Emilie Haavi's AS Roma Women's Champions League Journey
|Emilie Haavi of AS Roma battles for possession with Marianela Szymanowski of Pomigliano during the Women Serie A match between Pomigliano and AS Roma on October 07, 2023 in Pomigliano D'Arco, Italy.(Image-Getty)
AS Roma forward Emilie Haavi is eager for another shot at the Women's Champions League, having fallen at the quarter-final stage last season. As they prepare to face Vorskla in a qualifying clash on Wednesday, Haavi, who was named the Italian league's most valuable player last season, expressed her enthusiasm for the challenge. She left LSK Kvinner in Norway for Italy in December 2021 and played a pivotal role as Roma clinched the Italian championship for the first time.
Haavi stated her desire to at least replicate their achievements from the previous year and potentially go even further, including experiencing another quarter-final at the Olimpico stadium.
Despite a vast array of experience, including numerous league titles and Norwegian Women's Cups, Haavi's career was marked by a significant knee injury suffered during the 2019 World Cup, which was compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, she viewed this period as an opportunity for personal growth and emerged physically stronger.
At the age of 29, after a highly successful domestic career in Norway, Haavi decided to test her abilities abroad, which led to her move to Roma when the club was in the middle of Serie A Femminile.
Her addition bolstered Roma's attack, enabling them to reach the Women's Champions League quarter-finals last season. They progressed after finishing second in their group behind VfL Wolfsburg, a formidable German team.
Haavi described their Champions League journey as a positive adventure and a platform for growth. Despite facing strong opponents, Roma showcased their potential and level.
A 6-1 aggregate defeat to Barcelona in the last eight provided valuable lessons and a hunger for revenge in the current competition. Haavi emphasized that such experiences are crucial for their development, as they don't regularly encounter such high-level competition in Italy.
She highlighted the importance of learning from European rivals, especially when facing teams like Barcelona. Haavi believes that Roma's everyday training has improved, making the Champions League a golden opportunity to reach the top level.
Roma is set to face Ukrainian side Vorskla in the Round Two first leg, with the winner of the two-legged tie advancing to the group stage.