24-year-old goalkeeper Zećira Mušović has created a platform for herself with her skilled talent in writing and expressing herself in long pieces.
"I hope to be able to bring in other perspectives on essential questions and issues that exist within Swedish football that media misses out on."
It's evident when reading her columns that writing and expressing herself is something Mušović is very passionate about:
"When I have an opinion about something I'm usually very clear about it. I'm also trying to be very clear about the fact that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and that people don't have to see things the way I see them."
Early career and ambitions
When Mušović was 16 she put pen to paper and signed with Swedish side FC Rosengård in Malmö and two years later she had her first call-up for the Swedish national team.
However, in the national team, Mušović and Jennifer Falk, have competed to be Sweden’s first-choice keeper alongside veteran Hedvig Lindahl, who has been cemented into the Swedish starting formation the last decade.
For now, Mušović seems to be FC Rosengård's first-choice goalkeeper and therefore, it's no surprise to hear her talking about her ambitions:
"My personal goal with my football is to become the best. I'm well aware that it is an extremely high goal to set for myself and it's certainly not sure that I will get there. For myself, it's important to strive high and have my ambition and aspiration to always to be the best as I can. Whether I get to that point or not - that's another question."
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"Playing football has taught me a lot about myself as a person, both on and off the pitch. It has given me experiences that have helped me to mature a lot, and it has also given me the tools to be able to handle some of life's issues in a better way than if I hadn't had football in it. It has raised me to believe in myself and to be able to deal with both ups and downs."
Talking Swedish football
The Damallsvenskan is not a professional league throughout. Swedish players still aren't able to play football without having a job on the side for financial support. Yet, the league is known for its ability to develop young talents.
Many of the biggest and best players that are active around the world today have started their careers in Sweden. Mušović’s opinion is clear about what’s best about playing in Sweden and what has to improve:
"The best thing about being a footballer in Sweden is that so much is happening on the women's side. Conditions are improving for us, and the media coverage is getting better. It's cool to see that the interest is growing. It feels as if we are in a transition phase, where women's football is suddenly something to be reckoned with and that more and more players in the Damallsvenskan can call themselves full-time professionals."
"With that being said; even though we are on the right track with the conditions for women's football, there is much more that can be improved. Investments in the Swedish clubs are essential for Sweden to be able to keep up with the rapid development that is happening in Europe. The first step must be that everyone should be able to be full-time professionals to get to invest in football fully."
The goalkeeper believes that the league needs to model itself on other women's divisions to grow:
"We need to focus more on women's football and where we are today. We have to analyze the world around us; what other clubs do well and how can we follow suit. We have to stop comparing our part in football with the men's and instead start to value and believe what we do."
About speaking her mind
The importance of speaking their minds about vital and important topics have become a very welcomed thing among footballers around the world. Both players active today and those who aren't, it has become evident that taking stands and using their platforms to speak for those who can't speak for themselves as well as issues that they're keeping close within their hearts, is now nothing unusual.:
"For me, it is about standing up for what I believe in and what I think. We have to accept each other's differences so that we can understand that it is the differences that create something really good." Mušović says.
In Sweden, Mušović already is one of the most highly ratws footballers; She is in the national team, she plays for reigning champions Rosengård and she is not afraid to speak her mind. If you ask Mušović about what she wants to be remembered for when she ends her career the answer is simple:
"I want to be remembered as the person and the goalkeeper who made difficult things look easy, both on and off the pitch. As someone who paved the way for others to be able to live their dream and dared to believe in themselves enough to speak their minds freely without being afraid to do so."
You can find all of Mušović's written columns so far HERE