Elisa De Almeida: 'Go for the final all together'

After winning the Coupe de France against FC Fleury (1-0) on Saturday, Paris-Saint-Germain's Women's team now have the D1 Arkema Final Four in their sights.

Elisa, how are the squad feeling after the Coupe de France win?

"Pretty good. Quite tired, because we really celebrated, but everyone is happy to have brought the trophy home."

It was an intense game and you played some minutes with a player less. What was key in not cracking during the final?

"When we saw the red card, we looked at each and knew it was a big moment in the game. At 10 against 11, we know it's the mental side of things that makes the difference. We really wanted to win the trophy, we gave our all mentally, and you saw at the end of the game that everyone was exhausted."

Just before the final was the Champions League semi-final second leg against Lyon and the end of your European challenge. How much did that serve as motivation in the final?

"To be honest, it took us some time to get over being knocked out of the Champions League. What's great in top-level sport is that you can quickly move on. The squad knew we had a final to play a few days later and the chance to win a trophy. So, we really wanted to win it, but mentally it was tough. The coach managed to motivate everyone, and you saw on Saturday that we were determined, and now the Champions League is behind us. There is still a trophy to win before the end of the season, we're more motivated than ever."

Is the unity the squad has shown important to you?

"Yes, that's what makes the different. It's impossible to win a trophy on your own. The team effort makes the difference, those that play, but also those who don't and even those who are injured. Everyone went to Montpellier. It was really the whole squad. That's our strength. I hope we'll keep it for a long time."

It's the business end of the season with some big games coming up, starting with the play-off against Paris FC on Saturday. How are you feeling ahead of that one?

"We're feeling good, we're in a good spell. Thanks to the trophy we've won, we have a lot of confidence. We mustn't say to ourselves that we've done it, because we still have a trophy to win. We're going to prepare the game as best we can."

You've played PFC three times this season, including beating them on penalties in the Coupe de France semi-finals. Do you expect as intense a game again?

"A semi-final is already intense. It's also a Paris derby, which I think everyone can relate to. We expect a very intense game. The two teams want to reach the final, may the best team win."

The game will be played at the Parc des Princes where there were a lot of fans for the Lyon game. How important is it to have that support?

"I have always said it and I'll say it again, the idea of the '12th man' in football is true. It really helps us when we have no more energy to hear the fans pushing us on, it motivates us even more. I hope there will be a lot of them, so that we can go for the final all together."

Do you have a final word for the fans who'll come to support you?

"The only word I have to say to them is 'Thanks'. They have been there for us all season, they have always supported us in good and bad times. I know I have had some tough times this season. They have always supported me, they have never doubted me. So I want to thank them and ask them to come out in force on Saturday."