Chelsea FC Women return to Champions League action this afternoon as they face Benfica in Portugal and Blues skipper Magda Eriksson admitted she and her teammates are excited to be back among Europe’s elite.
The Blues didn’t compete in the competition last season but Emma Hayes’ side will today make their eagerly anticipated return to the Champions League for the first leg of our round of 32 tie against Portuguese outfit Benfica.
Eriksson was in the side when Chelsea last appeared in the Champions League and the Sweden International can’t wait to get this year’s campaign up and running.
She said: ‘It’s means so much to be back in this competition. I’ve been waiting for this moment and I can’t wait to get out there.
‘It was tough watching it from home last year and I can feel that the girls are really excited for this game.’
The Champions League is the one trophy that has eluded Chelsea Women and Eriksson believes the strength of the squad and the increased competitiveness in the FA Women’s Super League will benefit the Blues as they target European success.
She added: ‘For me personally I have the philosophy that you play what you are used to.
‘If you are used to paying tough games, physical games, high intensity games - that is what you are going to bring into a tournament like the Champions League.
‘We have a big enough squad to make the rotations that we need to keep everybody fresh and I think it’s only to our benefit that we play competitive games on a daily basis.
Skipper Eriksson will make her 100th appearance for the club when she leads the Blues out for this afternoon’s clash against Benfica.
Eriksson says the milestone will be even sweeter now the Blues are coming up against the best in Europe once again.'I’ve enjoyed every single minute of being at this football club,' Eriksson said. 'Playing together with this team and working with Emma, I feel like I’ve evolved so much.
‘Reaching 100 appearances for this club is massive for me. It means a lot but what means the most to me is entering the Champions League again, being in the tournament again and being on the biggest stage.’
This afternoon’s Champions League game is being streamed live on the 5th Stand app, the Chelsea website and our official YouTube channel (UK only).