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Few players have more experience of European club finals than Viola Odebrecht and Jennifer Zietz, but the 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam midfield stalwarts are still feeling the same excitement ahead of the UEFA Women's Champions League final against Olympique Lyonnais.
Both played last year when Potsdam beat Lyon on penalties to take the title in Getafe, and the pair were involved in both legs of the old-style 2005 UEFA Women's Cup decider against Djurgården/Älvsjö which Turbine won 5-1 on aggregate. They would equal the record of three titles with victory on Thursday and 28-year-old Odebrecht cannot wait, having already clinched another German title this season.
"We're confident because every player is aware of the importance of a game like this," she told UEFA.com. "People will watch it back home, it's being broadcast by ZDF, and we want to inspire them, we want to win them over for women's football, for our sport. We want to win the double, as we cannot achieve the treble [after losing the German Cup final]."
Captain Zietz, 27, has been given an extra buzz after visiting Fulham FC's historic Craven Cottage to train and speak to the media on Wednesday. "If you look at the stadium it's just unbelievable," she said. "We don't have a stadium like this in Germany, with all the tradition that you can feel when you enter, and outside when you arrive."
Odebrecht, who left Potsdam after their 2005 triumph but returned three years later, added: "I was outside for a short while before the press conference. The stadium is all decorated, it's even nicer than last time. Last year there was the running track, but this year the spectators will be sitting very close to the pitch.
It's just a great atmosphere, and the pitch is like a carpet."
Following their 2005 triumph, Potsdam reached the final again the next year but lost both legs against 1. FFC Frankfurt, Zietz – whose whole senior career has been spent with the club – on the defeated side. "I don't know if the pressure is higher – if you are here as defending champions you want to win the final again, and not just come here to a final like this just to take part," she said.
"Of course we have won this trophy already, it gives us confidence and belief for the match tomorrow. We know what we will face, and we won't be surprised by them, unlike last year. But we will be there from the first minute on, we will be prepared, and we'll give everything to win the title a second time."
It has been an unusual season for Potsdam, as the Frauen-Bundesliga finished in March to allow the German national team time to prepare for the FIFA Women's World Cup on home soil. Zietz is not in that squad and while she did play in the League Cup games that filled the hiatus, she eased up her training regime after a tiring campaign. Now, though, she is totally ready.
Zietz said: "It was a pretty intense season, not least because a lot of matches were played in a short space of time – we were in three competitions, got a long way in all three, and I played in all the games. And of course I felt it. I just took it a bit easier and relaxed in between.
"But I'm fit now, I'm fully fit, and I will be able to give my best performance tomorrow. I hope to do so, and I hope the whole team will do so tomorrow.
Lyon will be a hard challenge for us, but we are all in a great mood, and there are no limits for us. "
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