It’s been over a year since Swedish goalkeeper Zećira Mušović joined Chelsea FC Women. Today, she has clearly settled in at the Blues, and looks back on a season with an increased amount of playing time, and more silverware.Embed from Getty Images
Off the pitch, fans love her for giving unfiltered insights on social media to the life as professional footballer, as well as for posting hilarious memes.
In an exclusive interview, Chelsea’s number one reflects on her career so far, the big move to London and the upcoming UEFA Women’s Euros.
How it all started for Zećira Mušović
Before becoming part of the Blues’s squad, Zećira Mušović played eight years for the Swedish record champions FC Rosengård, making 187 appearances for the team. “That was my first professional club, so that wasn’t a dream”, she reflected on the beginnings of her journey in club football.Embed from Getty Images
“I barely knew anything about the professional league in Sweden and knew a couple of players, like Marta, who I later played with. But it was like, it just happened. And that was from me putting in all the hard work and me always trying to be the best and wanting to be the best. So that led me to the professional arena, I think.”
Zećira Mušović started playing football at nine years old. However, she didn’t choose to be a goalkeeper right away. “I really enjoyed playing as an outfield player and I today, I love it so much”, she explained, laughing. “Sometimes in training, I did that and I don’t know when, but one game I played as a goalkeeper and I did a good game with some saves.”
Before putting on the gloves, the Swede played in midfield. “But I was like all-around”, Mušović said. “I was that tall girl that took all the free kicks.”
Settling in at Chelsea
Her qualities from her time as an outfield player broke through in the previous season. In March, the goalkeeper assisted Sam Kerr’s winning goal against Aston Villa in front of a roaring Kingsmeadow crowd. Despite the massive impact of the three points from this game, Mušović reflects on the assist in a humble way:
“That was a good moment for me, but also nothing that I really wanted to do or really reflected upon afterwards. It was just something that happened. I’m really glad that I could help the team in that moment.”
It didn’t take long for the Swede to become an important, as well as valued part of the Chelsea family. Mušović is very outspoken on social media, where she has a large platform to make her voice heard. However, the move to London has influenced her public perception.
“It has changed a lot, especially going from having like a fan base almost only in Sweden, that’s gone internationally”, Mušović pointed out. “And I would say that I’m really surprised about how much people knew about me before going to Chelsea. And I was feeling really welcomed by the fans there and I was really surprised that they even knew who I was.”
The goalkeeper is visibly grateful for the support she is receiving at Chelsea: “I’m really thankful for that. I think it’s just so cool to be able to interact with all the fans and I find that really important for me.”Embed from Getty Images
Zećira Mušović on Social media and sarcasm
When speaking up, the goalkeeper seeks to share experiences and values that matter to her. “This is so important for me and to be able to [be outspoken]”, Mušović emphasized.
“That everyone has the same opportunities to do what they want and independently of their background. Everything that’s included in background. And that’s something really important for me to be fully you. But at the same time to respect that we’re not the same people.”
On a less serious note, the Swede frequently posts memes, often using her own images. “I like the combination between sometimes making jokes and being serious at the same time”, she admitted with a laugh.
“That’s how I am. I can and I want to be that person, who doesn’t take myself too serious, but still has some topics that I’m really passionate about.”
Competing at the Euros with Sweden
When discussing the upcoming tournament in England, Zećira Mušović couldn’t hide her excitement. In particular, she has high expectations about the number of fans who will attend the games. The goalkeeper views the Euros as yet another milestone, as women’s football continues to grow rapidly.
Sweden enters the tournament as one of the favourites to win it. The team have been performing well for a long time. However, they weren’t able to crown their outstanding efforts with a big title yet. Thinking about the Euros, the Chelsea goalkeeper views the tournament as the toughest one yet.
“The best teams are there and it’s so hard to make [it] because like at the World Cup, you have the whole world and you have some countries that obviously haven’t come that far”, said Mušović. “But in Europe, we are really successful both on club and national team level. And in every group, you have at least three teams that are really good.”Embed from Getty Images
Despite this, the Swedish team stands out with a rather calm attitude, without consciously picking up the role as favourites. “Our mindset is really humble, down to Earth, being present all the time and not taking anything for granted”, Mušović explained.
“We are ranked second in the world. But still we feel like, we have something more to give and we want to reach even more. And I think that we know that we have performed good football. But we also know that we have to work even harder to stay at that level and to continue to reach good results.”Embed from Getty Images
Ambitions and aims
More importantly than a title, the Swede values the overall team performance during the Euros. “For me, it’s so much about the group and the feeling that we create in the group rather than the result”, she highlighted.
“Of course, it’s nice to have a golden medal. But it’s like: did we create that feeling for [everyone] that we have an including group where everyone felt like they had a big part of it? That’s the most important thing for me.”
Zećira Mušović would consider the tournament successful if the Swedish squad could think back to it with the trophy in their hands saying: “We made it. We made it together.”
For the future, the goalkeeper has set high aims for herself. “I want to continue doing [what] I’m doing right now and stay present all the time”, she explained. “I just try to stay positive. And to see everything from the perspective that as long as we’re happy and love what we do, the outcomes and results will come. I’m in an environment where I have the best people around me and the best facilities.”Embed from Getty Images
Her first game for Chelsea marks a proud moment in her career. And there’s hunger for more: “I’m the person who always aims for more. I’m never really satisfied.”
With special thanks to Zećira Mušović for her time.
Interview and write-up by Alina Ruprecht.