‘World’s most beautiful footballer’ says she is hoping to come to ENGLAND: Croatian striker Ana Maria Markovic reveals dream move… while complaining about ‘sexist’ comments on her bikini photos
- 22-year-old forward Ana Maria Markovic plays for Grasshopper Club Zurich
- She is interested in moving from Switzerland to play in Women’s Super League
- The Croatian forward has been dubbed ‘the world’s most beautiful footballer’
- She said she’s happy to be called beautiful but rejects sexist comments from social media users, arguing male footballers don’t endure same discrimination
A player dubbed ‘the world’s most beautiful footballer’ has revealed she is hoping to make a move to play in England.
Croatian footballing star Ana Maria Markovic, 22, claimed in a recent interview that she has received interest from several English clubs who want to sign her to play in the Women’s Super League (WSL).
The young striker, who currently plays in the Swiss league for Grasshopper Club Zurich, said she had also been contacted by clubs in the German Bundesliga but preferred the idea of making a move across The Channel.
‘I would be most interested in going to England later,’ Markovic told Swiss newspaper 20 Minuten, though later added that staying in Switzerland for another year felt like the right career move, as she enjoys her surroundings.
‘I’m not ready to go abroad yet because Grasshoppers gives me a certain appreciation and I’m feeling very comfortable at the moment,’ she said.
In the same interview, Markovic claimed that female players are discriminated against on social media far more than their male counterparts, and are often the butt of sexist comments and jokes.
‘What makes the difference between men and women is, for example, when I show myself in a bikini on social media or when Erling Haaland [shows himself] in his swimming trunks.
‘Erling almost certainly doesn’t get the same sexist comments.
‘We women are good at standing up for each other, but what I wish for is that men start standing up for us too.
‘Men always talk about ”men of honour”, but it would be really honourable if they stood behind us in such situations.’
Markovic added that her goal is to advocate equality and ‘be a role model for young footballers’ – previously hitting out at sleazy social media comments and being labelled ‘sexy’by the media.
Croatian footballing star Ana Maria Markovic, 22, claimed in a recent interview that she has received interest from several English clubs to make a move to the Women’s Super League (WSL)
The player dubbed ‘the world’s most beautiful footballer’ revealed she is hoping to make a move to play in England in the near future
Markovic also claimed that female players are much more discriminated against on social media than men, and are often the butt of sexist comments and jokes
The Croatian forward said she was contacted by a number of famous football players, including Brazil and PSG ace Neymar, after her name hit headlines over the summer when she first spoke out against sexism in football
The young striker, who currently plays in the Swiss league for Grasshopper Club Zurich, said she had also been contacted by clubs in the German Bundesliga, but appeared to prefer the idea of making a move across The Channel
Croatian national player Markovic, 22, has championed equality in the sport and has spoken out against sexist comments directed at female footballers
The Croatian forward said she was contacted by a number of famous football players, including Brazil and PSG ace Neymar, after her name hit headlines over the summer when she first spoke out against sexism in football.
She said: ‘Of course I’m in contact with other footballers, we do the same job. Whether it’s the male Grasshoppers players or international footballers, the exchange is always there – but only on a footballing basis.
‘Neymar is an outstanding footballer. I hope that I can persuade him to support women’s football and that he can also do his part off the field.
‘Because the male footballers can achieve a lot with their reach on social media.’
The Grasshoppers and Croatia national team striker, who boasts over one million followers on Instagram, rejects being called the ‘sexiest’ female player on the planet.
In an earlier interview with 20 Minuten, she said: ‘I like articles that call me the most beautiful footballer – or one of the most beautiful – because it makes me happy to hear that I’m beautiful.
‘But then there are newspaper articles describing me as the ‘sexiest’ player in football. That doesn’t sit well with me. Also, because of my family.’
Markovic claimed she hates it when she is labelled ‘sexy’ by the media and social media users because it leads to dozens of unwanted messages from men trying to date her.
In an earlier interview with 20 Minuten, she said: ‘I think you have to be careful what you write about people. Especially if you have ones that do not know. But overall it wasn’t that bad.’
She told the media outlet that, when she is labelled ‘sexy’ by the media, ‘a lot of people wrote to me pretending to be managers, and I know exactly what they want from me’.
22-year-old forward Ana Maria Markovic plays club football in Switzerland’s Women’s Super League and represents her home nation of Croatia
The Split-born footballer regularly posts photographs of herself in swimwear on Instagram – and has more than a million social media followers… but says being called ‘sexy’ sparks sleazy messages
She told 20 Minuten that while she’s happy to be called ‘beautiful’, when the media label her ‘sexy’ she gets messages from people pretending to be football managers and agents trying to get close to her
She explained: ‘Newspaper articles appeared in which I was described as the sexiest footballer. After that, a lot of people wrote to me pretending to be managers, and I know exactly what they want from me’
Markovic continued: ‘They’ve never seen me play football and only look at the outside. I find that a great pity. I think such people should find out more beforehand and see what I can do in terms of football.’
The footballer was born in Split, Croatia but moved to Switzerland when she was 12, and started playing football seriously at the age of 14.
She told Croatia Week that Cristiano Ronaldo inspired her as a teenager.
‘I started playing because of the motivation I felt when I saw that women’s football was growing more and more. Also because of the motivation generated by watching some men’s football matches, especially when Cristiano Ronaldo was playing, obviously.’
‘My favorite player is undoubtedly Cristiano Ronaldo, and he always will be. What he did and continues to do throughout his football career is impressive and incomparable. I consider him the best in the entire history of football.’
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