Swedish futsal player, Nanna Jansson on the dynamics of the sport

Most people think of football or ice hockey when Sweden comes to mind. However, a growing community of athletes are now playing one of the fastest forms of ball sport - Futsal.

Sarah Fatima caught up with Swedish futsal player, Nanna Jansson to talk about her career, dealing with injuries and women’s futsal in Sweden.

Nanna Jansson playing a futsal match
Swedish futsal palyer, Nanna Jansson, amidst a futsal match. Source: Supplied

Sarah Fatima: What do you get up to outside of futsal?

I live with my boyfriend Morten in Gothenburg, where I play futsal for IFK Gothenburg. I love working with kids so when I’m not playing the sport, I’m studying to become a middle school teacher.

How did you get involved in the sport?

I started my career as a football player and have always played indoor football, especially during the winter because of the cold weather here in Sweden. I loved playing indoor football because the small area forces you to take fast decisions and you really need to use your technical skills.

When I completed my professional football career, I heard that futsal was the new fastest-growing sport in Sweden and that it was quite similar to indoor football. So I tried it out and fell in love with the sport straight away!

What levels do you play at?

I play at the highest level, here in Sweden and my team won the Swedish championship last season. I have also played in Serie A which, of course, is the highest level in Italy.

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You play futsal at the national level how difficult was it to make it through the final cut? 

I have been a part of the National team since it started 2.5 years ago, so it’s a relatively new team.

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We have played well against some competitive teams in Europe and we have some skilled players in our own team, so it wasn’t easy to make it here, but I’m the type of player that always trains hard and finds ways to improve, and I think that’s why I was able to make it to the team.

Who has been your biggest support, pushing you to pursue your career?

My mom has always been my biggest support since I was about 5 years old. She has spent hours watching me play and drove me to training and games.

Last year when I had my ACL injury it was my boyfriend who was there every day, pushing me and helping me with my rehab.

Interestingly, he is also a futsal player for the Danish national team, and he has faced a recent injury himself. Since we’re in similar situation, I guess we have been pushing each other throughout our injuries last season.  

Nanna Jansson playing a match in the National Swedish futsal team uniform
Swedish Futsal player, Nanna Jansson in action for Sweden’s National futsal team uniform. Source: Supplied

Training for the national team must require a lot of your time as well as effort. How do you balance all the aspects of your profession along with your personal life? 

Futsal is a huge part of my life and I spent a lot of time on it, so I’m very lucky that my boyfriend and I share the same interest and that he is as crazy about futsal as I am. It makes everyday life so much easier.

I am pleased to say that I have found a good balance with training and studying!

It hurts to hear about the situation in other countries where girls aren’t even allowed to play though!

When you compare Futsal with indoor soccer, they are quite similar, so have you developed an interest in other similar sports over the years?

Not really, it’s all about futsal now!

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Who are some players you look up to?

Spanish futsal player, Adolfo is someone who really inspires me as a player, but Arianna Pomposelli is someone that I look up to both on and off the pitch. She has a project called “be brave” where she encourages young girls to play football. This is in Italy, where there are still many people who think that girls shouldn’t be playing football or futsal.

As a woman, and as an athlete are there any hurdles you’ve faced?

The only hurdle I’ve had is my long list of injuries.

I haven’t had many hurdles being a woman playing football/futsal. I have always played football with boys and over the past few years I have been training with a men’s team in the highest league here in Sweden and they have always accepted me as a female baller.

It hurts to hear about the situation in other countries where girls aren’t even allowed to play though!

What would you recommend to someone pursuing the sport?

Spend as much time as you can playing futsal, watch as much futsal as you can and just enjoy the beautiful game!

You can follow Nanna Jansson on Instagram & Twitter.
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Sarah Fatima assisted in the curation of this article. You can follow her here on LinkedIn.

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