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'Crazy!' FCB Women fired up in Paris

Past the Stade de France, across the Seine lined with boats, and in the distance the top of the Eiffel Tower and the Sacré-Cœur Basilica in Montmarte – the FCB Women’s journey from the airport to the team hotel took them past some of Paris’ top attractions. But expressions of excitement were saved for the evening, when the women arrived at the Parc des Princes for final training.

“That’s crazy!” “Cool!” “That’s unreal!” The Bayern squad marvelled at the excellent playing surface in the blue, white and red stadium. “Every blade of grass is correct. I’ve never seen a pitch this good,” said coach Thomas Wörle. By now, excitement levels will be off the scale ahead of the second leg of the Women’s Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday (20:00 CET, live on Sport1, highlights shortly after full time on FC Bayern.tv plus). That’s despite personnel concerns, and despite fatigue ahead of a fifth game in 15 days.

A collective against individuals

“Of course we feel the strain of the last few weeks but in a stadium like this, against a team like this and with the chance of reaching the semi-finals – I hope that motivates the players so much that their bodies just keep going,” said Wörle. He arrived in the French capital with a squad of 18, including three goalkeepers, for the biggest international match in the history of FCB Women.

After winning 1-0 in the first leg, Bayern will have to deal with a powerful Paris side. “We need to be stable and win mini battles,” commented Wörle. FCB need to be particularly alert to counter-attacks from the Parisians. “We need to be compact and play as a team. PSG have three or four individual players who can make the difference, so we need to take them out of the game.”

“If we score...”

Bayern have been warned. In the first round of the competition PSG overturned a 3-1 first-leg defeat against Lillestrøm, winning 4-1 at home in the second leg. On Wednesday, 10,000 fans are expected to cheer PSG on. “In the first leg at the Grünwalder Stadion we had a real home advantage. But even when everyone is against us that can push us on,” stated Wörle. “At the same time it’s great to play in this stadium. It’s the Champions League! And Paris know that if we score, they need to score three.”

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