Zecira Musovic is not afraid of hard work. She is one of three talented goalkeepers at Chelsea. She is also the No 1 for Sweden, but last season split club duties with Ann-Katrin Berger.
Berger played more games, but the pair pushed each other hard. Then, two became three as Chelsea signed England goalkeeper Hannah Hampton from Aston Villa.
While Berger was third choice for Germany at the World Cup and Hampton second-string for the Lionesses, Musovic played all Sweden’s games as they finished third in the tournament.
In the round of 16 against the United States, Musovic made a record 11 saves and helped end their reign as world champions. So, when it comes to the battle to be Chelsea manager Emma Hayes’ No 1, there is no reason for Musovic to be fazed.
‘Competition is something that most players in this squad thrive on. I love competition,’ Musovic said. ‘I’m also confident that I’ve built a good base to keep building at. I think the World Cup just showed that I’m on the right track.’
Zecira Musovic is not afraid of hard work and plays as the No.1 for her country, Sweden
The 27-year-old is also one of three talented goalkeepers that play at Chelsea Football club
However, last season split club duties with fellow Chelsea goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger
Musovic was born in Sweden but her family originates from the Serbian town of Prijepolje, near the Bosnian border.
‘My family fled from the Yugoslav war,’ Musovic said. ‘They left everything they had built up for so many years behind them, just to find safety and a new home for their family. Then I came.
‘I had the easy way into life. My family’s story is really something that has helped me in my way of always pushing for what I want and not being scared of working extremely hard for what I want.’
Balancing her two cultures, though, has not always been easy.
‘I grew up with the Swedish culture where everything is possible, you’re allowed to do whatever you want. It doesn’t matter if you’re a girl or a boy or what your background is, which is a really good thing.
‘On the other side I had the Balkan culture which is about working hard for what you want, you’re not scared of putting in the work that is required.
‘I’ve experienced some clashes between those two cultures because in the Balkan culture it wasn’t that normal to play football as a girl and my football before was always seen as a like short-lived hobby that I was supposed to play for a couple of years and then I was supposed to do something that was more appropriate for a girl. It was always weird that people were saying that, because I loved football.
‘I’m super proud that I’ve reached the level that I am today, that I can show other girls that come from a similar background that it’s possible and that everyone should be allowed to play football, it doesn’t matter what gender you are.’
Musovic was born in Sweden but her family originates from the Serbian town of Prijepolje
Musovic takes aim at the age-old views of women ‘belonging in the kitchen’ through social media. Her background photo on Twitter/X is a cartoon of herself wearing an apron and washing plates. But she also has a medal around her neck and two on her arm, and behind the apron is a half-Chelsea, half-Sweden shirt.
‘My sense of humour is a bit sarcastic,’ she said. ‘I’m just happy that I can almost call it a joke, make that joke but also make a point that it’s not like that anymore.’
There are also important points to be made on social media. Musovic was one of many players to call out the behaviour of Luis Rubiales, who was forced to resign as Spanish FA president after a backlash over the kiss-gate scandal involving Jenni Hermoso.
‘We have things we still need to improve,’ Musovic said. ‘One thing that I can really take from that is we have created a community in the women’s game where we back each other, where we support each other to reach common goals and common visions about what we believe is the right thing. We have created an environment where people actually feel able to speak up because they feel like they will get the support.’
Musovic is the type of player who could easily move into the governance side of football after her playing career, but she has many options. She was previously a board member at Swedish club Uppakra, has written columns and has worked as a television pundit. Earlier this year she launched a project called Next Generation Dreamers, which aims to show that all girls, regardless of their background, should be allowed to play football.
Musovic is the type of player who could easily move into the governance side of football after her playing career, but she has many options
‘For such a long time I’ve just pushed through so many barriers and people questioning what I’m doing,’ she said.
‘I’ve come to a stage where I’ve realised: ‘OK, it’s been quite tough sometimes during my career’, and I’ve realised that I’m really passionate about the next generation.
‘I’m passionate about paving the way for the people that will come after me, so they don’t have to go through what I went through,’ she said.
‘I want more people, and specifically girls from a similar background to me, to be seen and to be able to dream. I think it’s really good to have big dreams. I want more people to dream because I think when we do that, good things come from it.’