It is time to say no to the macho culture

To read the original text in Swedish click here Several events lately have made me reflect on the macho culture within sports. Each thought leads me to the same answer – we all have to take responsibility of working against it. That culture is preventing the sport from moving forward in the right direction, and […]

”Like, do you need to be gay to become a female football player?”

(To read the original text in Swedish click here)

The biggest role model right now in football is probably Josh Cavallo. A football star and homosexual, the first player on the men’s side that is currently playing and that is openly gay. A story that is strong, brave and extremely important. Huge respect. 

Being homosexual and a professional football player is something that is more common and more accepted in the women’s game than the men’s, at least back home in Sweden. Without having the perfect answer on why it is like that and without generalising too much it is easy to say that the football culture on the men´s side is a lot more rough. The expectations of how a male player should behave in a locker room full of other male players is an expectation based on a distorted picture of society. I have not experienced the same expectations in the women’s game. I found it being totally the opposite; there are more questions about why everybody is gay. 

Three quick questions that need an answer ASAP:

  1. Do you feel like you really get stared at in the shower by all of the players that are gay? Answer: No
  2. Are you afraid that like all of the gay ones will fall in love with you? Answer: No
  3. Like, do you need to be gay to become a female football player? Answer: No.

To summarise the whole thing; no not all female players are not homosexual, but people feel more secure with the people they surround themselves with that they dare to come out and to be honest and open about themselves. This leads to increased diversity within the sport and better mental well-being.

Despite society constantly changing and evolving, there will always be some people who will remain rigid and “old” in their opinions and understanding. Even if the macho culture is big in men´s Sport we all know that there are also male players that are homosexual. These players will have their struggles daily about who they are and their fear about coming out as a result of the expectations created, the cultural norms and expectations present in men’s sport. Josh Cavallo took the first step, he bravely revealed his true self and immediately became one of our most important contemporary role models. The support shown from the world is amazing. Big clubs such as Liverpool, Juventus and Barcelona quickly showed their support and encouragement. Stars both from the women’s and the men´s game did the same. Social media was all about Josh Cavallo. And so it should have been.

Cavallo´s courage lead and will continue to lead to normalising diversity within sport. Sport is an amazing platform for change and when a high profile athlete takes this step, many more will get the courage to do the same. When Zlatan Ibrahimovic supports and encourages Cavallo, many more people will try to understand, respect and also show their support. Cavallo is at the forefront of the line and the most important person in this, but all of us who stands behind him are on the same search for change. If we dare to share our stories, then we are moving towards a society that includes more openminded people with more understanding about inclusion and diversity. Big respect to you Cavallo; you are a true role model.

Soon, we’re about to kick off!

We´ve seen some great games so far in the Men´s Champions League. Good games, top teams and star players. Soon, the Women’s Champions League will take place. A new format, new investments and an increased interest in the game. The best part of all: finally the games will be shown and available for everyone to watch for free. 

All 61 games from the group stage will be broadcasted via DAZN. The game will finally get the visibility that is needed to continue growing and fans around the world will be able to follow their teams and favourite players. As a player, the Champions League always gives me a special feeling. There’s something about the tournament that makes me feel like an excited child again. As a spectator, I´m really excited too. I´m full of expectations about all good games that will be played and that we can watch them through the new collaboration between UEFA and DAZN. How will the game end between us (Chelsea) and Juventus? Or Lyon against Bayern Munich? How will the Swedish team do? A lot of exciting matches and questions soon to be answered. 

We´ve a lot of Swedes that are representing top clubs around Europe. Clubs that are all fighting for the trophy that will be lifted in Turin 2022. Chelsea, Wolfsburg, Juventus, PSG, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Lyon and the Swedish team BK Häcken. All these teams include Swedish national team players in their squad. Sixteen teams and there’s a Swede in ten of them. That’s cool and that´s something that makes me proud. 

A group stage, good games and good players. Finally it´s possible to watch all of the games for free. Is there anything that isn’t good with this? Let the games begin. Soon, we’re about to kick off! 

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!

Football is not football without fans

My first season in England has finished and it is time for some well needed rest at home in Sweden with family and friends. The Olympics in Japan are a couple of weeks away and preparation needs to be done to give myself the best possible chance of being picked in the squad that travels in July. It has been an amazing few months in Chelsea so far and I have learned a lot. The pandemic has changed our lives greatly and for me, football has been the main activity during my stay in the UK. The team won three titles, I had the good fortune of being a part of two of them. But what lessons am I taking with me?  What reflections have I made? 

The pandemic has caused a lot of damage for many people. People have lost their jobs, many have been forced to readjust their everyday life and many people have been staying inside feeling lonely because of lockdown in different parts of the world. For myself the pandemic has meant that I have not been able to fly home to my family, the coffee after training has not been possible and doing things outside football rarely happened. But I have been able to continue as normal with football and keep the same routines before, during and after training and games. This is something I am extremely grateful for, to be able to continue doing what I love during hard times. Being grateful for that has made me look at things differently and become even more grateful for other small things in life, things that we often take for granted. When I start to see things from that perspective, I find myself enjoying life even more. 

I like to plan how things should be and what my days will look like. The pandemic has made this so much more difficult. I came to the UK in January without any knowledge of how things would turn out or how my days would be, apart from the current day. Suddenly I found myself caring less about what would happen next week or how the important game in a couple of days would go. The only thing I cared about was that day, how the training would go and how I could maximize the day. The move to England, where because of the pandemic all I had was football, in addition to how far away I was from my family and the uncertainty that the pandemic had Created, have definitely caused me to better stay in the present, and to live day by day. 

This topic has been discussed many times and I am sure many of us share the same frustration. The fans. Football is not football without our fans in the stands. Football for me means a lot of emotions, adrenaline and sharing in the community that is created. We still get those things with our team, but only in a limited amount. Winning the League is awesome and playing in the Champions League final is cool, but far less cool than it could have been if we were allowed to play with fans. That little extra thing is missing. The goosebumps you get when you see all the fans or that burst of adrenaline when someone scores or makes a sick save and the whole arena is cheering. Without fans in the stands all of that is missing and that is something that is hard to replicate. Football is not football without fans. 

