Marta and Boquete talk Tyresö
It has been nine years since Umeå IK won Sweden’s last European title, but UEFA Women’s Champions League debutants Tyresö FF are ready to put that right.
Investment in big names like Brazil forward Marta – key to Umeå’s 2004 triumph – and Spain striker Verónica Boquete landed them a maiden league championship last year and now they are set for the toughest of round of 32 ties against Paris Saint-Germain FC, whom they welcome for Wednesday’s first leg. Marta and Boquete, fresh from signing new six-month deals this week, believe winning the Damallsvenskan proves they can go far in Europe.
UEFA.com: Are Tyresö good enough to win the trophy?
Marta: We have a team with the quality. I’m not bringing down the French league, but the Swedish league is better. We play matches here which are quite aggressive in a general sense. And that, without doubt, will help us reach a higher level in the Champions League.
Verónica Boquete: We want a good Champions League campaign. The best teams in Europe play in the Champions League, and Tyresö have just made their way there. Two or three years ago this team was still unknown, so it is difficult to compete with clubs with a long history and Champions League experience, but we have the players and the will to win. We have the desire to achieve big things. We know that Sweden’s domestic league is very competitive, and we won it.
Our objective will be to reach the final in May. Many people say they don’t believe in it – that it’s our first season in the Champions League and to want to make it to the final is very optimistic – but that is our goal. Maybe we won’t make it, but we will undoubtedly give everything we can and we have already been gaining respect in Europe without having really competed yet. People know Tyresö can play good football and that will also be important.
UEFA.com: What were the team’s main strengths last year?
Boquete: Our playing style. Here in Sweden they are used to a more physical style of football with long balls, a more intense way of playing. Tyresö had a squad of players who prefer a different type of football, who like to pass the ball around more. We like to have possession, we just felt good having the ball. That made the difference, the difference in our style of play, and to achieve that result – to manage to win like that – makes the players confident about winning in this style.
UEFA.com: What did coach Tony Gustavsson’s appointment bring?
Marta: For a team to compete in the Damallsvenskan, which is one of the best leagues at the moment, it takes work; and at the head of that work you need a boss. Tony fills that role very well. We, the players, feel very secure about what we can do, because he knows every detail that is necessary for us to play well collectively and individually.
UEFA.com: United States striker Christen Press joined this year and has made a huge impact …
Marta: Yes, Press is a player who can play in different positions. Now we have the ability to switch all the time. Sometimes I drop back and she comes into the middle. She’s a player with ability and she can finish very well.
UEFA.com: Marta, you won the former UEFA Women’s Cup twice with Umeå. What status does this competition have around the world?
Marta: Today it has a bigger profile, today it’s called the Champions League, whereas in the past it was the UEFA Cup, so that already [makes it comparable to] the men’s Champions League. Today it’s at the same level, it’s considered the same thing apart from the different gender. That’s important, it gives a bigger value to the competition.
Secondly, there are a lot of teams in Europe that dream about playing in a Champions League, and that means women’s football grows every day and has an international reputation. It gives the competition stature. The decisions so far have already changed it a lot and it will grow even more.
UEFA.com: Veró, you came to the club when Marta arrived. How important has Marta been, with her experience, in achieving what you have done?
Boquete: Marta has always been my idol on the pitch, and still is for me personally. So to come here and have the chance to play with her … If we were already favourites, then with Marta in our team we were obliged to win. She has always been there for the team, she has scored important goals.
Watch Sweden take on Poland in the first round of the FIFA 2015 Women’s World Cup qualifying. Kickoff at 5.30 pm CET.
Alternative link: 
Watch the Belgian women’s national team’s ironic advertisement for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
Schelin: “It really feels like a tournament that will be ours”
Lotta Schelin has spoken to Swedish Television about the upcoming qualifying match against Poland, and she says it’s nice to be back and to see everyone again after a few weeks off from the national team.
Asked about how they will tackle the challenge to play some national teams that are far down the rankings, a vast difference from EURO 2013, Schelin says that they absolutely do not want to miss the World Cup and that it is their motivation. She has a hard time imagining that anyone would not give their all every minute as everyone is fighting for their spot on the team, to perform well and to win.
On what they have taken away from EURO 2013, Schelin says she thinks that they played an offensive football and scored a lot of goals. If one compares with the other national teams, Sweden absolutely scored the most, which she thinks is something they should remember. She also says the good feeling from the competition is still there, because it was fantastic with the audience, etc., so that has really helped. There is a lot that Sweden can still improve on, however, such as having more possession and playing a more varied attacking game. She says that they want to be the best, and then there is a lot to improve.
Schelin also comments on the fact that Kosovare Asllani is injured and will miss the match against Poland. She thinks that Sweden will still play with two forwards, and that she does not have a preference on who she will get to play with. Whoever is best at the moment in practise will get the chance to start, she says.
Finally, Lotta Schelin says that she feels good but that we (in Lyon) are still in a pre-season mode and that there has been a lot of trainings in a short amount of time, so she’s a little tired, but under the circumstances she feels good should be able to perform on the pitch on Saturday. As a final comment, she says the World Cup is going to be a lot of fun, and that it really feels like a tournament that is going to be theirs.
IF Brommapojkarna Dam 0-4 Tyresö FF
Tyresö FF today took on Division 3 side BP Dam in the Swedish Cup. With an impressive lineup including Christen Press, Ali Krieger, Caroline Graham Hansen and Sara Thunebro, Tyresö had no difficulties dominating the match, and Kirsten van de Ven opened the scoring in the 10th minute, when Tyresö had already had one goal disallowed.
Jennifer Hermoso Fuentes and Ali Krieger then put Tyresö further ahead by scoring one goal each. In the second half, Tyresö seemed to want to save as much of their energy as possible for the upcoming league matches, but Christen Press did finally find the back of the net, after several of her shots had hit the bar, and that completed the day’s scoring. Tyresö will play Vittsjö GIK next in the league on Tuesday at home, before facing Umeå IK away on Sunday.
Starting lineup for Tyresö: Carola Söberg; Sara Thunebro, Line Röddik Hansen, Johanna Frisk, Ali Krieger; Lisa Dahlkvist (C), Malin Diaz, Kirsten van de Ven, Caroline Graham Hansen; Jennifer Hermoso Fuentes, Christen Press.
Goals by Kirsten van de Ven (10’), Jennifer Hermoso Fuentes (28’), Ali Krieger (33’), Christen Press (63’).
Edit: Ali Krieger’s goal may in fact have been scored by Hermoso. The third goal was a header and I thought it was Krieger that scored and the speaker announced her name, but TFF say it was actually Hermoso.
Nadine Angerer named Best Women’s Player in Europe
UEFA today announced the first recipient of the inaugural UEFA Best Women’s Player in Europe Award, and the winner is Nadine Angerer!
Angerer lead Germany to their Euro 2013 victory, winning the trophy as both Player of the Match in the final, and Player of the Tournament.
Photo from UEFA.com.