Sunday was a momentous day for VfL Wolfsburg, as the club lifted the Women’s Bundesliga trophy for the first time in its history. The jubilant scenes that followed could well be repeated in the coming days, with two further chances for silverware on the horizon. On 19 May the Wolves meet Turbine Potsdam in the DFB-Pokal final and face Olympique Lyon in the UEFA Women's Champions League decider four days later.
Wolfsburg’s commanding form this season has come as no surprise to striker Conny Pohlers. “Last year we did everything we could to make sure we were in the Champions League and we finished second [in the league],” the former Germany international told FIFA.com in an exclusive interview.
“Things have only got better since then and we were determined to win it this time. At the start of the season you don’t imagine that it'll all come together so well and that you'll have the chance to win three titles. However, I was confident we’d be in the mix at the top, so I’m delighted that’s the case.”
Pohlers is accustomed to success and boasts a bulging trophy cabinet to prove it. A FIFA Women's World Cup™ winner's medal sits alongside its European Championship equivalent, not to mention top honours from two UEFA Women’s Cups (now the UEFA Champions League), four league championships and several DFB-Pokal triumphs.
Despite, or perhaps because of, such extensive experience, the forward remains as enthusiastic as ever at the prospect of another final appearance.
“The feeling you get in your stomach is fantastic. If I didn’t still get it, I’d stop playing football,” said Pohlers, looking ahead to 23 May's Champions League final at Stamford Bridge. “I recently watched a Chelsea match and thought to myself ‘we’re going to be playing there’. We’re really looking forward to it.”
Pohlers is well aware that the newly-crowned Bundesliga champions will need to be at the top of their game against holders Lyon, finalists for the fourth season running. "They've got a terrific team and I know a couple of their players. Some big names play there. I'm not concerned though, they're only human too," said the 34-year-old. Nevertheless, Pohlers is wary of two opponents in particular.
"Lotta Schelin is a top-class striker. I've met her before and she's a nice person. Elodie Thomis is extremely fast and as a team we'll need to keep a close eye on them," she continued. "We'll see what happens, but I think they respect us as well. It's always 0-0 at the start. Even if we don't win we'll still be able to leave the pitch with our heads held high and be proud of what we've achieved this year. On top of that, we'll need a new objective for next season."
Nose for goal
While Lyon's frontline is undoubtedly dangerous, it is not only Schelin and Co who know where the goal is. Anyone who has witnessed Pohlers in action will be aware of the threat she poses. The Wolfsburg forward can seemingly score from anywhere on the pitch and is equally menacing with either foot or in the air.
It is no coincidence that she became the all-time leading goalscorer in the Champions League this season, with 42 goals in 38 games. "I only care about winning," Pohlers explained. "If me scoring helps make that happen then great, but for me the most important thing is to be successful. It doesn't matter who gets the goals."
If Wolfsburg overcome Lyon at Stamford Bridge, Pohlers would be the recipient of an additional accolade. Following her UEFA Women's Cup victories with Turbine Potsdam and 1. FFC Frankfurt, she would become the first player ever to be crowned a European champion with three different clubs.
"For now I'm just happy that I won the league with all three teams," Pohlers said. "I don't think anyone had managed that before either, but it's not something I'm thinking about too much. If it happens, I'd be happy to go home with that honour as well as the title. What can I say? I wouldn't say no!."
Until then, Pohlers' focus is firmly on the domestic cup final against former club Potsdam: "First comes the DFB-Pokal and then the Champions League. You always have to think one game at a time."