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Women's football is becoming more popular day by day. FIFA is trying to popularise it and to attract more girs to play it. I had the opportunity to speak with Irena Bjelica, 19 year old female football player from Montenegro. Irena plays as a defender for FK Ekonomist and Montenegrin national team. She talked about her career, plans and Montenegrin women's football.
Interview with Bjelica, Female Montenegrin Player 
11/18/2013
 

Women's football is becoming more popular day by day. FIFA is trying to popularize it and to attract more girls to play it. I had the opportunity to speak with Irena Bjelica, 19 year old female football player from Montenegro. Irena plays as a defender for FK Ekonomist and Montenegrin national team. She talked about her career, plans and Montenegrin women's football.

 

"I started to play football when I was 10 years old, at the school in which I participated in various competitions. In these competitions the president of the Ekonomist football club, Dusko Lucic, spotted me and asked me to join their club where I am currently playing."


Irena is  very young, with a bright future ahead of her, and most of the credit for her choice goes to her uncle.


"The biggest influence on my career is  my uncle who is dealing with football, and thanks to him I fell in love with this sport. Of course, I have maximum support from my family, which helps a lot.

Irena supports Real Madrid, and as a defender, her idol is Sergio Ramos.


"My idol is Real Madrid player Sergio Ramos, and from women’s football it is Olympique Lyonnais' Megan Anna Rapinoe.


Irena thinks that the main difference between male and female football is in the roughness.


"The main difference between male and female football is in the roughness of the game, because men are much rougher than girls, we are the ladies in football boots."

 

Football players are well paid, many of those figures are astronomical, but in women's football it is not usual.


"In our country the female football players can not say that they are well paid. While in Germany, Denmark, Spain and other countries a lot of money spent on transfers is not unknown."


In the Balkans, as well as in many other parts of the world, people say that football is a male sport, which is perhaps why female football is not as popular as it is the case with the male. Irena has faced similar comments.


"Although football is often called a man's sport, my opinion is that anyone can play, both man and woman. I heard the words of one manager who said that if you want to see good skill, you need to come and see female players. At the very beginning it was very difficult. I heard comments that it is for men, how I should stop  playing it. However, today it is different. Women's football in our country began to develop and we have support."


Women's football in Montenegro was not popular in the previous years. In 2011 it began with the formation of  women's teams, but today, the senior team has a solid base of players.


"Women's football is booming in our country, and I think it is on track to become even more popular. Our country is full of talent; we have quality, and I expect a lot of football in Montenegro. We just need more investment and this will become one of the most popular sports in Montenegro."


Women's national team of Montenegro is currently playing the World Cup qualifiers. So far they have played two matches in which they have failed to win.


"At the beginning we lost two matches, but we now have to play two matches - against Wales at home and Turkey away. We are eager to win, to show that we can do much more than what we showed. I believe in the team and expect victory."

 

In the end, Irena has revealed her plans and desires for the future


"I would like to pay for a famous club like Lyon, Arsenal, Wolfsburg, but I know that I have yet to do, to progress, to improve my play, so I'm committed to work until I get a chance to give something big."               

 
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