After six years at VfL, Nilla Fischer is heading back to her home club of Linköpings FC. She made the original move in our direction in 2013/2014, going on to win ten titles with the She-Wolves, skipper the team and earn a place in the hearts of the club and the fans. Her name will always be synonymous with the rainbow captain’s armband – a symbol of diversity which has since been adopted by over 65 clubs in the region. The 175-time Sweden international spoke to us here about the forthcoming Women’s World Cup in France.
Nilla, you’ve barely had time to bid your team-mates farewell, and yet you’re possibly going to be seeing some of them again at the World Cup. How does that feel?
Nilla Fischer: It would be a little strange after saying our goodbyes only recently. As a rule, you don’t have a lot to do with opposition players during a tournament – you just look after yourself and your own team. And that’s fine like that. Back in the day we met up with VfL during the preparation stage before the tournament, but that’s not going to be the case this time. So I think that my departure is only going to hit home after the World Cup, once I get back to the Swedish league with Linköpings and not go back to Wolfsburg any more.
Looking at the World Cup, Sweden will face Thailand, Chile and USA in the group stage. How do you estimate the opposition?
Fischer: Thailand and Chile are tough to evaluate as they are unknown quantities for me. We will have to win both of those games because with USA in our group, we’ve got a really tough opponent – as has always been the case in recent tournaments. But it’s definitely our intention to get through the group stage. My dream is to win the World Cup, but to do that everything will have to go just right.
How would you describe your team?
Fischer: At the moment a lot of young players are coming through with a lot less respect for us older ones, and their main aim is to make it into the starting line-up straight away. I think that’s really good as it increases the competition. Our squad is a very well-rounded one, we all know one another well and we play as a team. We have a number of strong characters and everyone has their own qualities, which the coaches are continuing to develop. It means that you can be yourself – and I think that’s something that shouldn’t be underestimated.
Whom do you see as the favourites?
Fischer: France are always among the favourites as far as I’m concerned. For a number of years now they’ve had the quality you need to win titles. This year as well they’ll have home advantage, so I can see them going all the way. Then you have USA, Germany, Brazil and England who always play a good brand of football. Spain have really come on as well in recent years, so it’s tough to pick out one or two favourites – there are so many of them.
Where do you think things might get really tough for you?
Fischer: It might be that we have to play Germany straight after the group stage. If you look at past matches, you have to say that the results don’t exactly speak in our favour. I’d love to play Germany in the final though – that would be the perfect ending after the time I’ve spent playing in the country.