There has been a lot of lessons and there are a lot of good things we can take with us into the future. The pandemic has led to many good changes in our everyday life. Like the gratefulness for the smaller things in life and the ability to stay in the present. We miss our fans, we really do and I am sure that they miss us. But I think that that is also something that will lead to good things in the future, that we will not take each other for granted. To be grateful for each other when things get back to normal. Yes, we look forward to that day and can not wait for it to come. But for now, the best thing we can do is stay in the present and make sure we are maximizing maximizing it. 

Read the original text in Swedish @ Fotbollskanalen

What does it take to be a winning team?

After my first few months here in England I can call myself an English champion after winning the league with Chelsea FC. It has been an amazing first few months and we only have wo more games left of the season, one of them the Champions Legue final in Sweden. I have joined winning team, that is for sure and I feel really thankful and blessed for that. Not everyone gets the opportunity to join a winning team where anything but winning is considered a failure. But what does it take to be a winning team? What do I think Chelsea FC have that makes us a winning team? One thing is certain: you do not create a winner over night. 

When I joined the team in January I had expectations about what the team was aiming for this season. I was not expecting anything less than winning the league and the english cups that they participate in. Regarding the Champions League I knew that the club aimed high and I was pretty convinced that they had every possibility to go all the way. Soon after my arrival I had it confirmed: we were aiming to win everything. Players as well as all the staff around the team had the faith. Common and clear goals are something that have been with us all the way, both on and off the pitch. The goals set out were realistic ones given the level of quality present in our team and this resulted in a collective belief and buy in to work towards the attainment of them.

Culture is the sum of the contributions from all of the individuals within an organization, in our case by the players and the staff. It is something ”that is in the walls” and takes long time to build. When I came in January, in the middle of the season and as the only new signing, I felt welcomed straight away. I soon felt like a part of a family, that always looked out for each other. The culture in this club is clear and many people in and around Chelsea FC have worked hard to create it. It has been a long process which is now bearing fruit. Something that I think epitomize this culture and this team is that this family is extremely skilled at combining having fun with doing things with quality, both on an individual and a group level. It just comes naturally that that is the norm.

The third area which has impressed me about this team is the individuals and the group as a whole, and the ability to find a good balance between them both. That is something that I think is crucial if a team wants to be a winning team and to be able to create a winning culture. Chelsea FC is one of the best teams in the world, with players that are exceptionally. We all know that only eleven players can start the game and likewise we all know that there are a lot more players than that who want to start. The Blues are a team that want to win everything as a team but it is also a team containing players that always push themselves to reach their own best level. Many players are already one of the best in the world in their respective positions and many players want to be that in the future. I am often fascinated, but not surprised, at players´ different skills, their will to compete and to get better. At the same time I am fascinated by how a group of world class players can start by focussing on themselves and their play before suddenly switching and focusing on the team and their given role when required. In training we compete to be able to support each other on game day. That is something that is a huge strength in this team. 

Clear and common goals that everyone believes in, a strong winning culture and the balance between the Individual and the Team. These are the different parts which I believe Chelsea FC are doing particularly well and are a crucial part of the success so far. There are two games left of the season. On Sunday we play the Champions League final. It remains to be seen whether that goal can be reached, to lift the trophy in Gothenburg. One thing is certain: you do not create a winner over night. 

It is time to say no

Football engages fans from places all over the world. The sport is for everyone and discrimination within and around football is something that we should fight together. Social media (SoMe) allows fans to show their love and support and to follow their favorite player or team. Sadly, the companies who run the different platforms are doing far too little to prevent “keyboard warriors” sitting behind their screens spreading hateful, discriminating and abusive comments without being punished. It is time to say no. We need to protect our sport from the part of SoMe that wants to destroy and make football a vulnerable place. 

From Friday 30th April to Monday 3rd May, Chelsea FC will join the English top leagues in a boycott of SoMe in response to the ongoing and sustained discriminatory abuse received online by players and many others connected to football. Nothing will be posted on our SoMe during this period. Our second leg against Bayern Munich will be affected, which is unfortunate but nevertheless, is vitally important to highlight the importance of this issue.

Many pro footballers use their SoMe to inspire fans and let them be a part of their careers. It is a way of letting our fans get to know us a bit more beyond what they see on the pitch. Some players choose to be very active on SoMe and they really let their followers come close, while others use their channels in a more frugal way. I feel that it is important to let my followers be a part of my journey and I also see my plattform as an important place where I can make my voice heard. Despite this, I am aware of the disadvantages that SoMe can cause. It is easy to get stuck scrolling through likes, comments and find yourself subconsciously searching for others people’s opinions of your performance. Here is where the “keyboard warriors” become dangerous. 

I think it is really important to protect the football world from discrimination, hate and abuse through SoMe. The SoMe companies have a big responsibility to counteract this negative behavior and to address the current anonymity present on SoMe which enables anyone to write what they want without their identities being shown. As a player myself I understand the importance of us being protected from this and acknowledge that the football world has been exposed to much of this lately. We need to fight this together and we need to protect each other. 

We all know that SoMe is a great way for the fans to get close to their favorite teams and players. We know that SoMe creates big profiles and role models all over the world. But we also know that SoMe can be horrible and devastating, which we have seen so much of lately. Enough is enough. It is time to fight for a change. 

How would you change Social media to stop the discrimination?  

Read the original text in Swedish on Fotbollskanalen

Are the times changing?

A lot of things are happening in and around the women’s game right now. The investment has increased, the interest in the game is even bigger and women are afforded more space, recognition and respect in the footballing world. These developments are all positive signs that the women’s game is heading in the right direction; though we might sometimes wish that in some areas this was happening even quicker. Lately I have been impressed by three specific situations which have left me wondering if a real breakthrough for women’s football is on the horizon. I see similarities between these events that are a sign of times changing. 

A new, three year TV-deal for the Women’s Super league was officially announced a couple of weeks ago. The deal is worth a record sum that has never been seen before in the women’s game. The big channels Sky Sports and the BBC will broadcast more games next season, giving greater exposure to the league as well as more money for the clubs. A deal like this are something that we have not been spoiled with before in our game and is one deal which is a great statement to the rest of the football world, that the bar is being set higher than before. Are the times changing? 

