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It is hard to think of a more appropriate person to lift the UEFA Women's Champions League trophy at London's Craven Cottage on 26 May than Faye White, the captain of Arsenal LFC and England.
An Arsenal player since 1996, the 32-year-old centre-back has won ten English titles among 29 major honours with the Gunners. Having been injured during their UEFA Women's Cup triumph in 2007, she told UEFA.com that it would be a "dream" to play in the final again – but first they must get past Sweden's Linköpings FC in the last eight in March.
UEFA.com: As someone who is deeply associated with women's football in London, how proud are you that there's going to be a final in London between the two best women's sides in Europe?
Faye White: Obviously extremely – I think it's a massive opportunity to profile the game a bit more. It's the second year now that it's been put in line with the men's tournament. Obviously last year it was in Spain, but now to be here in London, with the men's final at Wembley and the ladies' at Fulham, is obviously a great opportunity for hopefully this country to get behind women's football again.
UEFA.com: Has it felt different being in the rebranded competition?
White: Yes I think so. Obviously because the profile of it is growing, there's more attention around the final, and even the run-up to the finals, the quarter-finals and semi-finals. So last year, when we heard it was going to be in Spain with the men's [final] at the Bernabéu [and] the womens' at another venue near it, it was a big incentive to try and get to it. On that occasion we couldn't, but at this stage, there are two English clubs still in the tournament – us and Everton – so if we could get an English team there it would be fantastic.
UEFA.com: You've had a few tussles with Swedish sides over the years, at club and national level. Are you looking forward to the Linköping quarter-final?
White: Last year we played Duisburg, so we were pleased to stay away from a German team, because we know how strong they are and their history in this tournament as well. But the Swedes, they have a very strong league; we actually beat Umeå in the final back in 2007, but we know that any game at this stage is going to be very hard.
UEFA.com: And how personally determined are you to get there. You had some injury problems when Arsenal won in 2007 – is this your chance?
White: Yes, you know, I'm towards the end of my career, so that would obviously be a dream to get to a final. And like I said, each year it is growing. And the next year is a big summer for [English] women's football in general, because we've got the launch of the FA WSL as well, which will be in April, just before the [Women's Champions League final] and then the World Cup in June. So there's a lot to look forward to.
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