Barcelona superstar and 2021 Ballon d’Or Feminin winner Alexia Putellas is ‘confident’ that the next generation of girls will have the same opportunities as boys to play football as it becomes the norm.
Putellas was obsessed with playing football growing up but, as a girl, found herself in the minority in a sport dominated by boys. By her own admission, she didn’t expect to be able pursue football as a career in the way that young girls now can 20 years later.
“20 years ago, it was only me and the rest were all boys [playing football in the street]. Now, there are many girls, sometimes more, sometimes less, than the boys,” she told The Players’ Tribune.
“I trust that, for the next generation, this is going to be totally normal and I’m confident that everyone will get the same opportunities, whether they are boys or girls.”
The 27-year-old, who earlier this month became Spain’s first Ballon d’Or recipient in 61 years, explained, “I love when we are treated like football players, regardless of gender.”
She and many of her Barcelona teammates will be part of a Spain squad that is fancied to do well at Euro 2022 in England in June and July, with how the competition is perceived another indicator of the progress of the women’s game.
“Before, they used to say ‘Euros’ and ‘Women’s Euros’. Now, it’s ‘Men’s Euros’ and ‘Women’s Euros’. Of course, the one that never needed an adjective was the men’s and it’s good now that we can change this message,” Putellas said.
“Football belongs to everyone and it doesn’t matter about gender or origin. In the end, this is the most beautiful and important message.”
You can watch Alexia Putellas' full interview with The Players’ Tribune below.