Ask Asmir Anything

December 6, 2023

This week, young people participating in the Behind Every Kick programme at Crayford Academy in Dartford had the chance to fire questions at legendary Bosnian World Cup goalkeeper Asmir Begović, thanks to Virtual Soccer Schools.

Asmir joined us on Zoom from the warmth of his car after a hard morning's training in wintery conditions at his new club, Queens Park Rangers. Loftus Road is the stopper's latest home in a storied career that has taken him from Canada to Qarabag - via Chelsea, Stoke, Bournemouth, Everton, AC Milan and the Champions League.

Asmir's famed agility was tested to the full as he answered impressively insightful questions from the Crayford students, themed around the topics they'd explored over the last eight weeks of the Behind Every Kick programme. 

Here's a sample of the conversation:

How have you built confidence during your career?

I don't think confidence is something you're born with. It's something you develop with good habits. Those can be simple things like eating, drinking and sleeping well before a big game. Or going to the gym. Anything that's going to make you feel good and enhance your performance. 

How do you mentally prepare for playing against a top striker?

I try not to treat the situation differently because of the opposition. I stick to my weekly routine and focus on my work. Hopefully, that leads to consistency in my performance. 

Would you choose to win the World Cup or to win the Ballon d'Or?

I've been lucky enough to win some individual awards. But nothing beats when a team of guys come together to achieve a collective goal.

How do you overcome the pressure of moving to a new team?

I think it's important to be yourself at all times. People take to you if you work hard and contribute positively to your environment.

How do you deal with mistakes?

That's a vital part of goalkeeping. You have to focus on the job and continue to perform your role for the team as best you can. I've learned to be resilient, and I've got a perspective on life that helps with this. I was twice a refugee trying to make a new life with my family. I think that's helped to keep me grounded.

What has motivated you to make it as a professional sportsman?

My motivation has changed over time. My dad was a goalkeeper, so I always wanted to emulate him. It was also my ambition to win trophies. I have a family of my own, and I wanted to provide for them. And now, at this point in my career, I set personal milestones to keep myself going. I want to play 500 professional games. I wouldn't have believed it if someone had told me I'd get close to that number when I was starting out, and now I'm nearly there.

How do you deal with hate on social media?

My perspective has changed over time. I'm sure my answer would have been different 10 years ago. I think you come to realise the people whose opinions matter. You have that circle of trust. For me, that's my family, my teammates and the coaches at the club. Anyone else's view - good or bad - doesn't actually matter. 

And with that, the full-time whistle blew on an enthralling 45-minute question-and-answer session. Asmir now has to navigate eight games for QPR in the remaining weeks of December. "Work never stops", he said cheerily during the call. 

Let's hope he enjoys them as much as the young people from Crayford Academy enjoyed speaking to him.