Jenny Jenkins (jenny_jenkins) wrote in ontd_football,
Jenny Jenkins

Bend It Like Bajramaj - Part 1 of 3

Bend It Like Bajramaj

There's more to this beautiful, talented, elegant, fast and fabulous footballer than you ever imagined.

From Refugee to World Champion
A Documentary Film about Germany's Fatmire 'Lira' Bajramaj in 3 parts (This is part one)
A film by Nick Golueke
Fully translated by Jenny Jenkins of LiveJournal.

CLICK HERE for part Two
CLICK HERE for part Three

Part One

"There's an angel that always looks out for me.

"This is my story. The story of a small girl with an enormous dream. I'm the first Muslim on the German National Team. At 23 I've won almost everything.

"I come from Kosovo. The war...the fear. I can still feel it. We had to flee. In the begining I was foreign in my new home. Today, I'm proud to be German. This is my story. It's made me what I am today. Me - Fatmire Bajramaj - but everyone calls me Lira."

Lira Bajramaj - from Refugee to World Champion.

London, Craven Cottage. Home of FC Fulham. Final practice before the Champions League final. Potsdam against Lyon. The title-holders against the French champions.

Lira: "And I'm here again. Cool city! Left - right - left - right! Kensington. Notting Hill. Julia Roberts! Do you know that movie?"

Final preparations before the final. 2 hours to the whistle.

Lira: "Hi! I'm here with my little cousin Vanessa. And with this mini-camera I'll show you the house I lived in for five years in Kosovo, where I grew up - and I'm using it to show it to my brothers and my father who are M'Gladbach at the moment. Vanessa, you've already seen it, and now I'll take a look.

"Because of the war, things are a bit burned and there isn't much but... You can see that lots of people lived up here. Here's the bathroom and here's the children's room - for five people. Yes, here's the room where I always slept. With my two brothers. And here was my bed. I shared my bed with my cousin of course, but it was big enough because we were so small. One slept above and one slept below. And my youngest brother slept with my parents in their room, because he was still so small. All the stuff - it looked like a children's room - we had lots of dolls, toy-cars, and there was a playing carpet here, where we'd play."

Memories are heavy in this part of north-west Kosovo. The war with Serbia can still be felt everywhere and is still visible. A small country, one hour's flight distant from Germany. Little prosperity, much youth. An average age of 27. No country in Europe is younger. Even this town is firmly in the children's grasp. And almost all are named "Bajramaj". Lira has 29 cousins. Luck need take little effort here. It was the same then as it is now.

Lira: "We were lots of children together. We were outside most of the time. We played outside in the hay and climbed trees. There were apple trees and whoever climbed up fastest got an apple. I was, of course, the first and won the apple!"

Ismet Bajramaj (Lira's father): "She was the dearest girl in the whole village. Everyone - older and younger people - wanted to take her in their arms and play with her."

Ganimet Bajramaj (Lira's mother): "'Fatmire' - 'Fat' means 'Luck' and 'Mire' means 'Beauty' - and her nickname 'Lira' means 'Gold' - she's my gold."

Lira: (laughing) "Your gold?"

Ganimet: "My golden child."

In the Istok (Istogu) Stadium, Kosovo's second division. Kosovo's football president greets the pride of the nation. Bajramaj - the only woman among a large number of men. Here, football is still a manly pursuit. She's managed to get everyone behind her. This male-dominated sphere has an adornment. Today's objective is much more important than the round leather. An envious look - someone's forgotten his camera. Rushing back to the dressing room to get a precious souvenir. The pride of a mother, and the pride of two nations.

Lira: "When I'm in Kosovo again I have to reintegrate myself and try to fit in because the way people live here is different from the way I live in Germany. Here people are totally laid-back. You get up when you want. You eat when you want. In Germany it's all so precisely timed - tick-tock-tick-tock! To be honest, it's fifty-fity."

In another place - a red carpet instead of a green pitch. High-heels instead of cleats. She is the face of the Women's World Cup 2011.

Lira: "Sometimes they forget what it is I'm actually doing - and that is playing football. Unfortunately that's forgotten sometimes and people are only concerned with: 'What does she look like? What's she done with her hair.' but that's me - that's Lira, and I have to be honest that [looking nice] is important to me too.

Presenter: "We say hello to one of Germany's great hopes - our number 23 - Fatmire 'Lira' Bajramaj."

The beginning - without gloss or glamour. At 17 in the Bundesliga with Duisburg. In friendlies, playing against older men. Technique and dynamism - already at 13.

Announcer: "Ba-ra-maj!"

Lots of cups, every title.

Announcer: "Athletic, aesthetic!"

At the Olympics in 2008, a bronze medal.

Announcer: "Once again Bajramaj - that's the bronze medal!"

Champion in Potsdam - twice in a row.

Feminine. Easy to identity with. Women's football has come of age...

Continued in Part 2


When picking tags for this entry, I notice there's no tag for the 2011 World Cup in Germany this Summer. Could someone fix that?

Tags: nt: germany, women's world cup

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