Moving the Goalposts | ‘No one knew about us’ – Brann step up for Barcelona test in Champions League

Norwegian side are the lowest-ranked team left in the competition but they are relishing the chance to play the best

“We’re underdogs and we have nothing to lose,” says Brann’s Justine Kielland. “So we’ll just go out and do what we’re good at.” At 21, the midfielder is looking forward to the biggest game of her life so far: a Champions League quarter-final against the defending champions, Barcelona, on Wednesday. Such progression is rare for a Norwegian women’s side, with Røa the last club to make it this far back in 2010.

Brann are the biggest underdogs of these quarter-finals. There are a couple of other surprise contenders: Ajax were the first Dutch side to reach the tournament’s group stages, let alone the knockout rounds. But Brann are the standout anomaly: out of the eight quarter-finalists, the club had by far the lowest Uefa coefficient ranking by the end of the 2022-23 season, at 64, with the next nearest being Ajax at more than 30 higher. It is unfortunate, then, that Brann have been drawn against the club with the highest ranking of them all: Barcelona.

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