A Mollet girl's dream
BarcelonaCatalan women's football has achieved in a very short time an impact and a level that has placed it at the top of the world, to the point that today the best player in the world is a Catalan called Alexia Putellas. The footballer from Mollet was crowned this Monday with the Ballon d'Or in a ceremony in Paris in which up to five Barça players were nominated, evident proof of the absolute dominion Barça exerted during last season. Putellas's achievement is unprecedented even in men's football, were no Catalan has ever won the award. Xavi came third just ten years ago behind Leo Messi and Andrés Iniesta.
In recent years, women's football has experienced a worldwide explosion, with charismatic figures such as the American Megan Rapinoe, and an exponential increase in media interest and turnover. Million-dollar audiences and league matches with tens of thousands of spectators are no longer an exception. Girls who play football today have role models to look up to who break all the limits imposed by gender stereotypes. Alexia Putellas's story is an example of sacrifice and betterment, from the time she was the only girl who played in the Town Hall Square until she had to leave Barça to play in other clubs like Espanyol and Levante and then return home. It has not been easy. She has had to fight for every professional step, just as she does on the pitch
It would be desirable for the positive energy of women's sport to break through the often vitiated structures of men's professional sport, which have been tainted by years of arbitrary management, scandals and corruption. This will not be easy either, as experience shows that these male-dominated institutions are as reluctant as they can be to relinquish prominence and, even more so, power. The proof is the difficulties that woman players still have to reach an agreement over economic conditions which goes hand in hand with their projection.
In this respect, it would be very interesting and instructive if their male counterparts were to show solidarity with them and use their position of strength to exert pressure in their favour. After all, football belongs to everyone. The world of professional sport has to move more and more towards real equality between men and women that erases the discrimination suffered by some sportswomen. If sport acts as a spearhead, this normalization of equality will gradually filter into other areas of life.
In this sense, Alexia Putellas has done much more than win an award and recognition. She has shown through her actions that, given the right external conditions, a girl from Mollet can become the best in the world. Not only in football, but in whatever she wants.