European soccer draws inspiration from movie to coach girls

LONDON (AP) — Nadine Kessler’s journey to the top of women’s soccer had its challenges.

“Was it a struggle in the beginning to play with boys? Yes, it was,” the former world player of the year told The Associated Press. “It was not an easy entry route. I didn’t have a lot of opportunities around to play with girls.

“I would probably have been curious to experience a different way.”

Now as head of women’s soccer at European governing body UEFA, the former Germany midfielder is helping to change that. UEFA has linked up with Disney to encourage more girls — particularly those between the ages of 5 to 8 — to play the sport.

The Playmakers scheme will initially
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