goals last year and was also named UEFA Women’s Player of the Year.
The Blues will be without key defender Maren Mjelde, who injured her knee in the FA Women’s League Cup final and is out for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery. 
Bayern Munich vs. FC Rosengård
Swedish club FC Rosengård is in the UWCL quarter-finals for the first time in four years. They cruised through their Round of 32 tie against Georgian side Lanchkhuti, winning 17-0 on aggregate, then advanced past St. Pölten in the Round of 16 by a score of 4-2 on aggregate.
Canadian goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé is back in the Champions League for the time since 2018, when she was with another Swedish team, Linköping FC. Labbé and her club were knocked out in the Round of 16 by PSG.
Labbé joined Rosengård last year after spending two seasons with the North Carolina Courage in the NWSL, where she had an up-and-down tenure. In 2019, she and the Courage won the NWSL Shield and the NWSL Championship. Labbé finished with eight clean sheets, third most in the league, and also posted a shutout in the championship game against Chicago. In a pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Labbé made just four total appearances between the Challenge Cup and Fall Series. 
Rosengård finished second in Sweden’s Damallsvenskan last season. Labbé helped lead the club to the second-lowest goals against in the league (14 GA in 22 games).
If Rosengård wants to get to the UWCL semifinals for the first time since 2004, they need to get past Bayern Munich, who have been on a tear this season. Bayern is currently first in the Frauen Bundesliga with a perfect 16-0-0 record and a staggering +59 goal differential. The German side has a 100 per cent winning record in all competitions this season, with 22 wins in 22 games. Bayern has made it to the UWCL semifinals once before, when they lost to Barcelona in 2019.