A CATch Up with Three PUMA Bayern Munich Female Football Players

February 23, 2024

A CATch Up with Three PUMA Bayern Munich Female Football Players

February 23, 2024

Women’s football is on the rise, shaping its own identity and defining its own place in the world of sports. PUMA proudly places the spotlight on our female athletes and their journeys – from playing in boys teams in their youth, to international success – inspire us all. CATch Up had the pleasure of chatting with Bayern Munich stars Ines Bellomou, Sam Kerr and Katharina Naschenweng on their path to footballing success, their individual experiences and their vision for the women’s game.


What was your first football club and when did you realise that you wanted to play professionally?
Ines: I think I never realised I wanted to play professionally because for me, it was always a dream. I love football and my whole family plays as well: my brothers, my grandpa, my father, everyone. That’s why for me it was enjoyable to practice football every day. Even if it’s not in a club, but just with my friends, I enjoy it. I think the moment I realised maybe I can play professionally, was when I went to INSEP (the National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance) in France. There are only five best players in your generation that get selected, and I was among this five. That’s when I thought I could maybe go professional. Something that started out as a dream, and then I was suddenly there.

I started playing at FC Martigues, where I was born, when I was five years old. When I started I just played with the boys and this went on for a long time, I think maybe 10/12 years. It was really nice, especially when I enjoyed it – I was always smiling. It is also really good for progression: it’s really good to play football when you are really young because you learn the truest type of football.

Do you have any superstitions or rituals before the games?
Ines: I am Muslim so I pray a lot. I think when I have God with me, then everything can be well. I don’t really have any rituals and I don’t care so much about what I eat before games – I like everything! Bananas, pasta, gnocchi, Bavarian spätzle – I love spätzle, I could eat it every day!

What’s your vision for women’s football?
Ines: We’ve seen some progress, but I hope it’s going to progress even faster because I don’t think it’s going as fast as we want. For example, the World Cup in France got a boost during the World Cup period, but the euphoria did not continue afterwards. I think that other countries like England, Spain or Germany are really moving much faster. We see it in the stadiums that are filling up, in the effort that is being put in. And there is enthusiasm behind all women’s football, it’s not just “here are women who play football”, it’s like a real club – there are supporters, there are fans. I’ve never seen a club, for example like Bayern, where we play six hours away and fans still come to watch us, stand behind us and have fun. There is really a passion, in many clubs, but I think it could be even more. We must continue to put in all the means there are and push for women. I believe there is really much more to come from all this.

What advice do you have for young girls who want to become professional footballers?
Ines: I have nephews and nieces and they play football. And when they play they always say “I’m doing it like you, Auntie!”. When I talk with them, I tell them they should do as they want and if they don’t like football, change and do what they want, basketball, tennis, whatever. But if you like football, enjoy it! Don’t think about having to perform or be the best, or always do what your coach says you have to or your mum. Don’t care about that: just play your football. Do your job, listen to the advice of the trainer and everything, but play your football and then you can be your own person. Believe in your dream.

What is your favourite word in German?
Ines: Jawohl! I say this all the time, I love it.

If you could design one piece of clothing – not football related – what would it be?
Ines: To be honest, I like colours. I don’t like to wear just black or white or neutral. I like big boots. I am in love with this type of clothing. I don’t have one type, but I think when it’s comfortable and something exclusive. I like when it’s different than others. I want to be different and not follow the mood of everyone else.

What was your first football club and when did you realise that you wanted to play professionally?
Sam: I actually started playing football quite late. I did a sport called curling before and I didn’t join a football team until I was 12. I was a late comer. The first team I joined was Falkirk FC in my local area, and from there we switched over and became Central Woman. I was then at a school of football in Scotland, and after Glasgow City, a big club and the top team in Scotland at that time, wanted me. At first I thought no way I’m going, I was so comfortable where I was. But my coach told me I was too good to be where I was and that I needed to go. So, I joined Glasgow City when I was 16 and played professionally in Scotland until I was 24: five years at Glasgow City and then I went to Rangers for my last couple of years. And then from summer last year I came to Bayern Munich.

How are you finding it at Bayern Munich?
Sam: It’s amazing! I mean the level is unbelievable. The players you train with, the competition is so high. It’s never an easy game which is amazing. And the fan base…just everything! Sometimes it’s so crazy you can’t believe it. Being in a different country, learning a different culture, a different language – at first it can feel so surreal but I can say I’ve done it and it’s an amazing experience. I am so happy to be here.

What’s your vision for women’s football?
Sam:  I think over the last ten years, women’s football has progressed amazingly. You can even tell: for example, look at England women’s team, the crowds – its excelling so much and there’s so much growth. I hope that we continue and put more media attention on it and give more equality to the women’s game in terms of things such as the transfer markets. You can tell now it’s becoming a bit like the men, obviously not with the amount of money that the men have, but it’s going in the right direction. The more punditry we have and commentators, for example, a big name like Ian Wright, from the men’s game is commentating on women’s football. And then you’ve got women commentators like Alex Scott commentating on the men’s. So it’s coming together and merging – but obviously it’s completely separate at the same time. I think it’s progressing so much and we should continue to support it and invest in it.