This year Women’s Champions League final will be played in Gothenburg, Sweden at the stadium Gamla Ullevi. The owners of the arena GotEvent think highly of the event and want to make sure that the pitch is in best possible condition for the final. Therefore the home team of that stadium, the men’s IFK Gothenburg have to move four of their games before the final the 16th of May. It may seem obvious for many but as female footballers we have previously not been spoiled with being the priority. We are more familiar with being the ones giving way to others. Are the times changing? 

#Mismapasion. Is the hashtag familiar to you? Real Madrid´s keeper Misa Rodriguez posted a picture of her celebrating next to another picture of Marco Asensio celebrating as well. It did not take long before she received a lot of negative comments where people were questioning her and her post. Shortly after the football community showed its solidarity and passion for the sport. Big stars on the men’s side showed their support and together with big clubs they shared the hashtag. It should not be a question of whether we share the same passion for the same sport. But this wave of love and solidarity among players is really heart warming and I would say I have not seen this that often before. This is something that gives me hope and makes me believe that the culture within the sport is slowly changing to be more open and welcoming for everyone. 

Three different events that relate to different aspects of the game, but still we can see the common theme. Times are changing. Three events that do not put men and women against each other, where it is a constant battle about who is the best and who should get the most. Interest is increasing, people are daring to make demands and the passion continues to be shared. Same sport, same passion. We all share it. Is the big breakthrough close? 

Read the original text in Swedish at Fotbollskanalen

A dream life to fight for – but with tears and anxiety

Amazing conditions, both on and off the pitch. You do what you love as a full time job and even though it is called a ”job”, we footballers rarely see it as one. You get to train with other talented players, chase your common goals and win titles together. Cool and flashy pictures are being posted on social media showing you have fun and enjoying your ”job”. You are living your dream. You are a professional athlete playing abroad. However, while you are living your dream, it does not come without its own nightmare. You are apart from your family – which for many is the best and most important thing in life. Making sacrifices are part and parcel of playing professionally, and even though they can hurt immensely, they can often get overshadowed by the splendor and luxury that also exist.

My departure to Chelsea and England exemplifies a nightmare present alongside my dreams. I was about to take the next step in my career to continue my development and to give myself the possibility to get better. I was about to become a professional footballer abroad, in one of the biggest and best clubs in the world. I was about to live my dream. At the same time, the anxiety began to creep in. I was approaching my nightmare – being separated from my family. The last two weeks before I was about to get on the plane was a real struggle characterized by sudden crying attacks. The anxiety even got me questioning if it was worth it, to choose to go abroad and fulfil my dream instead of staying close to my family. However I did not give myself the choice. The only thing that was going to happen was me getting on the plane and embarking on this new chapter in my life. This is what I wanted and what I had fought for. 

To reach the absolute top level it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. You often need to skip the parties, training often comes before hanging out with friends and you need to adjust your everyday lifestyle so it benefits your football in best possible way. These are sacrifices that do not hurt and that are easy to make if you want to be successful. The rewards are many if you reach the very top, not least the opportunity to do what you love with other people who love it just as much as you do and who have made similar sacrifices as you have. You get to live a luxurious life, where you get spoiled in different ways. Whilst many others struggle with boring and demotivating jobs just to earn their monthly salary, you get yours without really reflecting on what you did to get it. 

Some of you who read are probably sitting and cursing me for complaining. You might be sat there pissed off thinking that if I find the sacrifices so hard then I should just replace my luxury with your ”eight to five” job. But do not misconstrue this, I am not complaining. I am not in any way ungrateful for what I have. On the contrary, I am grateful every day and that gratitude is what helps me to manage being away from my family. It is the reason why I would never exchange my everyday life for anything else. But it is a dream, that like most other dreams, has a downside. A downside that sometimes hurts and which can cause a temporary hole that no money in the world can fill. 

I enjoy playing abroad, that is true. I love what I am doing, that is true for sure. But it is also true that I cried and had a big lump in my stomach before leaving my family in Sweden. I could not stop picturing myself missing out all these big occasions with my family and how the pandemic would take away opportunities to see each other during my time away from home and away from people I love. I am living my biggest dream, but at the same time the nightmare also exists.

Read the original text in Swedish on Fotbollskanalen

There is more to demand from a league of this caliber

FWSL is according to many, including myself, the world’s best and most interesting league right now. With top teams like Chelsea FC, Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester city the league has attracted a huge amount of amazing fans and top players from all over the world. The conditions are great in the biggest clubs, but I think that the gap between the best teams and the rest are still too big. 

In Chelsea we have impressive conditions, both on and off the pitch. As a player you are given everything that you need to perform and the focus can be on playing football. The rest is something that someone else is handling who is expert in their area. We can see similar conditions in the other top teams in the league. But something I have reflected on during my first months here in England is the mixed standards on facilities and pitches at clubs that do not have the same possibility to have it as good as we have it. 

When I pictured English football I pictured myself rainy, tough games on grass and ”old school” changing rooms built mostly of orange bricks. I would say that the greater part of my picture is correct. The rain is there, the physical game too and orange bricks I have seen a lot of in most of the arenas I have visited so far. My first months has been maybe the most ”boring” months to play football in terms of the weather, so the part about rain is not surprisingly and that also plays its part in bad pitches of course. But still, the quality on the pitches and changing room is worse than what I was expecting. Worse than how many teams have it in the Swedish Damallsvenskan, to get a perspective on it. 

Most of the teams in Damallsvenskan play on artificial grass, which many think should not be the case in Swedish top football. I agree. Football should be played on grass, IF the pitch is good enough and does not affects the game in a bad way. If there is hardly any grass, the pitch far too soft or hard and it matters where in the goal you position yourself to adjust your body height, then I choose artificial grass every day of the week. I think that the conditions of the pitches has varied far too much for me to think that it is good enough for maybe the best league in the world right now. 

I think there should be a minimum standard of the changing room as well. The showers does not always work optimal. In one arena the hot water in the showers was turned on only after the game. The rooms are pretty small, so we need to be divided into two groups to be able to keep distance in this pandemic. The toilets are like playing the lottery. Sometimes they work, sometimes not. For a league that is at the top, it is not good enough. I am not being ungrateful for what we have, but I think that we can do better to improve. 

