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Meet Coralie - the Hardcore Fan who has a never-ending passion for Lyon

In 2024 Heineken are on a mission to redefine what it means to be a real hardcore football fan, shining a light on the many diverse faces that make up modern fandom and celebrating the inclusivity and the different ways they express their devotion to the sport and team they love.

The latest instalment of our unique series sees us meet Coralie, a Lyon supporter who has been documenting her fanclub’s journeys both home and away. As a young girl, Coralie fell in love with her club thanks to the likes of Juninho, during the Men’s team's golden era. With the establishment and success of the women’s team, Coralie’s fandom has become an integral part of her identity. Since the beginning of the season, Coralie has developed a unique ritual, charging up her cameras and phones to document her fanclub, and capture the growing passion of the women’s game.

Cheers to Coralie.

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Lyon WOMENS photosHeineken

Two days ahead of the Women's Champions League final in Bilbao, Coralie was in Seattle. She had travelled to meet some fans from Olympique Lyon’s North American women’s team fanclub. Fourteen hours later she arrived in Paris, hopped on a three-hour train to Lyon, and then a 10-hour coach with her fanclub, the OL Ang'Elles, to Bilbao. OL Ang'Elles were formed in 2011 following Olympique Lyon’s first European title that same year. In the last 13 years the group has grown to over 280 members, largely inspired by the success of their team, which has been a trailblazer in the women’s game.

During the 2011 season, Coralie watched Lyon’s women’s side win their first European title. She soon became captivated by the women’s team, inspired by a team that looked like her, one she could truly identify with. She first met the OL Ang'Elles in 2015 in Rouen for the semi-final of the Coupe de France. By 2017, despite the trepidation of her mother, Coralie moved to Lyon to pursue a degree in sports studies and stay closer to her beloved club.

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Now 26, Coralie travels across France, Europe and beyond, spending everything she earns to follow her side, meet Lyon fans, and be an eyewitness to this historic moment in women’s sport. After Lyon’s last successful Champions League campaign in 2022, which culminated in Lyon winning the final in Turin, Coralie and her friends decided to take on a new challenge and create a web series from the fans’ point of view.

Lyon WOMENS photosHeineken

Like most fans, Coralie has many rituals, travelling to every game, the lucky shirt, eating at the same restaurant ahead of home games, but now, the rituals have expanded. Going to an away game means charging her equipment between rest stops and in airports. It’s organising with her group members to book coaches, and capturing and archiving the best moments on the bus ride back home.

Lyon WOMENS photosHeineken

“I don’t just want to enjoy this team and the growth of the women’s game, I want to be a part of it. It wasn’t easy to convince my family to let me move to Lyon and pursue my dream of working in women’s sport, I want to change that for the next generation.”

Just hours ahead of the final Coralie was responding to DM’s and comments from the actual first-team players who had tracked the stories of the OL Ang'Elles’ journey to Bilbao. There is a connection there, a sense of family, which one might struggle to find in the upper echelons of the men’s game. It's the work of Coralie, her friends, and the community they have created which contributes to growing the women’s game.

Lyon WOMENS photosHeineken

Through Lyon, Coralie has not just found friends and community, she has developed her own interests. For her, OL Women are not just the club she supports, they are the vehicle through which she can participate in a collective goal: Growing the women’s game.

Check out more stories of hardcore football fandom with Heineken via the Hardcore Fan Club Hub.