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Bend it like Bajramaj: Shooting star of women's soccer

By Diana Magnay, CNN
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Female soccer star has eyes on the prize
  • Fatmire "Lira" Bajramaj is hoping to shine when Germany hosts the FIFA Women's World Cup
  • Bajramaj is an Olympic bronze medal winner and a World Cup champion
  • Born in Kosovo, her parents fled to Germany when she was 4

CNN's global series i-List takes you to a different country each month. In February, we visit Germany and look at changes shaping the country's economy, culture and social fabric.

Potsdam, Germany (CNN) -- She is the star of Germany's female soccer scene.

Fatmire "Lira" Bajramaj won the corner kick which clinched Germany's World Cup title in China in 2007, and the 22-year-old is hoping to shine again when Germany hosts the FIFA Women's World Cup in June and July this year.

"Honestly I've waited four years for this year," she says. "The girls and I heard the World Cup was coming to Germany and we talked about it constantly, it was like a fairytale for us."

Bajramaj already has an Olympic bronze medal under her belt, is an under-19 European Champion and a World Cup champion -- but she says she's not done yet.

You get addicted to all the titles and successes.
--Fatmire Bajramaj
  • FIFA
  • Germany
  • Soccer
  • World Cup Soccer
  • Sports Stars
  • Sports

"'You get addicted to all the titles and successes, so even though I'm just 22 I'm still missing out on the Olympic gold medal and I want to win each title two or three times."

Bajramaj was born in Kosovo and is of Muslim Albanian origin. Her parents fled to Germany when she was just 4 years old. She remembers it wasn't easy growing up as an immigrant in Germany.

"We did experience quite a lot of racism," she says. "I didn't know who these skinheads were with their bomber jackets and their boots. They'd say things to us like 'go back to where you came from, you don't belong here.'"

Now she says she's won respect for her soccer skills. And she feels Germany is her home.

"I grew up here, this is where my family are so it's a bit like a dream first that the World Cup is here and second that I can be a part of it."

She's an icon to many young female soccer enthusiasts and takes her responsibility as a role model seriously.

As for herself, "there's just one hero, and that's Zinedine Zidane," she says. "Really no one can touch him."