After 11 seasons of trying, SV Neulengbach are in their first European quarter-final and that provides a fitting stage for one of the competition's most prolific strikers.
Victories against Konak Belediyespor and Apollon Limassol LFC ended the Austrian side's wait to take their UEFA Women's Champions League season into the spring, and on Sunday they visit Tyresö FF before welcoming the Swedish side's all-star squad – including Marta – to a sold-out Wienerwaldstadion six days later. However, none of the Tyresö side have as many European goals as Nina Burger, who is now on 39, equalling Hanna Ljungberg's record single-club haul in UEFA women's club competition.
The 26-year-old, who has spent her entire senior career with Neulengbach, looks ahead to the tie with Tyresö and explains how a recent challenge from ASV Spratzern in the Austrian league has invigorated the club after 11 straight titles.
UEFA.com: Neulengbach tried for many years to make the quarter-finals – at last you are there...
Nina Burger: It is fantastic. It has always been our goal to make it into the quarter-finals. We played well in the round of 16, but we were also lucky with the opponents we were playing against. Now we've managed to make it into the quarter-finals, and we've been drawn against strong opponents, but there are no weak teams left ore at this stage.
Now we can only win – we have nothing to lose. Maybe we'll have two great days with everything working well in our team and with all the players – and you need certainly a bit of luck as well for it to work. So maybe we can even reach the semi-finals, although the Swedish team are the favourites.
UEFA.com: How great is the anticipation for a player like Marta coming to Austria?
Burger: Yes, that is definitely a highlight. Everybody in women's football knows Marta, and it is great to have her come here and to play against her. It's also great for the fans – more people will come to the match. It's actually sold out already. But Marta is not the only one – they have other great players, but she is the most famous one, and we're just looking forward to playing against a player like her.
UEFA.com: How do you approach a match like that, as the underdog in the tie? What would be a good result in the first leg?
Burger: We'd be very satisfied if we manage to get a draw. But we're going into the matches without any pressure, just with the thought that we could achieve something but we don't have to. Maybe it could be possible.
UEFA.com: Do you prepare differently for a match like that, or do you stick to your normal routine?
Burger: It is certainly something different. It is different to domestic league or Austrian Cup matches. We know we're facing very strong opponents, and we are not the favourites, as we are in our domestic league or cup competitions. We have been training and preparing for that tie. You definitely prepare differently for an important match like that.
UEFA.com: You've just equalled Hanna Ljungberg's record of goals for a single club in UEFA women's club competition...
Burger: It is a great thing. I was told about it – you have to tell me those things. I didn't really notice that I was up there or am sharing the lead [in numbers]. Of course, I was happy about it – it is like a nice extra.
UEFA.com: How much has it helped that Spratzern have begun to give you a real domestic challenge?
Burger: It is very important to play as many matches as possible against strong teams, but unfortunately there aren't many in our domestic league. There need to be more teams who become serious competitors – there haven't really been any over the last few years. It is fantastic to have one now, with Spratzern, and to have at least four matches against strong opponents during the domestic league season, where we are really challenged. In the cup we were even eliminated last year. It is important for there to be more strong teams that can do well in the league.
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