#LOVEFUTBOL INTERVIEW - ALINE PELLEGRINO: "TO BE A WOMAN IN BRAZIL AND PLAY SOCCER IS A DAILY FIGHT." #JOGAPRAELAS 

 Original text in Portuguese by Larissa Brainer / Translated to English by Andrew Carten

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Aline Pellegrino was born two days before the classic World Cup semifinal match of 1982 in which Brazil lost to eventual champions Italy. She "followed" the World Cup from her mother's belly. In her words, she was already born loving the game. This love of the ball stayed with her throughout life and resulted in a 15-year career as a professional soccer player. She became captain of the Seleção Brasileira de Futebol Feminino, medaled in the Olympics, and today is the co-director of the Guerreiras Project, an international initiative which uses soccer as a tool to combat gender stereotypes. In this conversation with love.fútbol Aline touches on what it is like to be a female soccer player in Brazil, the difficulties, and her dream for the women's game. 

 

What motivated you to be a professional soccer player? 

I never dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player. I played for the pure pleasure of it. Things ended up leading me to a big career, but it all happened naturally. 

What's the reality of women's soccer today in Brazil, in terms of investment, incentives for athletes and amateurs, the market, attention etc? 

In my opinion we're living a false illusion about the game, which is stagnated. Despite some incentives and improvements, these are only given to some --- i.e. certain players, clubs, other interested parties --- and in opportune moments to A or B. Afterwards the game returns to its state of stagnation. 

What impacts do you see the practice of soccer as having in the lives of girls and women? 

Empowerment. To be a woman in Brazil and also play soccer is a daily fight.   

What are the main challenges confronted by girls and women in soccer, whether amateur or professional? 

Invisibility and lack of respect.

 

What steps do you see as necessary in order for women's soccer to advance?

We need to stop accepting situations where the thinking is: "it's better to have this than nothing."We also need to help those people who have the power to change the game realize that they don't have the right to slow down the access and opportunities for our girls."

What's your biggest dream in relation to women's soccer? 

To see our sport both well-rooted and developed. And this has nothing to do with winning titles. 

 

#JogaPraElas In an effort to shine a light on the women's game during this exciting moment of the ‪#‎wwc2015‬ as well as promote gender equality in the sport we all love love.fútbol / LoveFútbol Brasil encourage you all to share content (photo | video | quotes) with us! Tag us and use the hashtag ‪#‎JogaPraElas‬ on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram