For the first time ever Sweden have reached a semi-final of a major women´s handball tournament.
On Saturday (14.30 local time) they will take on Romania for a place in the final of EHF EURO 2010.
Before the Swedish game ehf-euro.com talked to one of the most experienced players of the Swedish team, pivot Kristina Flognman, about the dream she is still living at EHF EURO 2010.
ehf-euro.com: You have just arrived in Denmark after the most successful Preliminary and Main Round of a Swedish team ever. What does this semi-final against Romania mean to you?
Kristina Flognman: We have worked ten years for this moment, and for this dream to come true.
Very often we have been really close to something really big and it´s really in us that we can go further than at the 2009 world championships when we ranked 13th in the end.
It was our aim to finish among the eight best teams at EHF EURO 2010, but now we are in the middle of the biggest success ever.
ehf-euro.com: Is it easier for Sweden to meet Romania instead of Denmark?
Kristina Flognman: Only because of the role of the spectators, maybe. Romania can count on a really strong team with world class players.
In my opinion Romania is the clear favourite going into the game tomorrow. They beat us in the preparation for EHF EURO 2010, even as we tied with them at the GF World Cup in Denmark.
ehf-euro.com: What will your tactics be in the semi-final?
Kristina Flognman: We have to stop them with our defence and put them under pressure from the first minute on.
We have a chance as long as we start well and keep our performance levels really high -maybe then they get nervous. Apart from the defence our goalkeepers and the counter attacks should be the key to success.
In attack we have a real good flow currently, even as we missed some chances in our last matches, so we do not need only 100%, but 105% to beat them.
ehf-euro.com: Are all you players fit for the semi-final?
Kristina Flognman: Yes, we have some little injuries, but nothing that would stand in the way of one of us.
We are in a lucky situation, as we still can change a lot, and share the responsibility on different shoulders.
ehf-euro.com: How have the reactions in Sweden been after qualifying for the semi-finals?
Kristina Flognman: Many people talk about us. We are very happy to be in the focus, as we tried hard in the last decades to get out of the shadows of our men´s team.
We know that we cannot catch up to them, but we have got much closer to them thanks to our success.
ehf-euro.com: What would a medal - no matter what colour - personally mean to you?
Kristina Flognman: It would be the proof of everything that we have done in the last few years. We dedicated our life to handball - and a medal would be something to show your children and grandchildren.
ehf-euro.com: Is the Swedish team still living the dream?
Kristina Flognman: It´s still a dream for us, but we´re not in a dream world: We have so much focus and energy now to go on with this flow and compete with the best teams in the world.
ehf-euro.com: To win the EHF EURO 2010 would not only mean the title, but qualification for all major events including the London 2012 Olympics. Are you thinking about this?
Kristina Flognman: We have one really big goal, and that is qualification for the London 2012 Olympics, but we´re not currently thinking about that - we are only thinking about Romania.