The original article in Norwrgian can be found here : https://www.nrk.no/sport/endeleg-smiler-reiten-igjen_-_-eg-har-vore-sur-eit-heilt-ar-no-1.15653034
(*Note, the Norwegian word sur has a lot of meanings in English: angry, cranky, edgy, irritable, moody, on edge, sulky, bad-tempered. You can understand her emotions when reading the interview.)
Chelsea-player Guro Reiten (27) was not herself on the pitch last season. She feels that part of the reason was that she was not in a good place (mentally, own).
Thursday evening Reiten and Norway faces Armenia in the first qualifying match for the World cup. She was not part of the first national team assembly this summer when Norway lost 0-1 against Sweden, and the whole of 0-7 against Netherlands.
"It was a little more difficult than I had imagined, because I would wish I was there and could contribute with what I can offer. But for my own good, I needed a vacation after a difficult year" Reiten tells NRK (Norwegian national news agency).
- What has been the most difficult?
"Actually, the outside of the pitch things. Last year I did two-three hours of training, then I went home and sat in the apartment, and that was how every day was. If you do it over a year, yes then it becomes heavy" she answers.
Chelsea have won the league in both season Reiten has been at Chelsea. She started 15 matches and got five goals and eight assists in the opening season. Last season was worse. She only got nine starts, one goal and three assists.
She admits that the Corona pandemic hit her hard. It was over a year before she got to see her friends and family. The loneliness eventually influenced her on-pitch performance.
"If you are not in a good place then I think you cannot perform at your best. I have to consider it an experience and learn from it. I have had a good vacation, and gathered a lot of energy and motivation. It has been going really good so far" Reiten tells.
Her teammates have also been noticing a stark contrast after the vacation.
"They said ‘It was a new Guro that returned, and where has she been all last season" Reiten tells high-spirited.
Because now she is beaming.
"I have been angry for a whole year now, so now I can’t be anything else but happy now" she says and laughs.
National team coach Martin Sjögren is happy that Reiten is back.
"I know that she has been down mentally. This corona pandemic has affected a lot of players all over Norway, but primarily it has affected those that play abroad" Sjögren says.
He hasn’t seen Reiten since she scored against Germany in April, but hopes that the good mood can help Norway.
"Now Gruo is back on the pitch, she is starting matches for Chelsea and she comes back with the right condition to deliver on the pitch. It is good to have her back" Sjögren states.