From a school tournament to the World Cup, Chelsea and Sweden goalkeeper Zecira Musovic reflects on humble beginnings, discusses her greatest supporters and reveals a passion for education that has accompanied an impressive footballing career.
After adding two more domestic trophies to her growing CV with Chelsea last season, the Swede went on to represent her country at the World Cup this summer. A string of inspired performances saw Musovic emerge as one of the standout performers with a bronze medal to show for her efforts.
With the chance to take stock and look back to where it all began, the 27-year-old reveals that football wasn’t her chosen path in the first instance. She enjoyed several sports but one training session captured her attention and this is where the journey began.
‘It wasn’t the plan for me to start playing football,’ Musovic explained. ‘I was interested in other sports but then I remember we had this school tournament where a coach saw me playing. I think he thought I was pretty decent.
‘He asked me if I wanted to join a session with their team. I went there and I completely fell in love with the sport, the team environment and I got to meet a lot of new friends.’
Having fallen in love with the sport, it took a while for the Swede to settle between the sticks. A spell outfield preceded the decision to pursue goalkeeping, a position she learned to love thanks to the encouragement of her coaches.
‘I started to play when I was nine years old and I was playing as an outfielder until I was about 12. I tried to go in goal and I enjoyed it, but then I had a couple of years where I was really questioning it. I had good coaches who kept me going.
‘We were playing against older teams and lost by a lot of goals so it was a tough environment. I learned to love the position, the responsibility that comes with it where you are behind your whole team, parts I love and enjoy about being a goalkeeper.’
Behind the scenes, Musovic credits the support of her family in helping her to achieve her goals. She speaks candidly about the role her brother has played in her life and career, showing immense gratitude for the encouragement he has offered.
‘My whole family have always supported me as a person, but someone who really stands out throughout my career is definitely my brother who has been paving the way for me to play football. He was the one that my parents gave the responsibility to. They said she is your responsibility, she needs to continue with her education and perform as a top student.
‘As long as she does that, she is allowed to play football. He’s being doing a great amount of work in the background that I haven’t realised until now. Without him, I would never play football professionally and I wouldn’t have reached where I am today, so a big thanks to him.’
Hard work and determination have seen personal recognition fall the way of Musovic, who is nominated for The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper award. Her relentless pursuit of personal growth can be seen through a passion for education which she has possessed from a young age.
‘I have a degree in Economics. I’ve studied leadership, organisation, psychology and coaching license. I’m studying a programme through UEFA in Sports Management. I’ve studied quite a lot and I’m a person who loves to learn.
‘I love to learn new things all the time and improve myself as a person. It’s how I feel stimulated and it’s also something that makes my performance on the pitch better.’
Zecira and the Blues get their WSL title defence underway against Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on Sunday 1 October, with kick-off at 5.30pm (UK time). Click here to secure your seats!