It’s a question that Zecira Musovic has had to endure – and answer – throughout her life. When is she going to take up a hobby ‘more appropriate’ for a female?

It’s quite astonishing to think that Chelsea’s No.1 goalkeeper, and Swedish international, has ever had to answer that question. But she has. And she’s sick of it.

Thankfully, in 2023, women’s football – both professionally and at grass roots level – has come on leaps and bounds. Musovic is no longer being encouraged to take up a ‘more appropriate’ pastime but is instead being looked up to as a role model to the next generation of hopeful professional women’s football players.

Now, in a feature film exploring her rise from fleeing a war-torn country as a child to performing at the highest stage for Chelsea at a packed-out Stamford Bridge, the Sweden international has explained why it’s so important for young girls to have strong female role models in their lives…

‘I was always asked during my childhood why I was playing football as a girl,’ Zecira stated in the documentary that you can watch for free below.

‘I was told it’s only a short-lived hobby and I should start thinking about doing something ‘more appropriate’ for a girl.

‘My role models growing up were always male players from big teams. People like Zinedine Zidane, Zlatan [Ibrahimovic], Ronaldinho. All these big male players.

‘I didn’t have a female role model at that time, especially not one who had come from the same background as myself and someone I could relate to.

‘If you compare that to today, you can see that these young girls now have female role models who are massive in an athletic space such as professional football.’

Having admitted that growing up her only avenue for accessible public role models stemmed from the men’s game, Musovic also highlighted in the documentary how proud she was to see the women’s sport grow in recent years and for the next generation of girls to see high-profile female figures, including – and whisper it quietly – herself…

‘It’s really special to me today to see that you can have female football players as role models, added Musovic. ‘That’s something that makes me really proud.

‘It’s hard to believe sometimes that I am a role model for so many young girls out there but at the same time, I’m happy to accept this and I need to work so hard to be the best role model that I can be both on and off the pitch.

‘So many young girls are looking at us now and it’s our responsibility to showcase things to them in the right way.

‘Today the young girls, the next generation, they can dream about playing for a huge club like Chelsea at an amazing stadium like Stamford Bridge.

‘They can see women playing in sold-out massive stadiums. They’ve seen us do it so in the future, why can’t they?

‘It’s so exciting to see a future like this.’