Fridolina Rolfo sent Wolfsburg into the UEFA Women’s Champions League final
She discusses Pernille Harder and the atmosphere in the squad
Rolfo assesses her upcoming battle with Lucy Bronze
“I want to be someone Wolfsburg can count on to achieve their ambitions, especially in the Champions League,” said Fridolina Rolfo upon joining the club in May 2019. “And nothing less than winning it will do at one of the biggest brands in women’s football.”
That demand was under serious threat at 10pm on Tuesday. Barcelona, another superpower, had come out for the second half of their semi-final swinging for the knockout blow. Then, just before the hour, Rolfo demonstrated the hunger to get to a loose ball and the ingenuity to hook it over goalkeeper Sandra Panos and put the She-Wolves in the final.
FIFA.com caught up with the 26-year-old Sweden attacker to discuss her heroics, her forthcoming showdown with Lucy Bronze, opponents Lyon, the class of Pernille Harder and what winning the UEFA Women’s Champions League would mean to her.
FIFA.com: How did it feel to score the only goal against Barcelona, and what were the celebrations like afterwards?
Fridolina Rolfo: It was so amazing. I was pretty nervous during the game, so when the goal came I was so happy and relieved. I missed some of the celebrations – I had to go to doping control! (laughs) But when I got back I could sit down and take in what had happened. So much was going through my head, I was thinking about so many situations. We were not that happy [with our performance], but the result was really good. I had a lot of messages and calls. It was fun to hear from family and friends after the game. It was a special feeling, pure happiness.
How excited are you to be playing in a Champions League final?
It’s hard to believe. I’ve been dreaming about it for a long time now, and it’s finally going to happen. It’s hard to take it in. I’m so excited. I can’t wait and I wish it was now!
Did you watch Lyon’s victory over PSG?
We were watching the game together. It was nice to see two French teams playing against each other again. I think PSG played really aggressively, were tough. Lyon were struggling at times, but still they’re strong enough to score a goal and win the game. That’s Lyon, they’re a great team. We have to be very careful – you can’t give this Lyon team a chance.
You play on the left and are likely to be up against Lyon right-back Lucy Bronze. What do you think of her?
She’s a great player. She’s one of the best in the world in her position. But at this level, you cannot have too much respect for anybody. I’ve played against her before, she’s a great player. It will be really cool to play against her, and I hope I can get the better of her in our own battle.
Another Lyon player, Sara Gunnarsdottir, was at Wolfsburg until recently. Have you spoken to her?
I haven’t. I’ve been focusing on our game and my game. But it will be fun to see her again. It’s sad not to have her in our team, because she’s a great player. But she’s been doing great at Lyon and it will be fun to see her again.
What do you think of Pernille Harder?
She’s an amazing player. She’s playing on a world-class level. She’s so important for our team. She’s always creating chances, she always wants the ball. She has a great mentality and is very talented. Overall she’s just a world-class player.
You’ve been in San Sebastian for a couple of weeks now. What have you been doing for fun when you’ve had free time?
We’ve been in the same hotel the whole time. We’ve been watching a lot of football – we’ve been lucky that there have been so many good games on TV. We watched the men’s final together. It was interesting – I thought there would be more goals. But I think Bayern deserved to win. They had a great season, were really impressive in the knockout rounds, and played a great game in the final. Other than that we’ve been watching series, going for walks.
The Wolfsburg players seem to do a lot together. What’s the atmosphere like in the squad?
We have a really good atmosphere in the squad. The humour of our new goalkeeper Kasia [Kiedrzynek] is great. She’s very funny. Players like that are important – they bring joy to the squad and make you feel a little bit more relaxed before big games.
How do you think the final will play out?
We know that we’ve reached the final, but still we’re not happy yet. We know that, to win this final, we have raise our game to our highest level. I think it will be a tight game, two great teams playing against each other. It’s hard to say.
What would winning the Champions League mean to you personally?
It would mean so, so much. It’s something I’ve dreamed about for so long. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about it. To achieve something like that would make me beyond happy.