As holders FFC Frankfurt prepare for their quarter-final with Rosengård, defender Saskia Bartusiak reflects on their mixed form, the departure of Colin Bell and her future plans.
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If this is Saskia Bartusiak's last season as a player, she could make it a memorable one.
The 33-year-old defender has been with FFC Frankfurt since switching from FSV Frankfurt in 2005 and last season won the UEFA Women's Champions League to make it three European titles with the club, in addition to her two for Germany, who she now captains.
However, by their standards Frankfurt have had a below-par campaign. They trail Bayern München by 12 points in the Frauen-Bundesliga, are out of the German Cup and only just squeezed past LSK Kvinner on penalties on their way to setting up March's UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-final with Rosengård.
Frankfurt are in the midst of the two-month winter break and are now under the caretaker charge of Matt Ross after coach Colin Bell left for Norwegian side Avaldsnes. Bartusiak spoke to UEFA.com about Rosengård, Bell, Frankfurt's season and her plans after her contract expires in the summer.
UEFA.com: What do you think of Rosengård?
Saskia Bartusiak: I have not focused on their team yet, but of course I know them. Anja Mittag played there for a few years and she was successful as well. With Marta up front, it says a lot about the quality of their team. These will be two good games and I am looking forward to them already. I am looking forward to playing against a Swedish team.
UEFA.com: How would you assess Colin Bell's time in charge?
Bartusiak: He did a great job. During his time here as coach he won the Champions League. It was a great success for him personally as a coach and for us as a team as well.
UEFA.com: Frankfurt did not have their usual consistency before the winter break both at home and in Europe – why was that?
Bartusiak: It's difficult to say. It's not as surprising as it is to people on the outside. We had some small changes after last season, some important players left the club or finished their careers, like Célia Šašić. She was always there to score a goal, she was always there to make a good move and help us. And many new players arrived here who needed to adapt – and they arrived quite late in our preparation, too.
The German national players also returned quite late after the World Cup. All of that contributed to us needing more time than other teams to start the season well. That's why I think we've played quite well but in some games haven't really shown what we are capable of.
UEFA.com: You said that when your contract ends in 2016, you don't know if you will extend it by one year, try somewhere else or retire. What's the feeling now? If you were to finish your career, would you still be involved in women's football somehow?
Bartusiak: I don't know yet. I have not started to think about that in more detail. Of course, you think about the different options sometimes, but right now I'm focusing on the current season with FFC Frankfurt, on our upcoming games and objectives. It's the same with the national team as well – we have a major tournament this summer, the Olympic Games. It's a real milestone for me and I want to prepare well for it, I want to arrive there in top form, which means that I need to stay fit. Those are the things I'm focusing on, rather than on what might happen in the future.