FWSL is a top league and more and more investments are being made in the league’s various teams. It looks good from the outside and many people are impressed with the progress that are being made in English football on the women’s side. Everything is not perfect yet though, which is often only seen when one is inside it. Much needs to get better if it to be good enough to keep the measure for a world-class league. The minimum levels needs to be raised, requirements need to be set and some conditions that have previously been approved need to stop being accepted. There is more to demand from a league of this caliber. And the help to reach that needs to come from different parties. We are in this together. 

Read the full article in Swedish at Fotbollskanalen

We are tired of you bullies

The coach of Borussia Monchengladbach´s under 23s, Heiko Vogel, got punished by the court of the West German soccer association (WDFV) because of his behavior against referee with being forced to coach the club’s women/girls team. To discriminate, disparage and humiliate a certain sex is something that should actively to be fought. Even though there are some interesting aspects to find from something absurd like this. 

The scandal was something that quickly went viral and you could see the shock and anger from many. The two top leagues in Germany on the women’s side wrote an open letter, where they begged that the signals that are being sent because of this is something that needs to end and which should not be welcomed in today’s football world. Several stars from Germany actively shared this in their social medias. I agree. I want to see WDFV, who designed the punishment, being questioned themselves from the football world. We need to react and act, not be silent and accept things like this. To punish someone by forcing them to train a women’s team is an action what divides football and society into gaps, where you push all women player down and in an indirect way saying that their work is not as worthy as the men’s. To do something like this, you are being a bully which thinks you can do whatever you want just because that was the case earlier in the history. It is enough. 

I get shocked, confused and angry that this can happen in 2021 and that it is actually something that is supposed to be taken seriously. But then my anger turns into curiosity. I get curious to se if this coach would be able to manage to coach a women’s team. I get curious if  WDFV is aware that it is not enough just to be tactically skilled to manage a group of women. I get curious to see how the result of this would look like, where a man who coached men on a high level all of the sudden should try something completely else. Because it is something else. You need to be a good leader too to get the group with you, otherwise your tactically skills would turn out to be something for you and your white board only. 

To get the opportunity to coach a women’s team is therefor an experience rather than a punishment. The punishment in this case should be: to never be allowed to coach a team, as long as you behave like that. You are not enough. Your personality is not good enough. A coach is an important role model for his/her players as well as the players are big role models for other people. Undoubtedly it is important to punish bad behavior in a correct way, which do not send wrong signals to the rest of the world.

Therefor Heiko Vogel. You should not be punished with coaching a women’s team. You should go back to basic. To collect knowledge, understanding and experience of what it takes to coach women – this to be a complete coach. WDFV you should realize your misstake and as soon as possible try to make up for it, in best possible way. Otherwise I find it hard to see how you would avoid being extremely questioned. We are tired of bullies. 

Read the full text in Swedish at Fotbollskanalen

A rose to all of you

Today, on International Woman’s day, I salute everyone that takes the fight so that everybody can dream big, so that everybody can do what they love fully and instead of competing against each other, we should compete togheter. 

As a woman in the world of football, we have rarely been seen as the natural sex to practice the sport. We are rarely seen as those who should attract the most interest, as those who are the greatest role models or as those who should pave the way for the sport in general. All too often, football has been our hobby, a temporary occupation that will be replaced by something more sustainable over time. When the boys in our class dreamed of becoming a pro footballer, he was given the opportunities and condition to manage his talent. When many of us girls dreamed of becoming the same, it sadly remained just a dream in many cases though the talent was there. 

As a woman footballer we have been raised to be thankful in our sport. Everything that we get, we should be thankful for. We need to fight to make our sport accepted. Vi need to fight to be heard. Nothing comes for free. And when it comes, we should scream out loud how thankful we are. When a girl does something that is not typical ”girly”, she has done something groundbreaking. When she is not grateful, she does not deserve it. When she raises her voice and dares to question, then she is a female version of a man athlete that dares to speak up. Rarely really accepted because she is her and no one else. 

As a woman baller, we often need to adjust to someone else. The pitch has often been occupied by a men´s team and therefor we often had to train late in the evening. But do not forget, we have been grateful. After all, we have been able to train and do what we love. The clothes that we wear on training and game have been too big and just an awkward fit. No space for our hips and far too puffy in the front. Men´s model. But as long as we can look the same as a team, we have thanked and accepted. Media coverage is limited. But hey, they actually broadcast like four games of the entire season, and four is way better than zero. For a long time we have competed with the opposite sex and all too often it ends in loss. I think its time for us to stop competing. 

Today, on International women’s day, I want to give a rose to all of you out there who are fighting, man as woman, for women. I want to giva a rose to you who see football as something for everyone, where gender should not be allowed to limit which dreams can come true. A rose to all of you who do not see football as a competition, where we all know who most often wins i today’s world. It is not a fair fight. We should not compete against each other, we should compete with each other. This is how we all grow, male athletes as well as female athletes. It is a constant struggle, but we are in it together in one way or another. 

Read the original text on here / Läs originaltexten på svenska på Fotbollskanalen

Goalkeeper – the most demanding position

One day you are the hero for your team and being hailed to the skies. Next day you are being criticized and one of the main reasons that the team is not doing well. There is rarely anything in between. The goalkeeper position is the team’s most vulnerable position. In some cases described as voluntary idiocy. 

Liverpool’s keeper Alisson Becker is a good example. One day he is one of the best. The other day he is just not good enough. 

The goalkeeper position is an unique position. It often creates headlines and contributes to many clicks on various websites because of that massive save in the top corner or because of a misstake that goes viral fast. A keeper needs to be technically skilled but I am convinced that you need to master the mental part too. If you manage the latter part, well then half is won. 

An attacker can miss several opportunities during a game and still be named the player of the match after scoring on the seventeenth try. A midfielder and a defender can have a tough day at work, but it is quickly forgotten and overshadowed by other sports news. A goalkeeper on the other hand. A goalkeeper lives on the edge, talk about having excitement in our everyday life. A small misstake can overshadow all of those sixteen saves that was attempted from the attacker above. ”Goalkeepers are often a special sort of people”. Yeah, wonder why…

Lately Liverpool has not been performing at their best. Different injuries has put the team in a tough situation and the results is not going their way. One player that has had a tougher period the last couple of games is their goalkeeper Alisson Becker. I think that Becker is one of the best goalkeepers on the men side, with his positioning and ability to make challenging moments to look really easy. For me he is an all around keeper without any concrete weaknesses, which has rightly been hailed and highlighted as a crucial piece of Liverpool’s success. The last couple of games he has made some easy misstakes, which has led to people questioning him. Suddenly that is what defines him as a keeper. 

