Brishti's undying love for football

Playing football was never a hobby for me, it was what I primarily did, everything else was an add on. I need to play to function, it’s as simple as that. So I didn’t really “decide” to take up football as my career, it was what I was always going to do. It’s quite challenging financially as there is only so little money in Women’s Football. I have been fortunate enough to train and play in the La Liga Iberdrola Femenino (Spanish Football League), which is top notch football, and it is still difficult for over 90% of the players to make ends meet. However, a lot has changed in the past few years but there is so much more that needs to happen to encourage more women to take up sports as a full time career.

Doing something I love and am passionate about is an amazing feeling and there are so many times that life reminds me of it. I remember I had once gone to play a pickup game of football here in Madrid. I was the only girl that day and there was a very diverse set of players so we had split teams based on country - South Americans vs a team with Europeans and Asians. It was a crazy match, I got tossed around playing with the boys, I remember rolling in the grass quite a bit. But I also had a really good game with a score and many assists. It was a casual game and I was having a lot of fun. There were also a bunch of people ‘chilling and grilling’ while watching us play. After the game I was heading back from the restroom when I heard some people shout “something..something..chica” repeatedly. I knew “chica” meant girl and out of general curiosity to see what was happening I turned around. There was a whole crowd of people standing up and clapping for me. I got kind of conscious and shy, but also felt so grateful and happy. It was really heart warming to be recognized by some strangers out of nowhere for a pick up match. It really got me thinking of how much the world is changing for the better, with more women being recognized in an otherwise male dominated sporting world. What was also special about that day, which I later realised, was that it was March 8th - Women's Day” - Brishti @brishti_10

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