Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your football life?
My name is Eunice Beckmann. I'm 27 years old and I'm an Aquarius. I was born and raised in Germany. I'm Ghanaian by blood and I've been playing football since I was 6 years old.
I started playing in kindergarten and there was this coach who saw some potential in me. He asked my parents if I would like to join his boys’ team. My parents they were like, “No, she's a girl. She shouldn't be playing football at all.” My parents are Africans and they thought football is more for guys and not for girls. But he convinced them and I was playing on that boys’ team for 10 years.
And then when I was 16, I played in Duisburg. Two years later I signed for Bayer Leverkusen. That was actually my first pro contract. Ever since I've been playing in different countries. I played in Sweden, United States, Switzerland, Spain, and now I'm back in Germany. I just signed my contract for FC Cologne.
I've played for the German youth national team. We won the European Championships in 2011 with the under-19 team. I won the German Championship twice and I also won the German Cup once with Duisburg.
I was top scorer in Switzerland in 2018. Last season I played in Spain. It was a very, very interesting year. I've been playing in different countries and every year is always different. We actually struggled a lot, but we survived - we still finished in 13th position out of 16, which was probably not as good as we were expected to be. But the way we were struggling this season, that was actually kind of good because we didn't go down to the second division.
Who is in the photos and where the photos taken?
Most of the pictures were taken on the football field and they are all my teammates. The younger girls are actually playing in the club as well; it is the youth team of Madrid CFF. They are really big supporters. They come to our games because they look up to us, which is really great. The club isn't the biggest club in Spain but it's a family club. It's an independent club. Madrid CFF has nothing to do with Real Madrid. This is an independent Women's club and everyone is supporting each other, especially the young girls. They are trying to become professional players in the future. It is something special to see the girls looking up to us.
Most of the pictures were taken during the last game of the season. We actually had to win that last game - if we had lost we would have gone down to the Second Division. As you can see there are a lot of smiles and everyone is happy that we were still in the First Division. It was a long, long season, and we're all glad that at the end of the season we made it.
There are teams like Barcelona and Atlético Madrid who are always fighting for the title, but we were fighting to stay in the division. And I think we were probably as happy as Atlético Madrid who won the title in Spain, because no one actually expected us to stay in the in the First Division. We were fighting a lot. We were working hard. We got what we deserved, so that's really good.
What are the biggest changes happening at the moment in women's football?
There are a lot of huge changes going on. There are a lot of companies very interested in women's football. Nike is doing it a lot more now for women's football, adidas as well. And you see Visa and all these companies doing more and more for women’s football.
The World Cup is on TV. I see so many people actually talking about it, watching it, and actually going to the games. There's more and more money involved, social media is going crazy as well. I see all the followers of the players who are participating at the World Cup – the numbers are going all the way up and it is really good for them.
I can see a huge change; it is getting more and more competitive. What really surprised me was that two African teams made it to the Round of 16, which is a huge success for African teams, because there is no professional league in Africa right now.
What has been your football journey up until now?
Obviously I wasn’t that typical girl who was going out with people all the time, having drinks and going to parties. I wouldn't even call it a sacrifice because I was never really interested in that.
Best moments was definitely winning Cups with the girls, finding new friends, exploring different countries, and getting to know the culture. Winning the German Championship with Bayern Munich was definitely really great, because it was the first time in a long time that Bayern won the German championship.
What does football mean to you. Do you have a message for the next generation of young female footballers?
Football has been my life ever since I was playing when I was little. When I wake up in the morning, I know I have to work on myself, be disciplined, because all I think about is football. Football is my first priority in. Football has given me so many opportunities. Besides playing football, being an ambassador for UEFA WePlayStrong is a big honour, and I have been doing some TV in the past.
It has given me a lot of opportunities because the fact is, we don't get paid as much as the men's players do. But hopefully in the future that will change.
My message for the next generation is to work on yourself everyday. And work 10 times harder than your enemies, because at the end of the day it will pay off. It’s really worth working hard for your dreams and you can make your dreams come true, if you keep working every day. That's the secret.