For a keeper, everyday life is challenging and the demands are high. There is no room for misstakes. Like we all know, goalkeepers are human too. And yeah, all humans make misstakes sometimes. I often get the question why I choose to be a keeper. A question that I for a long time did not have a good answer to. To throw your body voluntarily, be in the way of people who wants to score and be happy. Almost voluntary idiocy. But the more I reflect on it, the more I realize that I like the responsibility that the position brings. I like that the performances is either black or white, to live on that edge. To strive for perfection, where we try to minimize the mistakes but where we simultaneously accept their existence. That motivates and drives me. 

So no Becker, as a goalie myself I understand you and in which situation you are in. I do not define you as a keeper because of some easy misstakes lately. We all know that you can pass a ball with right technique. We all know that you do not want to make misstakes on purpose, that you do your best. But sometimes, when we throw out descriptions and analyzes, we forget that you are a human too. A speciell one though, who chose voluntary idiocy as your profession 😉

What do you think? Do you agree that a goalkeeper has the most demanding position in a team?

Read the original chronicle in Swedish on Fotbollskanalen/ Läs orginalkrönikan på svenska på Fotbollskanalen.

Sportspeople can raise their voice to make the world a better place

Zlatan made it clear that he was not fond of when athletes with some type of status speak up in questions about politics. He thinks that an athlete should do what they are good at and to stick to the sport they practice. Politician should do politics. Otherwise it does not look good, according to Zlatan. 

Our swedish Milan-star discussed LeBron James´ involvement in political issues. Shortly after LeBron replied. He made it clear that he will not be silent in areas which affects him, in areas where he believes there are injustices in. He has the opportunity to be a strong voice for a group of people in the community who do not have the same platform that we sportsmen actually have. 

Politics is a term used to describe the process that governs our society. In a democratic society all citizens are involved and influence. We have our right to think. Therefor it is not necessarily only politicians who get involved in political issues. I think it is wrong that I as a footballer is expected to only play football and stick to it. What should I do with my other interests, with other issues in society which I find important? I refuse to only sit and roll my thumbs after training and match, and only be a baller. 

I think that if you have the knowledge and the will to make a change in the society, you have the right to engage in those issues. Independent of who you are. Thanks to all of our fans and everybody who is interested in what we do, we have been given a great platform which gives us a strong voice. It is a voice which gives us the opportunity to influence and gather people together. Just look at some issues that we are discussing together already where a sportsperson has been a great leading voice. Manchester United player Rashford is a great example, but there are many others that are doing a great job. 

If we start questioning why sportspeople raise their voice in areas which their sport are not included, then we can start questioning everything. Why should an athlete involve in different commercials just to strengthen their brand? Why should an athlete use social media instead of just waiting for the next training or game? 

We can make the list long. 

Let us go back to the definition of what politics is. It is different processes that governs our society. What governs society? People. What is a sportsperson? A human. Instead of questioning the engagement I think it is more advantageous to help and encourage each other. Elite athletes have the luck to have a big platform, which other people look at. That voice can make a difference. Important questions can be driven in such a better way than if we just rely on our politicians to make a change. Therefore I do not agree with you Zlatan, I think that athletes can fight to make the world a better place. 

Läs min krönika på svenska: Mušovićs krönikor Fotbollskanalen

Jag säger hejdå till familjen för denna gång

Då var vi här, sista matchen, sista framträdandet och sista dagen på Malmö IP som FC Rosengårdsspelare för den här gången. Det är dags att säga adjö till min familj, för denna gång. Åtta säsonger senare, 187 stolta matcher i tröjan, fyra SM-guld, tre Svenska Cupen-guld, två Supercupen-guld och Champions League-framträdande som alla har sin egna unika historia. Men främst av allt, åtta underbara år med människor som jag älskar, med människor som har fått mig att som person och målvakt nå nya höjder, med människor som fått mig att tro på mig själv om att jag kan nå ännu högre. 

151018 Rosengårds målvakt Zecira Musovic tackar publiken efter fotbollsmatchen i Damallsvenskan mellan FC Rosengård och Linköping den 18 oktober 2015 i Malmö. Foto: Ludvig Thunman / BILDBYRÅN / kod LT / 35126

Jag kommer aldrig att glömma min första tid i FC Rosengård, där min omgivning bestod av stjärnor som Anja Mittag, Ramona Bachmann, Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir, Therese Sjögran och många, många fler. Jag förstod egentligen inte vad jag gjorde där. Femtonåriga jag bland dessa stora stjärnor. Det var tufft, väldigt tufft. Allt gick så mycket snabbare än i Stattena IF, kvalitén var betydligt bättre och skotten flög förbi mig in i mål. Jag bestämde mig för att kämpa, fast besluten om att jag skulle ta tröja nummer ett. Jag visste att det skulle krävas mycket, blod, svett och tårar som man brukar säga. Det var precis så det blev. 

Jag hade en fantastisk förstatid med Thora Helgadottir, stjärnan i mål som var en viktig del i lagbygget. Jag lärde mig massor. Tillsammans med målvaktstränare Tomas Håkansson tog vi mig till en nivå som helt plötsligt dög i Damallsvenskan, det swischade inte förbi lika många skott längre. När Thora la skorna på hyllan, så trodde jag att det var dags för mig att ta över. Äntligen, tänkte jag. Men den valda vägen skulle visa sig bli krokig, ordentligt krokig och trots möjligheter att gå till andra klubbar och välja en annan, enklare väg till förstaspaden, så valde jag att bli kvar. Thora Helgadottir, Kathrine Längert, Doris Bacic, Erin McLeod, Sofia Lundgren, Josephine Frigge och Emma Lind. Jag kan väl lugnt säga att jag haft en del målvaktskollegor, som jag av varje ny kollega lärt mig mycket av. Men jag har fått kämpa hårt för att nå dit jag nådde i FCR-tröjan och jag är tacksam och stolt över mina beslut. 