It doesn’t always have to be about football, but branding and sponsorships too. You see companies like PUMA who invest in and look after their athletes and promote women athletes. It’s not only just about football, its about idols in women’s football which I think is amazing. The more we continue to grow in this and the more we invest in it, the more we will get back in return.

What advice do you have for young girls who want to become professional footballers?
Sam: That it’s okay. It takes time. And time is a process, everyone’s moment comes at different times in their life. For example, some people might be really young and get success really quickly and other people have to wait a bit longer. You shouldn’t put a time limit or pressure on yourself to achieve something so fast. Your own journey will take its own time, and you should just believe in yourself and focus on yourself and not on what other people have already achieved or what they’re doing. When you can focus on yourself and what you’re doing, everything will come eventually and the rewards will come back. Don’t worry about what other people have and wish you could be them. As soon as you start to worry about other people and other things, you sometimes lose track of the focus on yourself. Forget about all that, work hard and things will happen. Your moments will come and never put too much pressure or time restraints on yourself.

Sometimes comparing yourself to others is the worst part. Someone my age might be ten times more successful or playing at a bigger club and getting loads of game time etc. And sometimes you doubt yourself, but you should always trust the process.

Do you have any superstitions or rituals before the games?
Sam: I have a customised pair of shin guards with my family on them! I make sure I always have them with me and I spend some time looking at them before I put them on. It’s four pictures of my family, so my brother, my nieces and nephews, my sister and so on. That’s something really special to me.

I also always drink a sugar free Red Bull before the game. I am a big caffeine person and I’ll have like four coffees and a Red Bull. Not that I condone it!

What’s your favourite word in German?
Sam: Schade!

What’s your favourite thing about Munich?
Sam: I like how it’s a big city, but it’s so calm and there’s so much to do. There’s loads of parks, nice lakes and you can drive to Austria or Switzerland – everything is close by! It’s such a nice area to be in, you’re still in a big city with so many things to do, but at the same time it doesn’t feel like it’s always a rush and that you’re always on the move.

What was your first football club and when did you realise that you wanted to play professionally?
I joined my first club, SV Rothenthurn, a small-town club in Austria, when I was about 6 years old. I played on a team with boys, which was normal for a lot of girls back then. Those were my first steps, and I definitely didn’t think it was going to lead to a professional career. It was just a fun thing I enjoyed doing with my friends. But, slowly, through school and training hubs and other opportunities, I played with the idea of going pro. Attending St. Pölten, a women’s academy, the first in Austria at the time, showed me that I really did want to go pro. I was then able to make the transition into the U national teams and that really solidified it for me.

What’s your vision for women’s football?
Kathi: I hope it continues to go the way it has over the last few years. I think things have gone uphill very quickly, although it took some time at the beginning. The last two years have shown such a big change in terms of presence and the number of spectators. The interest has increased, regardless of whether it’s related to media or sponsors. I think a lot has happened and it would be possible to carry this momentum on, even more so here in Germany.

What advice do you have for young girls who want to become professional footballers?
Kathi: I don’t think there is just one way to become a professional football player. There’s this path that you imagine, going to an academy and progressing from there, but there are other ways. It is important to have fun and to be patient. That is something I really had to learn over time. Not everyone is going to understand your dreams and that’s okay. What is most important, is that you believe in yourself, your strengths and your dreams. I think that’s what I would tell every girl.

Do you have any pre-game superstitions or rituals before your matches?
Kathi: I wouldn’t say I do anything special. I do have a necklace from my baptism, which my grandma got for me back then. I always hang it with my jersey. It’s the first thing I put on and I somehow have the feeling that she is there with me. It’s not a big deal if I forget the necklace, but it is still important to me to have it around.

You are well known for your speed on the field. What features, or what is particularly important to you, in a football boot to maintain your speed?
Kathi: First and foremost, the fit. I want to put the boot on and have the feeling it fits. I want to feel comfortable and not feel like I have to break the shoe in for three weeks for it to finally fit. That’s the most important thing for me and I have been very happy with PUMA when it comes to this.

You are part of the Austrian National Team. What are your goals for the team in the coming years?
Kathi: Well, we have already achieved a big goal of mine, which is to stay in the A league in the Nations League. That was really cool for us, because we had some strong opponents. We are really hoping for that again in the future. Having a good group and being able to qualify for upcoming major events is something we hope to achieve, especially as a small nation. I think we have been able to show over the past years, that we are a really good team and have faced a lot of strong opponents. I also believe that facing these strong opponents will help us to grow and make the most of every match.


More featured

Always stay
up to date


I agree that the PUMA group may use my personal data (including my e-mail address) for promotional and marketing purposes in accordance with the PUMA privacy policy and send information about products of the PUMA group to my e-mail address. I can withdraw my consent at any time in the future by sending an e-mail to catchup@puma.com or via the link in each e-mail.