Interview

From strength to strength

Three players who went deep into Women’s EURO 2022 reflect on their tournament highlights – and discuss their hopes for the Women’s Champions League

INTERVIEWS Romain Balland, Lynsey Hooper & Carla Garcia

What did you enjoy most about the women’s EURO?

Melvine Malard: It was my first major international competition and we went on a great run, so both collectively and individually it was a wonderful experience, especially in such a football-loving country. It was certainly nice to show off French football in a country like England. 

Magda Eriksson: The first thing I think of is the Swedish fans. There were so many of them and they were incredible. They gave us so much energy and spread so much joy.

Lucy Bronze: Obviously the best thing was winning it. But the whole experience was amazing, especially because we played in England. Even if we were to win another tournament I don’t think anything will ever compare, setting up at Wembley against Germany.

Melvine Malard of Lyon and France (top); Magda Eriksson of Chelsea and Sweden (above)

What one moment will stick longest in your memory?

MM: My goal against Iceland. It was my first start and the fact that I scored was huge.

ME: When Linda Sembrant scored in the 90th minute against Belgium, which put us through to the semi-finals. We ran over to the bench to celebrate and our fans were right behind it, so it was just like we were running towards the fans as well. It was a fantastic experience.

LB: The very first game at Old Trafford. To fill that for the very first game… I don’t think we played our best but that was the moment where we were like, “OK, this is going to be big.” 

What did you enjoy most about the women’s EURO?

Melvine Malard: It was my first major international competition and we went on a great run, so both collectively and individually it was a wonderful experience, especially in such a football-loving country. It was certainly nice to show off French football in a country like England. 

Magda Eriksson: The first thing I think of is the Swedish fans. There were so many of them and they were incredible. They gave us so much energy and spread so much joy.

Lucy Bronze: Obviously the best thing was winning it. But the whole experience was amazing, especially because we played in England. Even if we were to win another tournament I don’t think anything will ever compare, setting up at Wembley against Germany.

Melvine Malard of Lyon and France (top); Magda Eriksson of Chelsea and Sweden (above)

What one moment will stick longest in your memory?

MM: My goal against Iceland. It was my first start and the fact that I scored was huge.

ME: When Linda Sembrant scored in the 90th minute against Belgium, which put us through to the semi-finals. We ran over to the bench to celebrate and our fans were right behind it, so it was just like we were running towards the fans as well. It was a fantastic experience.

LB: The very first game at Old Trafford. To fill that for the very first game… I don’t think we played our best but that was the moment where we were like, “OK, this is going to be big.” 

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

What does the Women’s Champions League mean to you?

MM: It means a lot. It’s always our top priority and an aim that we want to achieve at the end of the season. The excitement, the fans, the level of performance: everything is just at a higher level.

ME: When you think about the coolest moments, Champions League moments are always the first that come up in your brain. There’s something different about it. When you’re doing that tough training on a rainy January morning, what motivates you is the thought of playing in a Champions League final.

LB: The Champions League has always meant so much to me. It was the reason I left England five years ago to go and play for Lyon. Again, it’s why I’ve come to Barcelona: although I’ve won it three times, I’m still hungry to win it again. 

Lucy Bronze of Barcelona and England


How far can your team go in the Champions League this season?

MM: We know what the highest level is all about. We know what rising to the top looks like and we want to do that by winning every title. We have a clear and precise aim so it’s up to us to work hard and achieve that, God willing, at the end of the season.

ME: I think we can go all the way – but thinking and doing are so different. The group stage is long; that’s our focus first of all, then we can worry about the rest. We definitely have the quality in our squad to make it, we just have to do it.

LB: I think not only ourselves, but everybody else who watches women’s football, would expect Barcelona to make the final.

“What motivates you is the thought of playing in a Champions League final”

What’s next for women’s football?

MM: To attract even more fans, because what we’re showing on the pitch is good, high-level football. Also, to have more TV coverage.

ME: It just keeps growing and growing and growing, and we’re building on top of every success. For example, just recently Sweden played a friendly against France in front of 50,000 fans, and that’s a record for us in that stadium. It’s just amazing that we can keep having these kinds of moments.

LB: It’s the million-dollar question. We just need to keep pushing to make everything better and I think the only thing I can do is be better as a player and help push the people around me – the clubs, the federations that I get to work with. If we could just keep that momentum going, keep the fans engaged and get more people coming to the games regularly, it would be amazing.

What did you enjoy most about the women’s EURO?

Melvine Malard: It was my first major international competition and we went on a great run, so both collectively and individually it was a wonderful experience, especially in such a football-loving country. It was certainly nice to show off French football in a country like England. 

Magda Eriksson: The first thing I think of is the Swedish fans. There were so many of them and they were incredible. They gave us so much energy and spread so much joy.

Lucy Bronze: Obviously the best thing was winning it. But the whole experience was amazing, especially because we played in England. Even if we were to win another tournament I don’t think anything will ever compare, setting up at Wembley against Germany.

Melvine Malard of Lyon and France (top); Magda Eriksson of Chelsea and Sweden (above)

What one moment will stick longest in your memory?

MM: My goal against Iceland. It was my first start and the fact that I scored was huge.

ME: When Linda Sembrant scored in the 90th minute against Belgium, which put us through to the semi-finals. We ran over to the bench to celebrate and our fans were right behind it, so it was just like we were running towards the fans as well. It was a fantastic experience.

LB: The very first game at Old Trafford. To fill that for the very first game… I don’t think we played our best but that was the moment where we were like, “OK, this is going to be big.” 

