Soccer pride changes gender | Women’s Soccer World Cup 2023

The competition was very tough in Galicia, the community of 1,500 kilometers of coastline and a thousand beaches: 28 degrees, not a clueless cloud. Also, it’s flea market Sunday. But in a bar in Noia (A Coruña, 14,300 inhabitants), a small group has decided to postpone plans for a weekend in August to see the final of the women’s soccer world cup. Primitivo, 68, is alone, focused, does not look up from the screen. “I asked my friends if they were encouraged to watch the game, but they didn’t want to. They always sign up to watch men’s football. It is because they have not seen them because they have an impressive level. I am delighted. How they play! Much better than men. There is technique, they distribute the game, they haggle, they associate with each other… This is total football. And there is nothing to discuss, it is evidence ”.

The most repeated comment is: “I didn’t imagine they played so well!” It seems that the entire country is discovering it at once. For many, it is the first time they have seen them. The women’s team had to reach the World Cup final against the country that invented modern soccer—and win it—to start generating curiosity. There is a certain injustice, a certain collective contempt behind it, but the scene in the bar has the beauty of discoveries: little heads of all ages, men with their wives, groups of women… looking in the same direction, celebrating a triumph with the that they did not count, satisfied to have exchanged a day at the beach for Aitana Bonmatí, Olga Carmona, Salma Paralluelo…

Tania, in the front row, watches La Roja with a group of friends. “They are very good. And the proof is how far they have come. But there are those who do not want to see it. We have a player who has won the Ballon d’Or twice, Alexia Putellas, and very few know her. If she were a Spanish soccer player, everyone would know her name quisqui ”. Marcos, the only man in the group, agrees: “If it were the men’s final we wouldn’t even have a place to sit. Everything would be full of flags, people would wear the Spanish shirt down the street….”

But something has started to change. “This is the future,” a man in his 70s tells another with his back to the screen, in the same bar. Susa, Ana, Noelia, Cristina and Aroa enthusiastically follow the game. And the men? “Our husbands are more into cycling, but we love soccer and the girls are doing great. We are very proud!” says Ana. Aroa, 11, plays for a team from the town. “A year ago they had a hard time finding enough girls. Now there are two teams, ”explains her mother. A few tables further on, Xoel, 9 years old, confesses: “I would like to play like them!”

At Javier and Paz’s table, he admits that he is amazed at the level of the players. “I’ve started to see them now because of the World Cup,” he says. “I had the idea of ​​school, when we didn’t want the girls to play because they were terrible at it. But they have a lot of technique and it’s a cleaner football, with fewer fouls, the ball is always moving. It’s nice to see them.”

The soccer players of the Spanish team will occupy the front pages of the newspapers today, the minutes of television that have scratched them for so many years. They have not only won a World Cup. They have won against expectations in a country that not so long ago sang about why you abandon me on Sundays for football. Now they are soccer. And they are going to reign, at least for four years, as the only champions.

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