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When it comes to inspiration, mum’s the word for Maren Mjelde

Aston Villa v Chelsea – FA Women’s Super League – Banks’s Stadium
(Image credit: Zac Goodwin)

Chelsea defender Maren Mjelde hailed her mother as the source for her inspiration on International Women’s Day, ahead of her side’s Champions League second-leg tie with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.

Mjelde scored in the first leg from the penalty spot, which the Blues went on to win 2-0 at Kingsmeadow, despite being reduced to 10 players in the 12th minute.

“Of course it is an important day,” the Norway international said when asked about International Women’s Day.

“I wouldn’t say I mark it in a special way but I have female role models that I’ve been looking up to, especially my mum is my biggest inspiration so it’s a big day.

“I think every day should be a big day for us women so it’s probably a day when I’m going to go home and have a good call with my mum and get some good words before a big week.”

The 31-year-old added: “My mum has just always been there for me. I would say mostly my dad is giving me the advice about the football stuff, but my mum has always been there supporting me.

“She loves football as well, she loves what I’m doing and will always be supportive of what I’m doing, even though it was me playing football. She has the biggest heart and I want to be like her when I get older.

“She was ill some years ago, she came through that really well and just seeing how strong she is gives me a lot of inspiration.”

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes expressed her hope that one day a celebration of International Women’s Day will not be needed.

“I hope we’re talking about a day one day where we’re not having to have gendered or race conversations and that as human beings we can live in a fair and equal society and one that international women’s day is every day,” the Blues manager said.

When asked if she knew when equality would happen in football, Hayes said: “I don’t have the answer to that.

“I know that I work every day to make progress and all I can do is control what is in my work, and I’m doing everything I can to make progress for myself and other women around me – but I don’t know how long that will take.”