From strength to strength
Interview

From strength to strength

Three players who went deep into Women’s EURO 2022 reflect on their tournament highlights – and discuss their hopes for the Women’s Champions League

INTERVIEWS Romain Balland, Lynsey Hooper & Carla Garcia

What did you enjoy most about the women’s EURO?

Melvine Malard: It was my first major international competition and we went on a great run, so both collectively and individually it was a wonderful experience, especially in such a football-loving country. It was certainly nice to show off French football in a country like England. 

Magda Eriksson: The first thing I think of is the Swedish fans. There were so many of them and they were incredible. They gave us so much energy and spread so much joy.

Lucy Bronze: Obviously the best thing was winning it. But the whole experience was amazing, especially because we played in England. Even if we were to win another tournament I don’t think anything will ever compare, setting up at Wembley against Germany.

Melvine Malard of Lyon and France (top); Magda Eriksson of Chelsea and Sweden (above)

What one moment will stick longest in your memory?

MM: My goal against Iceland. It was my first start and the fact that I scored was huge.

ME: When Linda Sembrant scored in the 90th minute against Belgium, which put us through to the semi-finals. We ran over to the bench to celebrate and our fans were right behind it, so it was just like we were running towards the fans as well. It was a fantastic experience.

LB: The very first game at Old Trafford. To fill that for the very first game… I don’t think we played our best but that was the moment where we were like, “OK, this is going to be big.” 

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

What did you enjoy most about the women’s EURO?

Melvine Malard: It was my first major international competition and we went on a great run, so both collectively and individually it was a wonderful experience, especially in such a football-loving country. It was certainly nice to show off French football in a country like England. 

Magda Eriksson: The first thing I think of is the Swedish fans. There were so many of them and they were incredible. They gave us so much energy and spread so much joy.

Lucy Bronze: Obviously the best thing was winning it. But the whole experience was amazing, especially because we played in England. Even if we were to win another tournament I don’t think anything will ever compare, setting up at Wembley against Germany.

Melvine Malard of Lyon and France (top); Magda Eriksson of Chelsea and Sweden (above)

What one moment will stick longest in your memory?

MM: My goal against Iceland. It was my first start and the fact that I scored was huge.

ME: When Linda Sembrant scored in the 90th minute against Belgium, which put us through to the semi-finals. We ran over to the bench to celebrate and our fans were right behind it, so it was just like we were running towards the fans as well. It was a fantastic experience.

LB: The very first game at Old Trafford. To fill that for the very first game… I don’t think we played our best but that was the moment where we were like, “OK, this is going to be big.” 

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

What does the Women’s Champions League mean to you?

MM: It means a lot. It’s always our top priority and an aim that we want to achieve at the end of the season. The excitement, the fans, the level of performance: everything is just at a higher level.

ME: When you think about the coolest moments, Champions League moments are always the first that come up in your brain. There’s something different about it. When you’re doing that tough training on a rainy January morning, what motivates you is the thought of playing in a Champions League final.

LB: The Champions League has always meant so much to me. It was the reason I left England five years ago to go and play for Lyon. Again, it’s why I’ve come to Barcelona: although I’ve won it three times, I’m still hungry to win it again. 

Lucy Bronze of Barcelona and England


How far can your team go in the Champions League this season?

MM: We know what the highest level is all about. We know what rising to the top looks like and we want to do that by winning every title. We have a clear and precise aim so it’s up to us to work hard and achieve that, God willing, at the end of the season.

ME: I think we can go all the way – but thinking and doing are so different. The group stage is long; that’s our focus first of all, then we can worry about the rest. We definitely have the quality in our squad to make it, we just have to do it.

LB: I think not only ourselves, but everybody else who watches women’s football, would expect Barcelona to make the final.

“What motivates you is the thought of playing in a Champions League final”

What’s next for women’s football?

MM: To attract even more fans, because what we’re showing on the pitch is good, high-level football. Also, to have more TV coverage.

ME: It just keeps growing and growing and growing, and we’re building on top of every success. For example, just recently Sweden played a friendly against France in front of 50,000 fans, and that’s a record for us in that stadium. It’s just amazing that we can keep having these kinds of moments.

LB: It’s the million-dollar question. We just need to keep pushing to make everything better and I think the only thing I can do is be better as a player and help push the people around me – the clubs, the federations that I get to work with. If we could just keep that momentum going, keep the fans engaged and get more people coming to the games regularly, it would be amazing.

What did you enjoy most about the women’s EURO?

Melvine Malard: It was my first major international competition and we went on a great run, so both collectively and individually it was a wonderful experience, especially in such a football-loving country. It was certainly nice to show off French football in a country like England. 

Magda Eriksson: The first thing I think of is the Swedish fans. There were so many of them and they were incredible. They gave us so much energy and spread so much joy.

Lucy Bronze: Obviously the best thing was winning it. But the whole experience was amazing, especially because we played in England. Even if we were to win another tournament I don’t think anything will ever compare, setting up at Wembley against Germany.

Melvine Malard of Lyon and France (top); Magda Eriksson of Chelsea and Sweden (above)

What one moment will stick longest in your memory?

MM: My goal against Iceland. It was my first start and the fact that I scored was huge.

ME: When Linda Sembrant scored in the 90th minute against Belgium, which put us through to the semi-finals. We ran over to the bench to celebrate and our fans were right behind it, so it was just like we were running towards the fans as well. It was a fantastic experience.

LB: The very first game at Old Trafford. To fill that for the very first game… I don’t think we played our best but that was the moment where we were like, “OK, this is going to be big.” 

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

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