Asif Burhan caught up with Bayern center-back Gina Lewandowski after their loss to Chelsea LFC during the first leg of the UEFA Women’s Champion League Round of 32.
Gina, it was a classic game of two halves, in the first you must have been sick of the sight of Fran Kirby chasing you down?
I mean, they gave us a lot of pressure, all of them up top, with the forwards. I think we handled it well, we played out of the back a couple of times. Yeah, of course we played a little longer balls. They did well, pressuring us up top.
What do you think changed for you in the second half, why you were so much on top?
Yeah, I think we possessed the ball a lot more. We tried to work our way outside, try to work on their weaknesses and get through going forward. Yeah, we did a good job, the ball wouldn’t go in the net today. Their goalkeeper did a good job, their defence did a good job. We were just unlucky today.
You’re going back next week, only one goal down but without the away goal, do you think that’s a dangerous score to take back?
I mean, it’s not the best situation for us to go in with but that’s why we have two games. We’re going to give everything we have next week. We’re going to come back really strong, analyse this game, do everything we can to get the win next week and move on to the next round.
It’s now 10 years since, in your own words, you decided to make a “leap of faith” by coming over to Germany as a young player. This year you’ve seen many of your compatriots move to Europe including Alex Morgan who emulated you by winning the Champions League. So would you encourage other American players to come to Europe?
Yeah, of course. It’s a great opportunity to come and learn the European soccer style. To get experience out of the US, culture-wise, language. Basically, it’s a whole new experience that the US can’t offer an individual there. I would definitely recommend it.
You spent five years at Frankfurt and now five at Bayern. How do you think playing for one of the biggest football club sides in the world, has helped you develop as a player?
I think I got better as a player in all different areas on the field and even off the field. I got to learn about their style, to grow my game on the field and my personality on the field and off the field.
International Women's Soccer