Vickan and the gang, you have paved the way for the rest of us

To read the original version in Swedish, click here: Fotbollskanalen

Victoria ”Vickan” Sandell is a living legend in Swedish football with, among other impressive achievements, ten championships to her name. Now she is a part of the Swedish women’s team as an assistent coach. What an asset to have in our team, with her experience and skills. My biggest reflection though is on the differences between being a national team player during her time there versus being a national team player today. I am pretty sure a lot has changed. 

I am 25 years old and would say that I have experienced a lot of things during my career so far. When I was 16 years old I started playing for FC Rosengard and from then I have had the opportunity to be involved in many different journeys, with my club but also with the national team. A lot has changed since I started playing professionally. It must be a big difference in how good things are today compared to when Vickan played.

Today, many female players can focus solely on their football and even in some cases save money for the future. Money is not the biggest reason why many of us play football and it is something we do not count on. For me it is more about being able to fully engage with our career without worrying about how we will pay our bill at the end of the month if we do not have another job alongside football. This is one part of the game that has had a massive improvement lately.

Imagine Vickan and the players back then. I wonder if they had the opportunity to fully focus on their football, to have their sport as the primary focus and everything around it was just things done to maximize their performance. I do not think so. 

Something that I am really passionate about is the conditions we are given that are directly linked to our football, for example facilities and staff surrounding the team. The development has progressed in this area too. A couple of years ago we rarely got to play on perfect pitches and many times we ended up on a bad pitch where a normal pass could end up in 62 different ways depending on where on the pitch it was made. Today it is different and we have come that far that we can now demand things, we get to play on good pitches more often and the people around us understand the importance of having conditions that help to increase the quality of the game. 

Imagine Vickan and the players back then. They could not possibly have been playing on perfect pitches and I find it hard to believe that they were allowed to demand things. I do not think that they had a chef either like we have today, who flew with them every time they played outside Sweden or that they stayed in luxury hotel rooms during their camps. Vickan and the gang, you have paved the way for the rest of us. Thank you!

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