Marcet is celebrating a historic season for women’s football with a camp exclusively addressed for girls between the ages of 14 and 21.
This year more than 60.000 people attended the Atlético-Barça match at Wanda Metropolitano, beating the previous World record for the biggest turnout at a women’s game. This is only one of many signs that are turning the 2018-19 season into a historic one for all the players and fans of the ‘king of sports’. The media is showing more and more interest and sponsors have stopped turning a blind eye to the ‘other half’ of football. This does not mean that women’s football has sparked all the interest it deserves but it has without doubt shown itself to be a spectacle capable of mobilizing large audiences and big sums of money. This increase and progression seems to be as quick as it is unstoppable.
In this context of social and sporting evolution, Marcet is doing its bit with a summer course exclusively addressed to girls between the ages of 14 and 21. The High Performance program will start mid July and will only add to an already historic season which could mark a before and after for the history of women’s football on both a professional and formative level.
women’s football has shown itself to be capable of mobilizing large audiences and big sums of money
“At last there is growing interest in the world of women’s football”, explains María Concha, a previous student of the Marcet Academy. “I love that the number of women playing is increasing. Nowadays there is so much more support and interest. When I was little things were very different. In Mexico I was always the only girl on the team… Or the first because quite often others would join after me. This makes me feel very proud. I feel I have helped push women’s football a little in my country”.
Claudia Vázquez, mother of goalkeeper, explains that when her daughter reached Barcelona there still was no women’s league in Mexico, “Her coaches were beginning to worry as she couldn’t continue playing in a male team. In a few tournaments we had to get special permission in order for her to play; in others, there was no way around it, she couldn’t compete. Her football development was beginning to slow down”.
This is what propelled their decision to enrol at Marcet. “In Barcelona I was able to mature. I began to understand true football and see the seriousness with which I had to apply myself”, recalls the goalkeeper who, following her experience in Spain, reached the goal of the Gallos Blancos de Querétaro, a Mexican First Division team.
“Now I know that If you do not overcome yourself, you’ll never become anything”
Another player Maria Goncharova has a similar story. In the middle of her formative period she decided to leave her country to propel her sporting career. Nevertheless, it was not so easy for her to leave her comfort zone behind. “I decided to come to Barcelona because women’s football in Russia has only just begun to develop. The mindset is different there, while in Spain the attitude is a lot more serious. Everyone wants to help you and there is no discrimination. Before coming, I was held back by the language and the fear that things might be too difficult in Barcelona. It was a challenge, but I wanted to attain a higher level. Now I know that difficulties are the best things in sports. If you do not overcome yourself, you’ll never become anything”.
To improve, it is important to not skip your formation period. “You may have talent, but if you don’t know how to develop it you can reach a standstill”, says Yolanda Boix. Her daughter, Berta Pujadas, is one of the players with the biggest projection in the international panorama. She currently sports the colours of Espanyol and already has an international award under her belt, the U17 European Championship which she won with the National Team. The fruits Berta is reaping today proceed from the seeds planted during her formative years. “It was not easy for her to leave Marcet because she had some amazing years in every sense.
“we want our female students to understand that football can become more than a hobby for them”
“Es importante que las chicas puedan ver la real proyección que hoy tienen en este deporte, es decir las oportunidades profesionales a las que pueden aspirar”, explica Joan Torres, coordinador de fútbol femenino en Marcet. “Este verano queremos que tanto nuestras alumnas como sus familias entiendan que el balompié puede ser más que un simple hobby para las chicas. Eso sí, habrá que sudar la camiseta. El curso de julio será exigente, no será un campamento de verano para pasar el rato. En Marcet siempre nos tomamos el fútbol por lo que es: una oportunidad de desarrollo personal y profesional.”
It is important that girls are able to see what they can achieve in this sport, as in all the professional opportunities to which they can aspire”, explains Joan Torres, the coordinator of women’s football at Marcet. “This summer we want our female students as well as their families to understand that football can become more than a hobby for them. This of course means that they’ll have to put in a lot of work. The July camp will be demanding. It will not be a summer course for passing the time of day. At Marcet we always take football for what it is: an opportunity for professional and personal development”.
Girls like María Concha, María Goncharova and Berta Pujadas, or even Sofía Fernández and Mia Soma, have all helped transform the image of women’s football over the last few years. They have done so by choosing quality formation, creating opportunities through hard work and believing in their dreams in order to turn them into a reality. Thanks to these recent developments, today the ‘king of sports’ is increasingly becoming the ‘queen of sports’.