With her dream of playing in a UEFA Women's Champions League final, FC Barcelona's Ruth García spoke to UEFA.com about her new side, her participation in European club competition and the experience she gleaned with Spain at UEFA Women's EURO 2013.
The central defender joined Barcelona this season from Levante UD where she spent nine seasons, including a previous European foray in the 2008/09 UEFA Women's Cup. Now an integral part of the Blaugrana back line, the Valencia native – and one-time UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship winner – said she and her team-mates will approach with "enthusiasm" their first UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-final against holders VfL Wolfsburg next month.
UEFA.com: How do you plan on tackling Wolfsburg?
Ruth García: We felt good when we played them in pre-season, despite losing 2-0. We are all very enthusiastic about facing the reigning champions. We are going to play against the best players in Europe which is something that would motivate anyone.
UEFA.com: How would you describe your quarter-final opponents?
Ruth García: They are a physically very strong side with tall players. We know they have German internationals in their ranks and we know what that German team is like: they give everything they have until the last minute. They fight for every ball as if it were the last second. On dead-ball situations Wolfsburg can hurt you; they are very dangerous.
UEFA.com: What are the chances of Barcelona causing an upset, as Wolfsburg did against Olympique Lyonnais in last year's final?
Ruth García: Firstly, all this is a reward for what Barça achieved last season by winning the Liga. I am just fortunate to be here enjoying it. We are making progress in a wonderful tournament and here's hoping we can get to Lisbon. The first thing we must do, however, is to get the right result in Wolfsburg, which will be difficult. If we manage it, then we'll see what happens at home.
UEFA.com: Will you go into the away leg playing your usual style – or will not conceding be the aim?
Ruth García: Barça will remain true to themselves and the results will either follow or they won't. We are having a good season and are giving a good account of ourselves in the UEFA Champions League. We will try to continue that, by enjoying ourselves and competing in games as best as we can in order to progress.
UEFA.com: How has your first season with Barcelona been?
Ruth García: Very positive. Personally I'm happy here – my team-mates make everything so easy on a daily basis. Football-wise, I know I am at a club that everyone knows, one that is very big and has huge ambition.
UEFA.com: How was your time at last summer's UEFA Women's EURO 2013?
Ruth García: Personally and collectively, it was positive. We competed really well against England and France, and against Russia too. At the end of the day they were all very different games and some were tough in terms of trying to forge ahead. We reached the quarter-finals which was a massive achievement for Spanish women's football.
UEFA.com: Has the fact that Barça had so many players in that Spain team helped the Blaugrana in this season's UEFA Women's Champions League?
Ruth García: Yes! International competition is very different from domestic. You get to measure yourself against Germany, Norway or Sweden who are real powerhouses and who boast players from teams in the UEFA Champions League. The experience is invaluable. The rhythm of those matches and the time spent competing on the international stage helps, especially as the domestic level in Spain is slightly lower.
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