Skador, sämre prestationer, dåligt självförtroende, stress. En liten del av allt som jag har varit med om under mina år i Malmö. Jag ser det som erfarenheter, som viktiga grejer i min ryggsäck när jag nu söker mig vidare. Det har stärkt mig och jag är otroligt tacksam för de motgångar jag har haft. Men i ryggsäcken plockar jag även med mig alla de fantastiska minnen, alla de spelare, ledare och andra personer i organisationen som betytt och betyder mycket för mig.

SM-guld, Svenska Cupen-guld, Supercupen-guld. 187 matcher. Landslagsdebut. Champions League-matcher mot lag som Lyon, Wolfsburg, Chelsea, Barcelona. Allt det och mycket mer har jag fått vara med om. Jag känner mig otroligt, lyckligt lottad. 

Alla spelare, alla storstjärnor jag haft äran att få ha spelat med, att få lära känna personen bakom fotbollsspelaren. Alla de vänner jag fått för livet, vänner som befinner sig på alla möjliga platser runt om i världen. Jag kan inte tacka er nog för vår tid tillsammans. Ni är min familj och jag har uppskattat vartenda en av er. Tack för att ni ställde krav på mig, för att ni såg mig, för att vi tillsammans jobbade stenhårt för att bli bättre. Laget är det bästa med fotbollen, att få kämpa och vinna tillsammans. 

Erling Nilsson, en av de viktigaste personerna i min fotbollskarriär. Personen som såg mig i ett regnigt Staffanstorp när jag spelade med Skånelaget och tänkte att ”henne ska vi ha till klubben”. Personen som aldrig varit helt nöjd med mig, som ständigt pushat mig och legat på gränsen till att vara riktigt, riktigt jobbig. Jag är så tacksam för dig Erling, du är en stor del i mina framgångar. 

Mina målvaktstränare som jag haft i FCR, Tomas Håkansson och Kenneth Mattsson. Tack för att ni stått ut med mig. För att ni orkat med mitt tjat om att jag aldrig är nöjd. Att allt allting kan bli bättre. För att ni har trott på mig, för att ni har gjort mig till en bättre målvakt. Tack för att ni har sett personen i målvaktsyrket, för att ni kämpat för att utveckla även den. Ni har lyckats. Utan er hade jag inte kunnat utvecklas så som jag gjort. 

Nu är det dags för något annat för denna gång. Familjen, den kommer jag att komma tillbaka till i framtiden, var så säkra på det. 

Vad har vi gjort för att förtjäna det här?

I ett samhälle som fylls av panik i en rasande hastighet, håller vi på att svänga av vägen och bli icke rationella varelser som stänger in sig mer och mer. 

Den senaste tiden har präglats av nyheter som berör covid-19 och världens olika länder har vidtagit fler och fler åtgärder för att försöka strypa virusets spridning. Det har blivit en pandemi, en omfattande spridning som kommer att påverka vårt samhälle och som innebär att viruset snart kommer att finnas i samtliga delar av världen. Kreativa skämt och oseriösa inlägg i olika kanaler har snabbt övergått till vädjan och panik och något som för någon vecka sedan enbart var kopplat till Kina, berör helt plötsligt mig själv och min familj. 

En besinningslös skräck börjar spridas i vårt samhälle och affärernas olika hyllor töms snabbt, med hysterin vi människor skapar som anledning. Varje dag hör vi att något nytt som gör av även den orädde och mest optimistiska, sakta men säkert börjar tveka och fundera över ifall man inte ska säkra upp lite själv. Men bara lite, för ännu känns det fortfarande långt bort från total katastrof och framförallt känns det lugnt i vårt säkra Sverige. 

Vi går till affären med massor av frågeställningar. På sociala medier har vi sett de tomma hyllorna och vi bestämmer oss för att köpa varor som fortfarande finns kvar, så att vi inte riskerar att våra egna hyllor där hemma inom kort ska eka lika tomt. De olika mediekanalerna har gjort att saker kan hypas upp i rekordhastighet och plötsligt känns avsaknad av toalettpapper som världens undergång för en hel del människor. För andra är det Cola Zero som är huvudbryet och för en tredje, som anser sig själv vara den mest rationella, är mjölets låga utbud det som oroar mest. 

Regeringen tar olika beslut som stryper och begränsar olika aktiviteter. Sammankomster med över femhundra personer förbjuds, merparten av idrottsevenemang ställs in och kikar vi på våra grannländer så stänger skolor och universitet snabbt all sin verksamhet. Tänk, till och med avråds vi från att besöka det där gymmet som vi besöker för att må bra och för att kunna leva upp till våra nyårslöften. Så mycket begränsningar, men ändå kvarstår en otrolig frihet. Sverige, vackra Sverige. 

Låt oss försöka ta på oss tacksamhetsglasögonen istället. Du, jag, vi som bor i Sverige. Vad har vi gjort för att förtjäna det här? Kom ihåg, du har på dig de fina glasögonen. Vad har vi gjort för att förtjäna den frihet, trygghet och möjlighet till att planera, strukturera och förbereda oss inför olika scenarier? Vad har vi gjort för att kunna gå till affären och fylla matkassarna för att rusta upp för något som inte ens har hänt än? Vi har fortfarande valmöjligheter i de flesta frågorna. Vi väljer själva vilken väg vi ska gå. Gå till skolan eller inte. Träffa familjen eller inte. Vistas bland folk eller inte. Föreställ er de som inte har de möjligheterna till olika val, de vars beslut direkt är länkade till överlevnad. 

I sådana här tider tänker jag på min familj, som tvingades fly från Balkankriget under tidiga 90-talet. Eller på den där lilla pojken som etsat sig fast i vårt minne, som låg livlös på en strand efter att ha drunknat när familjen försökte fly till något bättre. På familjer som inte har mat för att klara av dagen. Här är vi i Sverige, funderar på hur vi ska lösa problemet med toalettpappersbrist eller att det inte fanns Cola Zero till fredagsmyset. 

