Barcelona’s Rolfö speaks to AS ahead of Roma Champions League tie
As Barça prepared to take on Roma in the Women’s Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday, Fridolina Rolfö sat down for a chat with Diario AS.
A full-back at Barcelona, a winger for Sweden. Fridolina Rolfö has shown an ability to adapt to her club’s needs since her arrival in Catalonia in summer 2021. Having recently renewed her contract at Barça until 2026, Rolfö sat down with AS to speak about her hopes of Sweden co-hosting the next European Women’s Championship, and to look ahead to the quarter-finals of the Women’s Champions League. Barça take on Roma in the first leg today at 4pm ET.
How are you and the team?
We’re in good form right now and I’m really enjoying my soccer.
Barça are yet to drop a point in the Liga F this season - are you aiming to finish up with a 100% record?
Of course. We’d like to win every game we play. It’s a tougher league this year. For example, Real Madrid are close behind us and Levante are also doing really well, so we have tougher competition, and I’m sure it’ll stay that way right to the end of the season. So yeah, we want to win every game and we’re doing everything we can to lift the league title again this year.
In the Champions League, you’re up against Roma at the Stadio Olimpico. Is that an exciting prospect?
It’s really cool. Roma are a new team; they began only a few years ago [in 2018], and have grown really quickly. It’s great to see their development and to play in their stadium. I’m desperate to play in big stadiums, in the Champions League, in games such as quarter-final ties…
After that you’ll host Roma at the Camp Nou. Are you up for that?
Of course, it’s my favourite stadium. I’m really happy that the second leg will be played there.
What’s the team’s aim after losing last season’s final?
Our aim is to win the Champions League. We were really close to winning it last year, but Lyon outplayed us in the final - so to bounce back and do it this season would really show what we’re made of. We know we’re good enough and that we can beat any team in Europe. If we want to get to the semi-finals first, and then the final, we just have to make sure we’re in good shape and that we go out there and have a good day at the office.
Are you missing Alexia Putellas?
Yeah, of course. She’s a standard-setter of a player. You’re always going to miss a player of her calibre. It would be great to have her out there on the pitch with us, but injuries are part and parcel of soccer… We’ve been without her for a while, but I hope she’s back soon. I know she’ll come in and have a big impact on the team, so I can’t wait to see her back out there.
You’re established as a full-back at Barcelona. What’s your favourite position?
If you look at the team sheet, I’m listed as a defender. But we’re a goalscoring side and I can join in the attack from that position - I like that a lot. It’s different to the position I play in the national team, where I’m a winger. We have different players in the Sweden team and I like to be higher up the pitch. But I like the role I have here.
What shape is women’s soccer in at home in Sweden?
It’s going well. I read an article the other day that said there are a lot of young girls who play soccer in Sweden right now - and the number is only rising. I think women’s soccer has grown a lot since I started playing; I’m really pleased to see that development.
Sweden is bidding to co-host the 2025 Women’s Euros with Denmark, Finland and Norway. What would it mean for the country if it got to stage the tournament?
It would mean so much. We have a really good relationship with all those countries, and in each of them there are lots of young girls who play soccer. So I think it would be a really good thing and it would help women’s soccer to keep on growing in all these countries - it would take it to the next level. That’s what you see in every country that hosts these tournaments: they create a lot of excitement. And that’s something I want to see in Sweden: I want to see us grow, I want to see women’s soccer become more important. I think that would happen if we got to co-host the tournament.
Are you excited about the 2023 World Cup, too?
Yes, absolutely. The Euros in England were amazing, so yeah, I’m raring to get ready for the World Cup, too.
Players in several teams, such as Canada, France, Chile and Spain, have been taking a stand against the conditions in their international set-ups. What are your thoughts on this?
Firstly, I think it’s very important that they fight for their rights. There’s clearly something that isn’t working; we’re seeing different situations, but [in each one] it’s important that they make their voices heard and stand up for their values. And that’s what they’re doing right now. Women’s soccer isn’t perfect when it comes to the federations and that kind of thing, so the efforts they’re putting in to change things are important. We deserve much more than we have at the moment.
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