Simone Boye on opponents Rosengård: They always fight to the end
On Wednesday evening, FC Bayern Women will host FC Rosengård in the quarter final of the UEFA Women's Champions League. FCB defender Simone Boye Sørensen knows the opponents from Malmö very well: before moving to Munich, the Denmark international played for the Swedish record champions. In this interview, she reveals which Rosengård players are particularly dangerous, what goals she has for this season and what will be important in the coming weeks.
Simone Boye interview
Simone, last Friday you made it into the DFB Cup semi-finals and you played a very strong game. How tough were Hoffenheim?
"It was really a tough game. We played a very good first half. In the second half we got a bit tired and Hoffenheim did well and built up a lot of pressure. But we held out and continued to create good scoring opportunities for ourselves. We deserved to win."
Was the game a good warm-up for the upcoming Champions League games?
"Yes, Hoffenheim were definitely the strongest team we've met so far this year. And the game came at a good time. We saw where we can improve even with our current winning streak. Or rather: where we must improve - in order to be successful against absolute top teams in the coming weeks. Because we're facing really difficult challenges."
Speaking of tough challenges: you and your team are among the top eight in Europe again. How does that sound??
"Of course we're happy about it. Now comes the big BUT! We as FC Bayern - as individual players and as a club as a whole - have higher standards and we're not satisfied yet. Our journey must not end in the quarter-finals. We're all determined to do this!"
You have to beat FC Rosengård now. You played there before moving to FC Bayern. Do you still know the team and how strong they are?
"I know most of them, yes. They have several players from Denmark. They're really strong. Many players in the team have been playing together for a long time and they're very well-rehearsed. You can't really compare them with other German Bundesliga teams, but if you did, they'd be on top."
Which players should Bayern fans pay particular attention to on Wednesday - and why?
"Oh, there are many. But above all, there is of course Caroline Seger. She has more experience than most. She's strong on the ball, anticipates a lot and steers the game. She has a strong header and is a brilliant leader. Another player is Jelena Čanković, the cousin of our Jovana Damnjanović. Technically she is really strong, often unstoppable at dribbling, very dangerous offensively and she creates lots of chances and goals. We have to take great care with them. A third is Mimi Larsson, a striker. She's lightning fast and often unpredictable. She acts very quickly, doesn't give her opponents a second to orientate themselves and attacks you immediately. Sanne Troelsgaard, a Danish national team colleague of mine, also has a strong finish, creates a lot of goals, often out of nowhere, and scores as well. So the attack is tough. But we can concentrate on our own strengths, they also speak for themselves."
Are there any differences between the Swedish, or generally Scandinavian, leagues and the women's Bundesliga that might come into play on Wednesday?
"That is a difficult question. But there are differences. The German top clubs are likely to be rated higher than the Swedish or Scandinavian title contenders. However, the leagues there are more balanced and the top teams are constantly challenged more. This is how they develop well - as a team and as individual players. They always fight to the end."
In Sweden the new season is only just beginning, Rosengård are still in preparation. Is that an advantage or disadvantage for them?
"It's difficult to assess. Rosengård have been training since January, played friendly and cup games since then, and are mentally fresh. On the other hand, we're in the groove after several months of play, but we've had a heavy load recently. They will balance each other out."
You are very much in the groove: 23 wins in 23 competitive games. What makes you so strong this year?
"We create a lot of chances in every game - in different ways. And we pick up a lot of goals from this. In addition, we defend very strongly and don't allow much against us. These two aspects may stand out, but this is what makes us a really good team, both in our play, but also in terms of attitude and solidarity. We can still develop further."
What will it take for you to stay so dominant for the rest of the season?
"We've done very well so far, always thinking step by step and game by game. This is especially true now. We have so many games in such a short time. We always have to keep our focus and devote our concentration to the next game. Of course, we have to stay mentally and physically as fit and fresh as possible. Otherwise it will be difficult. Everyone has to do their best in every game and as a team we have to stick together on and off the pitch. We won't absolutely dominate every game, just like last week against Hoffenheim. It's all the more important we still fight for victory together."
And what are your goals until the end of the season?
"Of course we want to win titles. But to think step by step again, we just want to win every game, and we go into every game with this motto, time after time. As FC Bayern we have high standards for ourselves. And with our strong team, a lot is possible."
You can watch the UCL quarter-final live here (commentary in German)!