Vi behöver ta ett steg tillbaka. Ett djupt andetag. Vara tacksamma över det samhälle vi lever i. Covid-19 är ett virus som kommer att smitta många och som säkerligen kommer att sätta sina spår i vårt samhälle. Men det hjälper inte att vi fylls av panik och blir icke rationella varelser. Det hjälper inte att vi dras med av allt som skrivs i sociala medier och skapar onödig hysteri som enbart förvärrar situationen. Vi behöver ha en otrolig respekt och känna ansvar som medmänniskor för att tillsammans hjälpas till att begränsa spridningen. Men viktigast av allt: vi behöver vara tacksamma över att vi fortfarande har varandra och att den frihet som fanns innan allt det här uppstod, till största del fortfarande finns kvar. Låt oss hålla hårt fast vid det och allt kommer att ordna sig. Jag lovar. 

Året då fler tar för sig, Del III

Året 2020 hoppas jag blir året då fler tar för sig. Jag hoppas att acceptansen kring olika tycken inom politiken kommer till sin rätta och att religionsfriheten blir något ännu mer självklart. Jag hoppas att männen vågar ge en komplimang till sin vännina utan att tro att ”Metoo”-rörelsen kommer att mörda honom. Jag hoppas att kvinnorna inser att 2020 är året då de bara gör och kör, istället för att ständigt behöva rättfärdiga sina handlingar och varför just de ska få gå före i kön. Jag hoppas att nyårslöftet för medborgarna i Sverige blir: i år ska jag ta för mig mer.

Det finns anledningar till varför kvinnan ska tycka synd om sig själv och varför hon ser skäl till att allt för ofta dra på sig sin offerkofta. Historiken har behandlat kvinnan rätt dåligt inom många områden. Det kvinnliga könet har allt för ofta hamnat i skuggan av det manliga och en icke jämställd vardag har varit en verklighet för många. Länge. Allt för länge. I många kulturer är det fortfarande så att föräldrarna önskar sig en liten pojke framför en flicka. Varför? Jo för att pojken, killen, mannen är lite bättre och tillför lite mer. Men låt oss acceptera historia och särskilja den gentemot det nutida samhället. Låt oss se det som en del av resan som tog oss dit vi är idag.

Många har tagit kampen för kvinnan, såväl män som kvinnorna själva. Jämställdhetsfrågan har varit ett hett, återkommande ämne som diskuterats flitigt i många olika forum. Arbetsplatser har helt plötsligt fått en fördelning mellan könen som inte längre visar 80/20 till männens fördel. Kvinnorna har fått ett stöd i samhället som är mycket större än det någonsin varit, ett stöd som kanske ibland varit mer en principsak mer än en ärlig hjärtefråga. Men det har funnits där och det är det viktigaste.

Vi har kommit otroligt långt, inte minst i det svenska samhället. Vi har säkert en bra bit kvar, men vi är i alla fall förbi tiden där kvinnan genast placeras i köket. Vi själva, kvinnorna, med hjälp av andra har kämpat för att komma dit vi är idag, och vilken fantastisk utveckling som skett. Nu, år 2020, hoppas jag att vi tar över stafettpinnen och vågar fortsätta springa på egen hand, starkare och modigare än någonsin.

Jag hoppas att vi har kommit så pass långt att fler känner att de kan ta för sig, med all rätt. Jag hoppas att kvinnan kan stå upp för den hon är, slänga av sig offerkoftan och sluta tycka synd om sig själv. Vill chefen anställa dig för att du är stark, klok och fantastisk, super. Inte? Nej, då vill du inte vara där heller.

Times about to change.

Året då fler tar för sig, Del II

Året 2020 hoppas jag blir året då fler tar för sig. Jag hoppas att acceptansen kring olika tycken inom politiken kommer till sin rätta och att religionsfriheten blir något ännu mer självklart. Jag hoppas att männen vågar ge en komplimang till sin vännina utan att tro att ”Metoo”-rörelsen kommer att mörda honom. Jag hoppas att kvinnorna inser att 2020 är året då de bara gör och kör, istället för att ständigt behöva rättfärdiga sina handlingar och varför just de ska få gå före i kön. Jag hoppas att nyårslöftet för medborgarna i Sverige blir: i år ska jag ta för mig mer.

Hashtagen #metoo blev en lyckad kampanj och lyfte fram problematiken i samhället på ett imponerande sätt, och blev något som kvinnor runt om i världen kunde skapa en gemenskap kringa och stötta varandra. Det, sexuellt ofredande var och är fortfarande ett stort problem där männen utnyttjar sin roll i samhället gentemot kvinnan, som i de fallen anses vara det svagare könet. 

För mig blev det en kampanj som fick upp mina ögon för problematiken. För mig är det självklarheter, att visa respekt för och mot varandra och att någonstans veta var gränsen går till att det ska gå över till något som anses varandra ofredande. Jag är en person som gärna berömmer när jag gillar något, oavsett om det handlar om utseende eller handling. För mig faller det sig naturligt att reagera ifall jag gillar eller ogillar något. 

Jag gillar diskussionerna som #Metoo-kampanjen har väckt och jag tycker vi har tagit otroligt viktiga steg i samhället inom området. Jag önskar dock att vi inte tar diskussionen för långt, att vi börjar sönderanalysera allt som sägs och aktivt börjar att leta fel. För en sak är jag helt övertygad om; börjar vi leta efter fel hos människor, så kommer vi att hitta dem. Alla har vi våra brister och fel är något vi inte kommer undan med. 

Jag önskar att vi inte hamnar i fällan där vi behöver tänka flertalet gånger innan vi säger något, att vi börjar bygga upp en fasad som gömmer det ärliga och äkta. Jag önskar att en manlig kollega fortsätter att våga ge en komplimang till sin kvinnliga kollega, utan att bli jagad av hela #Metoo-rörelsen. Jag önskar att den här manliga kollegan, med all den diskussion som förts och förs, lärt sig vart gränsen går och kan visa en grundläggande och självklar respekt. På det sättet tror jag att vi kan fortsätta vara oss själva, men med en respekt mot varandra. 

Jag önskar att vi vågar ta för oss mer, fast på rätt och schysst sätt. Jag önskar att #Metoo väckt och lärt, men att vi inte låter det gå till något som blir en ursäkt för att aktivt leta misstag och fel.

Året då fler tar för sig, Del I

Året 2020 hoppas jag blir året då fler tar för sig. Jag hoppas att acceptansen kring olika tycken inom politiken kommer till sin rätta och att religionsfriheten blir något ännu mer självklart. Jag hoppas att männen vågar ge en komplimang till sin vännina utan att tro att ”Metoo”-rörelsen kommer att mörda honom. Jag hoppas att kvinnorna inser att 2020 är året då de bara gör och kör, istället för att ständigt behöva rättfärdiga sina handlingar och varför just de ska få gå före i kön. Jag hoppas att nyårslöftet för medborgarna i Sverige blir: i år ska jag ta för mig mer.

