Line Johansen Shouting

Line Johansen: Denmark's goalie on lockdown in Spain

COVID-19 Player story

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Line Johansen Shouting
Denmark national team goalkeeper Line Johansen is keeping a diary during the coronavirus pandemic, helping her stay positive during six long weeks of lockdown in Spain.

The 30-year-old, who joined EdF Logroño last year, is confined to an apartment in northern Spain. Deprived of her family, friends and football, she has been writing down each day what she is thankful for.

Here she tells Danish player union Spillerforeningen about her experiences.

What is it like in one of the countries most affected by the pandemic?

I will never forget one of the first nights during the confinement. It was raining and all you could hear was police cars driving around the streets telling people over the speakers to stay inside. It felt like there was a war going on.

It feels like a bad movie. A surreal movie. I walk around inside my apartment all day and feel like I am in a bubble. It is hard to understand that so many terrible things are happening outside.

Are you on your own?

I have two housemates: a player from Ghana and a physiotherapist from Spain. If I had been living alone, I would have struggled right now. Just the thought of not having any social contact at all.

Sometimes, it can be a little difficult and hard to live a football life. I have moved to a new country with a new language completely on my own.

It is not like me and my housemates do a whole lot of things together every day, but we work out once a day and it adds a little extra energy that you meet up and you talk, train and laugh together. I am really grateful for that.

How have you stayed fit?

I have been doing strength circuits in the apartment, intervals on the stairs and runs in the parking basement.

Training has another function for me too. That has been the case for the past couple of years. It is like a valve to me. If I am frustrated or sad, I can train it out and feel much better afterwards.

Line Johansen Studying
Line Johansen, writing in her appartment in Spain.

Tell us about your diary

It is about being better at living in the present. I do not mean that it is all happy days and that you should always be positive because life is not like that. But this diary is something I have tried since the spring because I can have a tendency to focus on the negatives.

I actually think this diary means more than I am aware of.

The things that I am grateful for now are different than before corona. Some days, it’s tasty strawberries or sun on the balcony. Other days, it is the bigger and more existential things. Every single day, I write down I am grateful for the good health of my friends and family.

Have you been able to go outside?

In the beginning, I thought it was great that we could go to the supermarket because then at least I would be able to get some fresh air every day. But, you know what, I have only been to the supermarket six or seven times. I do not feel like going outside.

Here, inside my apartment, is the place where I feel most safe. It is fine to be in here in my bubble.

When might football return in Spain?

Our cup semi-final against Athletic Bilbao was postponed because of the coronavirus. We hope that we can still play that important match, but there is no instructions yet for us to return to training.

To be honest, I am surprised about my mental strength. I know it sounds a little corny but I actually am. There are so many reasons to sit down and give up but that is not how I have approached it.

Some days are tough. But it is about finding motivation in what you do.


Line Johansen
Line Johansen, playing for Denmark against the Netherlands.