As tournament hosts Sweden prepare for their UEFA Women's EURO 2013 opener against Denmark in Gothenburg, no one feels more at home than forward Lotta Schelin, who grew up in the city.
The scene was Gamla Ullevi, venue for Wednesday's Group A encounter between the Blågult and their Nordic rivals. Every seat in the press conference room was taken as hometown girl Schelin sat at the podium, a wide grin revealing her pleasure of being in the right place at the right time.
"Playing a EURO at home is a reward for everything one has done throughout one's career – it feels fantastic," said Schelin, raised in the Gothenburg suburb of Kallered, some 12km from Gamla Ullevi.
Schelin, who has played for Olympique Lyonnais in France for the past five years, hastened to point out where her focus lies for this tournament on home soil. "We want to do more than just take part, we want to get results," she stressed.
Schelin knows how to do exactly that, having won the UEFA Women's Champions League with her club in 2011 and 2012, and she has a clear idea of how to get the desired outcome with her national team, beginning against Denmark.
"We want to attack with many players and win the ball as high up [the pitch] as possible," she said. "That's usually what launches our attacks. Besides that, speed and desire will be important, much like we showed against England."
Pia Sundhage's team overwhelmed England 4-1 last week in the last pre-tournament friendly for both sides. Schelin appeared twice on the scoresheet, but pointed out that Sweden are far from Lotta-dependent. "We are more unpredictable than before in how we attack," said the 29-year-old. "Today so many of us are ready to go forward and be there to finish the attacks."
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