Maria Karlsson: Home sweet home

I love to travel, to be abroad, meet new people and new cultures, to taste new food and get new experiences, and since January all that has been a big part of my life. I’ve really enjoyed my first four months in England and all the new experiences I’ve had and all new people I’ve met.

Last week, Kylla Sjoman and I were in Barcelona and Rome. It was a lovely week with sun, ice cream, sea, tapas, FC Barcelona, new friends, pizza, Colosseum, and espresso. The foreign girls in Doncaster (Kylla, Aine, and I) have had a good time at Ramada Hotel, but Kylla and I didn’t miss the hotel food when we ate home cooked pasta in Italy. It was lovely! In Barcelona, we watched FC Barcelona’s last home game for the season. The game was average, but the celebrations after were the most amazing I’ve ever seen. More than 70,000 people congratulated the Spanish Champions, and I really look forward to tonight’s Champions League game. I feel prepared after being at both Old Trafford and Camp Nou the last months. I hope we’ll see a well played game between two tactical teams that want to attack.

Last weekend, I landed at the airport in Gothenburg and my older sister Anna and my little nephew William picked me up. It’s nice to be away, but I love the feeling of coming home and meeting my family and friends. At my first night at home we were sitting on the terrace eating BBQ and rhubarb pie and I enjoyed it.

On the break when I’m home, I train with my old team Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC. It was nice to be back in the changing room and meet the girls again. This week I’ve also met my former team Linköping FC, and when I met all the girls again I understood one of the biggest parts of being a football player. The connection you get and how you make friends for life is worth more than a perfect slide tackle or nice goal.

Weeks greeting: to my teammates in Doncaster Rovers Belles. Hope you all doing well during the break. See you soon…

Player of the week: no doubt for me that it’s my former teammate and close friend Lotta Schelin, who won UEFA Women’s Champions League with her team Lyon on Thursday. Absolutely brilliant!

Maria Karlsson is a defender for Doncaster Rovers Belles and the first Swedish international in the FA Women’s Super League.