He grew up in the base of RCD Espanyol, won two titles with Atlético de Madrid and returned to Barcelona in search of the European consecration. Andrea Pereira (Barcelona, 1993), one of the defenders of the set of Lluís Cortés, faces the final on Saturday with optimism and still without excessive nerves. It is clear that in 90 minutes everything can happen and that quality can always beat the physicist.
Question. Did Andrea Pereira dream that she started playing football in a Champions League final?
Answer. Never. When I started, I did not even know that there was a Champions League or national team. For me soccer was a hobby and I did not have great aspirations because I did not know them. Now, when they give me the congratulations for everything we are getting, I stop to think: 'Who would have told me three years ago?'
Q. Has female soccer changed so much since you started?
R. Considerably Luckily, everything has gone better. Professionalism has increased, conditions, facilities and even coaches have more training. Everything has been transformed. but there is still much to change.
– FC Barcelona Femení (@FCBfemeni) May 16, 2019
P. Also regarding attention. How does it feel to see that more and more stadiums are filled?
R. Many people believe that a full stadium presses us, but it is the other way around. In the end, go out to the field and see the bleachers full of people shouting your name and your team motivates you more. It's like you have more reward for what you're doing.
"Before all the idols were male, but that has changed in recent years, for me, leaving the Mini and seeing a lot of girls asking for autographs and photos is something important, they are the future"
Q. What is the best of that attention?
R. That there are more and more small girls filling the stadiums and that they have us as references. Before, all the idols were male but that in recent years has changed. For me, leaving the Mini and seeing a lot of girls asking for autographs and photos is important because in the end they are the future of women's football.
Q. Can the end of Saturday help the growth of Spanish women's football?
R. Of course. In addition, the fact that it coincides with the year of the World Cup benefits us all. Logically France, Germany or Lyon itself have been years ahead but little by little we are approaching them and with this Champions we have shown. Now, any team of our football that competes against German or French will notice that the difference is not so abysmal.
The final is only the beginning
The final is just the beginning
The final name is the beginning
– FC Barcelona Femení (@FCBfemeni) May 16, 2019
"What we lack in Spain is physical work, but the quality is not won by anyone or almost anyone"
P. The difference may not be so much but it seems that German and French are a step above What is missing in Spanish women's football to match that of the big clubs?
R. What we lack in Spain is physical work, which is what many win individual duels. English, German and French have a physical superior to ours and that's where we suffer the most. Yes, to the Spanish quality does not win anyone, or almost anyone.
Q. That is perhaps the great victory of this Champions, the have been able to impose the style of play and technical quality over the physical.
R. Exact. The level of Bayern and Barca could say that it is similar but they pulled physique and us of quality and style. We managed to impose our game and, no matter how physical you are, run after the ball as when you play against us it tires everyone.
"In 90 minutes anything can happen, we do not face it as a game that we are going to lose"
Q. Do you see yourself capable of doing the same in the final or against Lyon? Do you have to defend more than attack?
R. The last seasons of Lyon, their experience, their track records and the budget they have show that they are surely the ones who take the initiative. But we have been able to win twice at Atletico Madrid and two times at Bayern so we can surprise them.
Q. I understand that there is optimism inside the locker room then?
A. Yes, anything can happen in 90 minutes. We have worked to win the game, for situations of winning and losing. So we do not face it as a game that we are going to lose. I think we have the same possibilities as them to be able to win.
Q. Your enthusiasm and the surprising breakthrough in the final turn you into a revelation team. Do you feel a bit like Ajax in the women's Champions League?
R. We could say yes. Nobody expected that we were in the final, only we did the inside of the locker room and we ended up showing that not everything is physical, that if you combine and know when you have to play the ball you can do great things.
P. Despite this, the League decided to put the hours of the last day at the same jora as your final and had to rectify. Do you miss more support from the league at times like this?
R. The theme of the schedules I think is a fight between the two big heads of Spanish football. It's not so much against women's football as it is their own battle. We're going to play at the time they put in. Luckily, they rectified on time and that benefits both them and us.
"I will think about the family, they more than anyone deserve to enjoy the reward"
Q. Going back to the final, what is the first thing you will think about if you win?
R. I have no promises but in the end the first thing I will think about is the family because they deserve more than anyone else to enjoy the reward. In the end, there are many hours going to the trainings at 9:00 pm with cold, rain & mldr; They are part of this and they would have to enjoy it just like me.
P. For the effort and because it did not have to be easy to push yourself to the dream of being a soccer player with the prejudices of before.
R. In that sense I've never had problems. Both my parents and my friends have always supported me and I am one of the lucky ones who has never lived those experiences that people tell about how difficult it was to be able to choose soccer as a child because of the prejudices of the environment. In that sense I feel fortunate and I hope that society begins to forget the stereotypes and see in football for everyone something normal.
(tagsToTranslate) Final of the Champions (t) Barcelona feminine (t) Women's football