Chelsea FC Women host Atletico Madrid in the first leg of our Champions League round of 16 tie this evening and Blues vice-captain Millie Bright is relishing the challenge from tonight’s opponents.
The Blues eased through our previous round tie, defeating Benfica over two legs with an 8-0 aggregate victory to set up our two-leg tie with Atletico Madrid.
Atletico tasted success against English opposition at this stage in the competition last season, coming out on top against Manchester City and Bright is expecting a stern test against the Spanish outfit.
She said: ‘Any draw is tough. It’s the Champions League and I don’t think there is any such thing as an easy game in this competition.
‘Every team is there for a reason, but this is the draw that we wanted. We’ve got to beat the best to be the best.
‘We’ve watched their games previously so even though we haven’t played them before, we’ve done a lot of analysis and we are very aware of the strengths and what threat they pose.
‘We have a really good understanding of what to expect and we are in a really good position going into the game.’
While Atletico made the Champions League quarter-finals last year, Bright and her Blues team-mates had to watch from afar having not qualified for the competition and the defender admits missing out on qualification has brought more motivation for European success.
‘At the start it was very hard to put it on the TV and watch the games, but at the same time it was a learning curve,' she said.
‘You do a lot of watching, you get to take in the way other teams play and you get to know about the competition.
‘It makes you hungry to make sure we are in the Champions League again. We know we belong in it and we have to make sure we are never not in the competition again.’
Since our Champions League semi-final defeat to Lyon back in April 2019, Emma Hayes has added to her squad and Bright believes the Blues are now in a position to mount a serious challenge for the one trophy that has eluded the club.
‘It’s a competition that we do belong in. We’ve got the quality, we’ve got the experience and we don’t want to see ourselves being out of the competition.
‘The competition we have got in the squad is unbelievable. Sometimes that can be a scary thing but for us it’s pushed everyone on and pushed us to another level.
‘Having those players come in and with their Champions League experience and sharing what it’s like to be in finals, sharing their story, it’s massive.
‘We’ve done a lot of learning, it’s improved us and it’s took everyone up to a new level.’
Tonight’s game is available to watch live on BT Sport 2 and coverage begins at 6:45pm. Our international fans can watch the clash on ChelseaFC.com and the 5th Stand app (geographical restrictions may apply).