Paris Saint-Germain's Linda Bresonik discusses their semi with a "fragile" VfL Wolfsburg, the "mega-hype" at the club, playing in France and Germany, and a trip to Qatar.
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UEFA.com: As you visit holders VfL Wolfsburg in your native Germany for Saturday's first leg, what will be the key for Paris Saint-Germain to reach the final?
Linda Bresonik: I think first of all anything is possible in a semi-final. I think the key thing will be form on the day, because as I said, anything is possible. Wolfsburg are not the fittest team at the moment, I watched their quarter-final and they were sometimes a bit shaky, so it's the right moment for us to play Wolfsburg.
UEFA.com: What will be the key to unsettling them?
Bresonik: We have to be strong up front. Of course you have to be solid at the back, that's obvious, but we must try to attack from the flanks, I think they are fragile there. We need to show some grit in front of goal.
UEFA.com: Where do Paris stand at the moment?
Bresonik: Well, we are second in the league and we will stay second. That means we will play in the Champions League again next year. I think highs and lows are part of it, as in life. Of course it's a pity to be out of the French Cup, but we had an off-day and that's why we were eliminated. But we have taken a very big step mentally this year, that's why we are in the semi-final of the Champions League. We are strong and we can finally write history for the club; last year we were eliminated in the quarter-finals. We are strong physically and mentally, I think we are doing well.
UEFA.com: After being eliminated from the French Cup and losing your decisive league game against Olympique Lyonnais, how difficult was it for you to regroup?
Bresonik: We had to discuss some things: why, what, how? Losing 4-0 to Lyon is horrible, you have to say that. When you lose 1-0 or 2-0, that's one thing, but 4-0 was really bitter. That's why we had to discuss things. We had to analyse what happened. But we quickly returned to our daily routine and we've won all our games since. Maybe it was a good lesson for us – I hope so.
UEFA.com: Obviously you are familiar with at least half of the Wolfsburg team from the national squad. Does it help to know a few of your opponents?
Bresonik: The fact there are five German players [at Paris] and we all know Wolfsburg quite well is beneficial for the French players. You can talk to the coach and tell him about their strengths and weaknesses, tell him what you know and what to pay attention to. So it is an advantage.
UEFA.com: You said Wolfsburg were a bit shaky against FC Rosengård. Against Paris they will be missing their captain Nadine Kessler and Lena Goessling is injured. Is that something you can exploit?
Bresonik: Yes, because Nadine Kessler was named world footballer of the year and was in really top form, you have to say that – maybe the best form she's been in in the last few years. So it's good when a player like that is missing. And Lena Goessling didn't play [against Rosengård]. Whether that explained why they weren't as strong, I don't know. I saw their match against Jena and they weren't that strong either, in quite a physical game. Also, the German clubs have played a few more [domestic] matches than us, so fatigue will play a part as well.
UEFA.com: They have a strong international defence with Nilla Fischer and Babett Peter, among others – what are your weapons to undo them?
Bresonik: We have a very strong midfield with Shirley Cruz and Caroline Seger. They are different players, Shirley Cruz plays a bit more offensively, she is an excellent dribber and delivers great final balls.
We have to use the wings, because in the middle Nilla Fischer is one of the best centre-backs – it's difficult to get past her, especially in the air, she wins everything. She is also very quick. So I think we have to play on the flanks. We have enough weapons, like Kosovare Asllani who has played a few times on the wing already; she is a very dangerous player.
UEFA.com: You've been here three years now. When you left Germany did you think Wolfsburg would end up as dominant in Europe as they are?
Bresonik: I don't know – it would be exaggerating to say 'yes', because it's huge what they have done in the last few years, the treble, they've won the Champions League twice, that's a really great performance. I wouldn't have expected that, but you could see that something was brewing over there. They brought in some good signings, which is the key to Wolfsburg's success, because they really targeted their signings.
UEFA.com: Are there differences in training and match preparation between here and Germany?
Bresonik: Basically things are more relaxed here. When training is at 10am, you don't always start at 10am sharp. Things get a bit delayed, you wait here and there, and everyone is relaxed and laid back – which is very different from Germany. Otherwise we do similar sessions as in Germany, nothing too different.
UEFA.com: What does getting to this stage mean to Paris? Does the club realise it?
Bresonik: Yes, totally. There's mega-hype here at the moment, because we can make history for the club. We've never reached the Champions League semi-finals before, and as you know anything is possible in the semi-finals. So yes, there's a lot being done especially in terms of marketing, there's a lot of promotion being done. They are really proud.
UEFA.com: What did it mean to the team to get such a good crowd at the Parc des Princes against Glasgow City FC?
Bresonik: That was really massive, I have to say that I didn't expect it. I mean, Parc des Princes, they've just renovated the dressing room. It's a great old stadium, it reminds me a little bit of Berlin because there are still a lot of old bits. There were 11,000-odd spectators and it was great because we were already through after the 2-0 win in Glasgow. The club prepared for it well, they gave it a lot of promotion, and it was an opportunity for us to show what we can do. And maybe in the future we can play a few more games at the Parc des Princes, because I have to say the venue is great, it was a great feeling, almost like at the World Cup.
UEFA.com: You recently had a training camp in Qatar: how did that benefit you in the sporting and team building respects?
Bresonik: We were invited by our owner, which was great because I think most of us had never been to Qatar. I was happy to be invited, the flight was a bit tiring because it's seven hours to Dubai, but in the end it was 36C, we drove through the desert, we saw some great things. The food was great, we were staying in a great hotel. We trained every morning, it was really hot but I think it did us a lot of good to change climate – it was beneficial for our fitness. Overall we had a lot of fun, the day driving through the desert was great, fantastic. Then in the evening we had dinner in the desert and drank tea. We all had fun, it was a nice trip.