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Sport / Sports Football » Fudbal | 107 106 | Fudbal » Football We’re all very familiar with the immortal tale of Leonidas and his 300 Spartans, who fought against aPersianarmy30times theirnumber.Well, inthe case of our women footballers, that ratio was 500:1. Yes, you read that right. Serbian women’s football has less than2,000 registeredplayers, while Germany has more than a million. However, numbers don’t don football boots and they don’t run on the pitch; numbers don’t get hit, numbers don’t rejoice and don’t lament... All of that requires a heart, and not an ordinary one, but rather the kind of heart carried by Serbia’s women footballers. The victory over eight-time European and twotime world champions Germany (3:2) is certainly the biggest in the history of Serbian women’s football. Our ladies showed that they also know how to kick a ball like Tadić, Vlahović, Mitrović or Milinković-Savić, in whose footsteps these footballing Amazons want to follow. They also want to qualify for the World Cup, which is set to be played in Australia and New Zealand in 2023. Milica, Jovana, Anđela, Violeta or Jelena probably aren’t girls you’d recognise on the street and ask for an autograph. These girls say that they’re accustomed to being told that they play a man’s sport. They also say that their objective isn’t to give interviews and appear on front pages, but rather to use their good play and results to entice more young girls to play. “If I can motivate at least one little girl to take the same path; to realise that if I was able, despite starting out from a very small place, she could too, then everything will have been worthwhile,” says national team player Nevena Damjanović. Our other women footballers are of the same opinion. In their first game in Germany, they held a 1:0 lead at halftime, but the match ended with the host team celebrating a convincing 5:1 win. Already then, one could see in the Serbian girls that desire, L e t Port uga l pr e par e Our women footballers are also chasingworld cup glory Serbia’s victory over eight-time European and two-time world champions Germany (3:2) is certainly the biggest in the history of Serbian women’s football mixed with stubbornness, to take revenge against the best of the best in women’s football. “I still can’t find the right words to describe to you just how much that victory means to us all. It’s even more important to believe that we’ve awakened an awareness of women’s football in Serbia. I’d like for there to be more little girls chasing a football and dreaming of one day becoming part of the Serbia national team. You can’t do any more than that,” adds Jovana Damnjanović, who scored two goals against “her” Germans, as she plays her club football for Bayern Munich. Interestingly, the women’s team – just like the men’s team last year – will take its final step towards World Cup qualification against Portugal. If our girls win or draw in September, we’ll find ourselves in the World Cup qualification play-offs. “Our goal is to beat Portugal and secure our spot in the World Cup play-offs as group runners-up. We’ve seen that we can do it and that we’re actually a team that no one should underestimate. We’ve written ourselves into the history books, but I believe that we can also write new pages. And that means entering the World Cup play-offs for the first time ever and then going to the World Cup for the first time. We can do that. It’s a pity all of that wasn’t covered by the media in Serbia. It appears as though we were more popular abroad than at home. I hope that will be fixed. I hope that, this autumn, everyone in Serbia will be talking about how the women’s national football team has made it to the World Cup,” says a candid Alegra Poljak, scorer of the first goal in the victory over Germany. And so, if you happen to find yourself in Belgrade on 2nd September, be sure to help the girls qualify for the World Cup. As far as all of us are concerned, they’re already there… Selektor fudbalera Dragan Stojković Piksi je iz prvog reda pratio meč kvalifikacija Men’s head coach Dragan ‘Piksi’ Stojković watched the qualification match from the front row