Panico: 'I didn't choose this sport, football chose me'

Patrizia Panico, the 41-year-old Italy player and UEFA Women's Champions League final ambassador, opens up on her debut as a footballer and on the virtues of the sport.

Italian star Patrizia Panico reveals what first attracted her to football, her views on parenthood and sport and the values that she associates with football, as a means of personal and social development.

In a video interview ahead of Thursday's UEFA Women's Champions League final, veteran Italy and Fiorentina forward Patrizia Panico discusses how she got into the game, parenthood and sport, and football as a means of personal and social development.

What attracted you to football?

The truth is, I don't think I chose this sport. Before playing football, I used to swim. My aim was always to get a chance at a club near my house with a football team because that was my dream. I think football chose me.

Which values do you associate with football?

Football can teach you a lot because it's a team sport. It makes you share the good moments, but also the responsibility. Of course, it's very important to take it seriously, and for the group to have the ability to help each other. That is among football's most important aspects, any team sport in fact. When you're in difficulty, there's always a team-mate who can give you a hand and vice-versa if one of your team-mates is in a pickle.

Click on the video player above to hear more from Patrizia Panico.