Football Fan

Age: 22

Nationality: Portuguese

Cláudia

About me

One of my earliest memories is of me trying to kick a football. My dad has always loved football and was a player himself so when I was born he wanted to make sure I would get the chance to get to know the ‘beautiful game’. He bought me my first kit, my first boots and my first football. He taught me how to play and how to love a sport that quickly became a part of me. I played every single day in school and at that point there weren’t many female players I could look up to but all I wanted was to be like Marta. I’m a huge supporter of S.L. Benfica, but I also support the Manchester United Men’s team and more recently I’ve became a passionate supporter of the Arsenal Women’s team.

Why women's football?

When I was younger, I played football with boys and it was something very normal even though I had to overcome some obstacles to be taken seriously on the pitch. This experience made me stronger as a player and as a person but unfortunately, a lot of things got in the way of me being able to play in a women’s team. After last year’s WC I made the decision that I would give this dream one last shot and I started training again. Football is a big part of my life and I’m immensely proud to see Women’s football and the players finally having the recognition that they deserve. I’ve been particularly inspired by the Oranjeleeuwinnen and Arsenal Women’s team. My favourite players are Daniëlle Van de Donk, Leah Williamson and Vivianne Miedema. I look up to them and not only see the kind of athlete I aspire to be but also the values they represent – perseverance, passion, loyalty, dedication, and ambition – which ultimately inspire me to be a better player and a better person.