November 28, 2021

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Only The Finest Women

Barcelona’s La Masia finally opens its doors to women footballers-Sports News , Firstpost

Since its opening in 1979 as an outdated household up coming to Camp Nou, La Masia has never ever experienced feminine inhabitants.&#13
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Barcelona women’s B group goalkeeper Laura Coronado poses in entrance of the La Masia Home. AFP Image

When Claudia Riumallo Pineda wakes up, it does not just take her extensive to know wherever she is.

From her bed room window she can see the Johan Cruyff Stadium inside Barcelona’s Ciutat Esportiva coaching floor, in which she desires of one particular working day taking part in for the women’s initial crew.

She is on the proper monitor. The 18-12 months-previous is one of 9 trailblazers who this year turned the first woman players to enrol at La Masia, Barca’s famed soccer academy and proving floor for the likes of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez.

Considering that its opening in 1979 as an previous house future to Camp Nou, La Masia has never ever experienced female residents.

But the women’s team has been knocking on the door for a extensive time, with Barcelona Femeni profitable the Champions League, Liga Femenina and Copa de la Reina final period.

“This year they have given us La Masia, which is a gift,” says Claudia, who for several years had to journey an hour by car from her town of Girona just to be capable to practice with girls.

Just after enjoying for area rivals Espanyol, she now represents Barca B and in the afternoons studies chemistry at university.

Shaken by economical disaster and the unpredicted departure of Messi, most of the great news about the club these times comes from the women’s staff.

As nicely as previous season’s treble, Barca’s captain Alexia Putellas was selected as UEFA’s very best participant of the yr and is now also nominated, along with 4 teammates, for the Women’s Ballon d’Or.

“It is a large duty since we are the pioneers but it’s also good to know that you are one particular of the first women of all ages to go to La Masia,” claims Laura Coronado, an 18-yr-aged goalkeeper.

Coronado’s photograph, like that of the 105 some others at La Masia unfold throughout the club’s 5 specialist sports activities, now hangs in the reception of the far more modern-day complicated that took above from the primary in 2011.

Gavi, the most recent gem of the men’s workforce, arrived when he was eleven decades outdated and proceeds to dwell there. The 19-calendar year-old Ansu Fati is also a previous resident.

“The superior matter we have at this club is the mirror is incredibly very clear,” clarifies Markel Zubizarreta, sporting director of Barcelona Femeni. “We just have to appear at the men’s side to see what we have to goal for.”

From energy to energy

In the corridor heading in the direction of the game titles place is yet another reminder: a mural on the wall in tribute to the activity involving Levante and Barca on November 25, 2012.

It was another earn that contributed to Barca successful the title that calendar year but also a milestone for La Masía, after Barcelona experienced 11 homegrown players on the pitch, not to point out the coach, the late Tito Vilanova.

At that time it was challenging to visualize how the feminine workforce could find respiration place at a club where the men’s team was so dominant — but the wonen’s game carries on to go from toughness to energy.

In 2020, there ended up 77,400 accredited female players in Spain, 7.2 % of all the federated footballers, according to stats from the Ministry of Sports.

It is however a modest determine, but a crystal clear enhancement from 2011, when there have been only 36,200, 4.3 % of the full.

“There are several points that are even now lacking, these as professionalisation in the League,” suggests Coronado.

“We know the salaries are not heading to be equal, but we would like to be equipped to live more comfortably from football, and which is what we are fighting for.”

Spain’s Ministry for Activity authorized the professionalisation of La Liga Femenina in June but negotiations to see it through are proving sophisticated.

For all

Like several of her generation, Barca defender Jana Fernandez started off out actively playing with boys.

At six yrs previous, she persuaded her moms and dads to permit her join her area crew and, now 19, she has previously received the treble. But the highway has not been straightforward.

“I check out to remind the women who are at La Masia now to acquire advantage as a lot as doable due to the fact I would have loved to be listed here,” points out Fernandez, who brings together expert football with a career in promotion.

Women’s activity has taken a significant leap in the latest yrs, but there is even now perform to do.

“We want to battle to get extra and extra for those people actively playing now,” states Fernandez. “And for those that are nonetheless to arrive.”