Del I  – Smygrasismen som föder hat som i sin tur skapar extrema samhällsklyftor

Jag har en delad åsikt om rasismen i samhället. Å ena sidan tycker jag att vi går mot ett samhälle med mer acceptans för varandras olikheter, för att helt plötsligt bli förvånad över en viss händelse som tyder på raka motsatsen. Den öppna, tydliga och ärliga rasismen är inte den jag är orolig över, det är smygrasismen som jag tycker är ett problem. Tryckfrihetsförordningen säger att medborgarna i Sverige har ”fritt meningsutbyte”, alla får tycka vad de vill. Vi har även de mänskliga rättigheterna att förhålla oss till, som säger att alla människor är fria och lika. Klumpar vi ihop de två delarna, får vi fram att vi alla får ha våra egna tycken, men vi ska tydligt veta att alla människor förtjänar sin respekt och sina rättigheter.

Med det sagt, önskar jag att vi vågar yttra oss på ett öppet och respektfullt sätt, men att låta det förbli MIN egna åsikt och inte en åsikt som jag vill sprida för att trycka och klanka ned på andra människor och deras rättigheter. Vill du rösta på SD, så gör det. Vill du tycka att all invandring i vårt land är skit, så gör det. Vill du tycka att grannfamiljen är lite skum då kvinnan har huvudbonad, mannen långt skägg och åtta barn som skriker och springer i lägenheten, så gör det. Men kom ihåg: de har, precis som du själv, exakt lika mycket rätt att tycka att du har fördomar och att du kommer att hamna i helvetet på grund av skeva handlingar – enligt de.

Vi är olika och använder vi våra olikheter så kan det bli riktigt bra. Med olikheterna i vårt samhälle, så tror jag att vi kan nå den bästa utvecklingen. Men ska vi gå runt och gömma våra olikheter, dra på den falska fasaden utåt sätt och låtsas som om att vi alla är likadana, då kommer allting att krascha förr eller senare. Vi bygger då upp något som vi själva inte är medvetna om förrän det förstört alldeles för mycket. Hat skapar klyftor i samhället, det skapar ”vi mot dem”. Landet Sveriges åsikt är att vi må vara väldigt olika men en sak har alla medborgare gemensamt, alla är vi fria och lika, hur olika vi än är.

Jag önskar att vi kan ta för oss med våra åsikter. Jag älskar när en människa har sina tydliga ståndpunkter, där de är väl uppbyggda och något de kan förklara och stå för. Motsatsen är när någon inte vågar stå för vad de tycker, men har en jävla massa att tycka till om bakom kulisserna. Vet ni vad, ni förstör vårt samhälle.

VM-bloggen: Semifinal nästa

Wow, wow, wow. Vilken match, vilken prestation och vilken stolthet jag känner över mitt lag. Vi slår ut tunga mästerskapsspöket Tyskland. Förvisso tror jag inte och har aldrig trott på spöken, men visst var det ett jäkla tjat utifrån kring det. Vi kunde, vi ville och vi orkade. Vi är i semifinal. Vi är kvar som ett lag av fyra som ska slåss om VM-bucklan i Lyon. Rysningar. 

Några dagar ute på landet utanför Rennes  där vi fick bo på ett eget slott med enbart ägare och personal var magiskt. Att vara omringad med massa grönt och djur kändes som ett perfekt ställe att få ladda batterierna på. Jag kände verkligen hur harmonisk jag blev i den omgivningen och jag kände att vi kunde fokusera på oss själva enbart och inte störas av det som hände omkring oss. På kvällarna när värmen hade lagt sig kunde vi sitta kvar efter kvällsmålet på innergården och umgås med varandra. När jag tittade åt ett håll satt ett gäng och spelade kortspel, när jag tittade åt ett annan håll stod ännu ett gäng, spelare och ledare blandat, och spelade boule. Vissa nöjde sig med att sitta och kolla i mobilen eller att snacka med kompisen bredvid. Varje gång jag såg det här blev jag så otroligt varm i kroppen. Alla kan umgås med alla och alla VILL umgås med alla. 

Innergården på detta fantastiska ställe

Låt mig utveckla hinken. Hinken som följt med oss ända sedan vi startade vår resa med Gerhardsson & Co. Vår psykolog Rasmus har matat in i våra huvuden att det inte är laget med störst hink som vinner, utan det lag som lyckas behålla mest vatten i den när matchen är slut. Hinken symboliserar ett lag. På förhand kan man kanske tycka att Tyskland har en större hink än vad vi har, sett till både statistik och historik. Hinken är fylld med vatten och det gäller att behålla vattnet, vilket görs i form av att laget har så få läckage som möjligt. Läckagen kan vara misskommunikation på och utanför plan, drama i laget, skador etc. 

Ren glädje.

Vi slog alltså ut Tyskland. En prestation som är imponerade av samtliga på plan. Jag är extra imponerad över Amanda, som byts in hastigt efter att Fischer utgått med lindrigare skada. Hon går in och bara kör, precis som om att hon hade spelat från sekund ett. Ingen rädsla, ingen synbar nervositet, bara en pondus och målmedvetenhet om att matchen ska vinnas. Hatten av.

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Det var inte på tur vi vann, eller att vi backade hem hela laget och parkerade bussen för att avgöra på straffar eller något. Vi vann på ren skicklighet. Vi visade mer vilja, vi hade en hink med mest vatten kvar när domaren blåste av och jag vill faktiskt säga att vi var tekniskt och taktiskt bättre än Tyskland i gårdagens match. 

Ren glädje part two

Jag tror vi har en hink som är mer slitstark än vad de flesta lag i detta mästerskapet har, vilket vi har visat genom att vara ett av fyra lag som är kvar. Jag vill inte skriva för mycket, men jag tror vi kan gå hela vägen. Det känns som om att det här laget har något speciellt och jag tror faktiskt att det kan vara svaret på ”vad har det här laget som de tidigare lagen inte hade?”. Jag tror. Jag hoppas.