Lotta Schelin told UEFA.com "it's going to be tough" for Olympique Lyonnais as they face FC Twente and then possibly 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam but they are up for the task.
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The UEFA Women's Champions League has been running for four seasons, and each time Olympique Lyonnais have featured in the final.
They lost the initial decider under the new format on penalties to 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam in 2010 in Getafe but at Fulham FC's Craven Cottage home 12 months later took revenge, 2-0. Lyon retained the title by defeating 1. FFC Frankfurt by the same scoreline in Munich but in May another German club, VfL Wolfsburg, turned the tables 1-0 at Chelsea FC's Stamford Bridge stadium.
Throughout that time Lotta Schelin, the adidas Golden Boot winner at UEFA Women's EURO 2013 in her native Sweden in July, has led the Lyon line and so she will again in the round of 32 against FC Twente, who they visit on Wednesday before the Stade de Gerland return seven days later. Lyon have never failed to reach the semis in their six European campaigns, but if they progress they look likely to face a last-16 tie with old rivals Potsdam. Schelin spoke UEFA.com about the competition they face.
UEFA.com: If you can get past Twente, it could well be a massive match against familiar opposition. What do you make of your draw?
Lotta Schelin: I think that a lot of good teams will play against other high-ranked teams very quickly in this competition this year. Even in the round of 16 we're going to play Potsdam and Wolfsburg are maybe going to play Malmö and already Tyresö play Paris Saint-Germain: they are good games already in the rounds of 32 and 16.
But what can we do? It's a draw and afterwards we know that if we want to go all the way, if we want to win and achieve everything that we want, then we have to win every game. So it's good to inspire us and motivate us to play really well even in the beginning so it's going to be really tough but we're going to do everything to try and reach another final.
UEFA.com: You have attracted crowds of more than 20,000 to the Stade de Gerland for your ties – you may be used to it, but how do players not so familiar with that atmosphere handle it?
Schelin: These kinds of nights are amazing and in the semi-finals at Gerland we have had over 20,000 twice now, and that's amazing because it's really our supporters who are there and they are all there for us. I don't think anyone gets scared about it but it's a huge aid for us. It's amazing and I really hope it's going to continue and that the people in Lyon are going to come cheering for us and if we pass the round of 16 and beyond, they're going to be there. But it's amazing for the sport – it's amazing for women's soccer in Europe and in France.
UEFA.com: We have seen a bit more investment in other clubs in France, like Paris Saint-Germain FC and FCF Juvisy Essonne. Is that helpful?
Schelin: It's good. We want to play good games – that's why you play soccer, you want to play the big games. And if you can have more of those in the league, then we're going to get better and better. But of course, it's also going to mean that it's going to be harder to win all the time and that's normal.
But that's a challenge that we like and it's a challenge that we appreciate because I know also that we're not always playing for ourselves – we're playing for women's soccer and to develop it and for the development it's great and you know, I'm happy to be a part of it. It's great that they invest because European soccer needs that.