The spellbinding prospect of gracing the hallowed turf of one of England's famous stadiums was all the motivation Ralf Kellermann and his VfL Wolfsburg team needed to reach Thursday's UEFA Women's Champions League final at Stamford Bridge.
"The topic was raised within the team before the last-16 match against Norwegian champions Røa," said Kellermann after sealing a domestic double on Sunday. "The simple fact that the final would take place at Stamford Bridge, there was some euphoria and we had an objective in front of us.
"We wanted to go to Stamford Bridge. England is the birthplace of football; the stadiums are great, the pitches are excellent, and the atmosphere is wonderful." Now Kellermann is intrigued to discover his players' credentials "on such a special day, in such an environment and such a special game." He added: "It helps if the coach takes some of the pressure away and says, 'Go out and play your football.'"
Their opponents Olympique Lyonnais – on the cusp of an unprecedented third straight continental crown – are well acquainted with west London showpieces: they won this competition at Craven Cottage in 2011. Still, the determination and focus of coach Patrice Lair and his players to extend the French champions' trophy count is unwavering. "We announced during pre-season training that we wanted to win everything," said Lair.
"We had come from a season where we won everything and we wanted to stay at the top, so we prepared well and we remained competitors. With the girls, we set ourselves the challenge of winning as many games as possible and of achieving our goals. I think what we have already achieved is great but to win the Champions League for a third time would be huge."
To hear more from both coaches, click on the video player above.
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