Arsenal legend Alex Scott insists she has earned her place as a TV football pundit.
The ex-England star said she had not been “pushed” as part of a BBC agenda to promote women.
While she was still playing professionally for Arsenal she said she was already planning for life after football by doing a media degree.
She did work experience with Sky Sports after training.
The Strictly star, who won 140 caps for the Lionesses, said people who knocked her made her laugh because they ‘want to get there’ but are ‘making excuses’ for failing.
Alex, 35, said: “I retired from football and then I end up talking about football on TV and everyone says I’m only there because I’m ticking a box because I’m female.
“But that’s why I did my degree so no-one can say that I’m only there because I’m ticking a box or because I know someone there.
“I actually worked for it. “I did so much work experience and placements that no-one knew about.
“I’ve earned my place to be on TV. Even now I get: ‘The BBC has an agenda, they’re pushing me.’
“Those people make me laugh because they’re the people that want to get there but they’re making excuses.’’
The former right back won five Premier League titles and the Uefa Champions League.