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Chelsea ace Harder says playing in Champions League final alongside partner Eriksson is a ‘dream’

PERNILLE HARDER says vying for Champions League glory alongside her partner Magda Eriksson is a dream come true. 

The inspirational Chelsea couple hope to win their first European trophy by helping the Blues topple Barcelona in Sweden. 

The Denmark superstar and Blues captain Eriksson -  who are popular role models in the LGBTQ community - became a couple whilst playing for  Swedish outfit Linkoping in 2014.

And Harder will be aiming to triumph in a Blues vest having twice suffered defeat in the 2018 and 2020 finals with former club Wolfsburg. 

Harder, 28, said: “We talked about it the other day.

“If we would have thought six years ago when we were at Linkoping that we would eventually play a Champions League final together, this would have been the biggest dream for us.  

“And now we get to do it and it’s amazing. The biggest thing would be to see Magda lift the trophy. That would be a very proud moment for her and me also.

 “On and off the pitch, no matter what we are competing in, we both have a winning mentality.

“It’s not the end if we win the Champions League this season, because we want to win the title and the Champions League again. 

“For me it’s about the memories and feelings that football brings. 

“The good thing is that we are super honest with each other on the pitch and we always leave football stuff on the pitch when the game is done.” 

All eyes will be on the WSL champs fearsome attacking trio of Fran Kirby, Sam Kerr and Harder who have netted 13 times in the contest so far.

Against Bayern Munich, in the semi-finals, Harder demonstrated why Chelsea broke the women’s football transfer record to sign her from Wolfsburg for £250,000 in September 2020. 

The midfielder’s bullet header helped Chelsea demolish Bayern 4-1 in a dramatic second leg battle.

And the Uefa Women’s Player of the Year says the pressure of being the world’s most expensive women’s signing is something she takes in her stride. 

Harder added: “Everyone thinks you can do everything on the pitch when you have that price. 

“It puts some pressure, or some expectations at least. 

“But handling expectations is something I’ve been working with in the last five or six years.

"I knew how to handle it and to focus on my game and adapt to the team.” 

Emma Hayes’ aces will face a Barcelona side who stormed their way to a sixth domestic league title following a 26-game unbeaten run and a tally of 126 goals. 

The teams will go head-to-head in the Gamla Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg, the home of Sweden's women's team whose players include Blues skipper Eriksson.

And Harder is confident Chelsea - who won their fourth WSL title - can defeat the queens of the women’s game in Spain. 

It will be a tough game for sure, but we are also a great team so I think it will be a good final

Pernille Harder

The Dane ace was part of the Wolfsburg side that knocked Barca out in 2020.

The Blues star said: “I played against them last year and I think they did really good. They have a lot of great players and are a good possession team. 

“It will be a tough game for sure, but we are also a great team so I think it will be a good final.”

Harder reckons the quality and depth of Chelsea’s squad has been one of the biggest advantages for the team who have won a league cup and WSL title this term

And the Denmark midfielder - who is her country’s joint all-time top scorer with 65 international goals - said she had been monitoring Chelsea’s progress for a long period before joining the side.

Harder added: “I’ve been following the team for a long time. Obviously, with Magda playing here, I saw the development of the team. 

“I felt like it was so interesting to see what happens, and I just felt like I wanted to be a part of it, and also be in the English league. 

“That was what mostly was my motivation to come to Chelsea, but obviously I’d also heard a lot about Emma. 

“Even though sometimes in games we might not have played the best football, we always find a way to win. 

“That’s because we have so many players who can be the game-changer. 

“If someone has a bad day, there is someone else who is stepping up. That’s really something, I think, that has made us come so far this season.”

 Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds

Emma Hayes gets stuck into Chelsea training

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