Never underestimate a female. This was a lesson learned by the many naysayers who lambasted a Spanish girls' soccer team that played against boys and ended up claiming a major victory: the entire league.
The Independent reports the talented team, AEM Lleida, officially won the trophy after battling boys for two seasons. Prior to this, the team had dominated against the girls' leagues in the region.
“I always try to show that soccer isn’t just for boys,” star player Andrea Gómez, 13, said to the New York Times. She made 38 goals over the season. “If you’re technically better, you can compensate for being perhaps physically weaker.”
Unfortunately, not everyone shared Gómez's empowering sentiments. In fact, many parents opposed the co-ed competitions.
“It’s really been more a problem for parents rather than their boys,” José María Salmerón, the club's general director, said to the Times. He was referring to remarks made at the team throughout matches. “It’s strange, but most of the macho comments and insults have come from the mothers of some of the boys we play.”
The negative dialogue didn't just stem from insecure moms, however: One referee called the girls "princesses" during the length of a match.
However, the team proved how inconsequential the comments were by winning 21 times. Altogether, there were 22 games played.
Now, the girls are trying to raise money via Go Fund Me because their current resources are inadequate.
The page reads:
"With the funds collected we will be able to increase the number of equipment and above all continue to strengthen and create a structure according to the necessary according to the equipment, Players and above all so that all these girls can continue to grow and can even get to play in the first division in the club that is watching them grow every day.
We ask you, if you can, help us continue to break down barriers in women's football."
The girls have big dreams, and now they just require the means to get there.
Gómez, in fact, is looking to make a career out of the sport.
“I want to play where women’s soccer is really valued,” she said. “The paradise is in the United States — not here, unfortunately.”
These young women are certainly on the right track. We wish them success in conquering not only the field, but the misogynists who may litter the sidelines.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Flickr user Julian Carvajal