It was about five weeks ago that Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir and the rest of her Lyon teammates were celebrating at midfield of the J Stadium in Turin after reclaiming their throne atop the European game by winning the 2022 Women’s Champions League final.
Five weeks later, Björk Gunnarsdóttir returned to Turin for a different kind of celebration.
The two-time UWCL winner and standout Finnish midfielder has agreed to a contract with Juventus Women through 2024, the club announced Friday, becoming the latest signing by the Bianconere front office in a summer that is becoming increasingly impressive. The 31-year-old Gunnarsdóttir brings the kind of European experience that few Juve players can match even with last season’s run to the Women’s Champions League quarterfinal, one that came to an end by the same Lyon team that she left at the end of the 2021-22 campaign.
Seven-time Icelandic Footballer of the Year ❄️— #FANTA5TIC (@JuventusFCWomen) June 24, 2022
Two-time Icelandic Sportsperson of the Year
Two-time UWCL winner.
@sarabjork18 is a ! ⚪️⚫️
➡️ https://t.co/U2dXehRFzy#WelcomeSara pic.twitter.com/nHODsAgSux
If you didn’t know that Juventus Women Director of Football Stefano Braghin didn’t mean business this summer, then you do now. Juve aren’t just looking at this summer’s transfer window as a time to improve their standing as Serie A Femminile’s top club just when the game becomes reaches professional status in Italy. No, this is about the big picture.
And a player like Gunnarsdóttir who has won as much as she has isn’t coming to Italy and Juventus Women fresh off winning the Women’s Champions League just to chill.
Gunnarsdóttir — who reportedly had interest from Arsenal and Real Madrid before signing with Juventus Women — is here to win and here to help Juve try to ensure that last season’s run to the final eight of the UWCL wasn’t a one-year thing.
It’s been quite the whirlwind over the last 18 months for the Iceland international. After announcing she was pregnant in April of 2021, she gave birth six months later in November. It was another two months before she returned to training with Lyon, then marking her official return to the field in March during a substitute appearance against Dijon. A month later, she returned to her national time, with the goal always being prepared for this summer’s European Championship.
In total, Gunnarsdóttir appeared in six games in all competitions after making her return from her 12-month absence.
Gunnarsdóttir has been described as a best-case scenario kind of transfer for Juventus Women. And now that she’s here and will likely have the rust fully shaken off by the time the Serie A Femminile season opens, it’s safe to say Joe Montemurro has yet another big addition rolling into the dressing room at Vinovo later this summer.