UEFA.com: Célia, this has been your first experience of the UEFA Women's Champions League – how much have you enjoyed it?
Célia Šašić: It's a new experience for me as I haven't played on the international [club] stage before. It was very exciting and still is very exciting. It's also good to see how football is in other countries – it's very interesting to get to know all these different playing cultures.
UEFA.com: Your next opponents will be Brøndby IF. What do you about them? How difficult will that tie be?
Šašić: I don't know much about Brøndby yet, but that makes it even more exciting.
It's not like in men's football where you can turn on the TV and watch a match and follow the teams. [In women's football] you need to rely on the information and video analysis from the coaching staff. That's how it will be. Before the game we will have video material and get to know our opponents that way, as we prepare and train for the tie. For me personally it is actually not so important – I go into every match with the same attitude and approach, I don't care if it's a super strong opponent or if our opponents might be inferior to us. That doesn't make a difference to me.
UEFA.com: You will be without midfielder Jessica Fishlock, whose loan spell from Seattle Reign has ended. How will that affect the team?
Šašić: Everybody knows Jessica was an important player for us. She was the one who held it all together between midfield and defence. She was a great holding midfielder. But we know she is not with us any more and we have to fill that gap. I think we have great quality in our squad and we can compensate. We don't have time to mourn her – we have a lot of targets coming up in the next few weeks and we need to be focused on that and try to close the big gap Jessica left.
UEFA.com: Are you optimistic about reaching the final?
Šašić: I am optimistic as we all want to achieve that goal. It's the Champions League and we certainly want to make it to the final – I guess we will show that clearly in these two legs. And if we perform well on the pitch, then it becomes pretty difficult for Brøndby. But you have to show it on the pitch first, then I think we can succeed in our semi-final.
UEFA.com: The competition within the Bundesliga is growing. Is it an advantage for you in this UEFA Women's Champions League semi-final to have lots of tight games in the Bundesliga?
Šašić: I think that's the case – if you are challenged regularly then you improve faster and develop faster than if you're not playing against top-level opponents. That's the good thing about our domestic league as you are challenged in every match, you never go into a match with the feeling you can play at half-speed and still win anyway. You're playing at a level every week where you have to give everything to win. So you actually always play at that same high level.
UEFA.com: You are in sight of finishing as the UEFA Women's Champions League top scorer; would that be a great achievement in your first season?
Šašić: That is a side issue for me. You're certainly happy about these things if you achieve them, but it's not a target you set yourself when you take part in the Champions League, wanting to become top scorer in that competition or in the league. I just love playing football,
I like scoring goals – that, for me, is the meaning of football, that's why I could never play in defence, I have to admit. That's why I just play and try to score as many goals as possible – and if in the end I've scored the most then that's nice, but it's not necessarily a target I have. You can be happy about it if you achieve it, but it's not my main target.
UEFA.com: What is it like playing under an English coach in Colin Bell?
Šašić: I don't know if it's because he is English, but I guess every coach has his own philosophy and his own way. For me, it is important that a coach sticks to his way. So it doesn't really matter what country you are from, you are defined by a style and mentality of play as you have experienced it, and I guess that's the same with him. He likes English football and has that in him. I think you can see that he likes that aggressive style, at a fast pace, with lots of tempo – and that is what we have been trying to do on the pitch.
UEFA.com: What would it mean to play in a final in Berlin? Would it be special because there would be more fans and easier for family and friends to visit?
Šašić: Of course it's nice to have something like a home game – but if it's the Champions League then it is something international and you usually have to travel abroad. But Berlin is a great capital for the final. When you play a match in Berlin it always has something of a final feel about it. It would be fantastic to have the final played around the corner, so family and friends could come to support us. I would be very happy to reach the final there.
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