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Once of Chelsea LFC, Anita Asante is hoping to step out at Stamford Bridge for the UEFA Women's Champions League final there on 23 May – but first her Göteborg FC side must get past FCF Juvisy Essonne in the last eight.
Göteborg travel to France on Wednesday before the home return next week, and England midfielder Asante can bring to the field experience of winning the UEFA Women's Cup in 2007 with Arsenal LFC before her time at Chelsea and in the United States. Asante, who began her Göteborg spell this time last year with a quarter-final loss to Arsenal, spoke to UEFA.com about the tie and Göteborg's challenges at home and abroad.
UEFA.com: Do you know much about Juvisy?
Anita Asante: I know they are a top team, I know they've got some really good dynamic attacking players; the likes of [Gaëtane] Thiney. It's going to be a tough phase, and at this point you expect it to be. But we are really confident and excited, and we've been working a lot away in pre-season, in our pre-season tour, to prepare for this game.
UEFA.com: Arsenal LFC stopped you at this stage last year, a bit of an epic tie. Can Göteborg make that next step this time?
Asante: We hope so. We've really got some strength in our squad this season, and we've brought in a couple of new attacking players in the likes of Jessica Landström and the Norwegian Cathrine Dyngvold. I think the squad as a whole are stronger; the ambition is within the club as a whole, and we will take the game as it comes.
UEFA.com: Are you even more ambitious as your league finish last year means Göteborg are not guaranteed a European slot for 2013/14.
Asante: The stakes are higher, and I think last season proved how strong the league is, you know; it was really difficult to try and get into the top four teams. But the ambition is definitely there, and every test makes the team stronger.
UEFA.com: When you think about the players that Tyresö FF and FC Malmö have signed even this winter, do you think this year's Swedish League will be the strongest league you have played in, even maybe compared to the [former American] WPS?
Asante: Potentially. Obviously coming back to Europe, there are different styles of play and different coaching anyway. The elements of the game are different to what it was when I was in America. But with those players back in the league and really strong teams with Tyresö and Malmö, it's going to be a really competitive season.
UEFA.com: Of course in Europe the final is at Stamford Bridge, would you love to be there in that London final?
Asante: Absolutely, there'd be nothing better than to be back on British soil, and it would be also great to lift the trophy. And Chelsea being one of my previous clubs, that would be kind of cool too.
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