December 7, 2022

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Giovanna, Jewel of 12-year-old Botafogo, shines among the boys and reveals the limitations of the female rule in Brazil

Giovanna, Jewel of 12-year-old Botafogo, shines among the boys and reveals the limitations of the female rule in Brazil

the Rio Metropolitan Championship, kind of from rio In the under-13 and under-14 category, there are 12 clubs contested. Given an average of 25 entries per team, that means the tournament has around 300 players, all boys. The 2022 edition, scheduled for the middle of the year, will have an exception. 12 years old Giovanna Waxman, Act BotafogoShe is considered an early talent that caught the attention of the football world.

Playing between boys is nothing new to her. Last year, once he arrived in Botafogo, he participated in super 8, Another tournament targeting men. Alvinegros was a runner-up, with the No. 10 jersey being the competition’s greatest highlight.

– When I was six years old, in a high school physical education class, the girls played dribbling and the boys played soccer. They started, and the girls had to wait in the stands. Because I didn’t like waiting, I started playing with them. I loved it, I asked my dad to put me in a small school and I developed – Giovanna explains. “I always played with the boys. I used to play against them at school. And so Botafogo saw me and called me.

In Botafogo, Giovanniha, as he is called, trains in the basic men’s divisions and takes part in some activities of the adult women’s team (the club does not have a rule for this method). But since he is still under 16 years old, he cannot play official matches.

The talent of the girl attracts the attention of the market. Giovanna already has entrepreneurs, receiving and sponsoring opinion polls from clubs outside of Brazil nike (She is the youngest Brazilian soccer player to sign with Al Mawred.) This week it got great reviews from John Textor, which is an American investor who has acquired 90% of pure from Botafogo.

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“The lonely star has a new star! Giovanna, God has kissed your feet (and your head). You are an inspiration. Keep working and dreaming … and the beautiful game will show you the world,” the businessman wrote when commenting on a post from the club on Twitter praising the girl.

But, as a result of her talent, Giovanna’s fame in men’s football also reveals a structural problem standing in her way: the limited female base in Brazil. If he didn’t play among the boys, the number 10 shirt would be spending a large part of the year just training, as many girls across the country do.

Even the under-18 category (which will become under-20 this year) hasn’t been considered by all the major clubs in Brazil. In addition to Botafogo, Cruzeiro and Palmeiras It also does not have a feminine base. The São Paulo club gathers teams to compete in tournaments and then breaks them apart, taking advantage of the top-level athletes in the senior team. As for those under 16 (and who will be under 17), the offerings are even lower. From under 14 years old onwards, they are practically non-existent.

– Boys start at under 8, under 10. They have a very strong base and formation from an early age, as they are active in the club. In women, the investment is greater in the final stage of training, in less than 20 years, because it is cheaper – recognized Leonardo Menezes, general manager of women’s football in international.

The gaucho club is one of the exceptions in the country. Today, she works with 90 girls who, from the age of 12, will now have to consider the 20 and sub 17 subcategories, the new Brazilian divisions, the 16 sub and sub 14 in competitions development league, has been promoted between cuff e CONMEBOL.

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Another issue that makes development difficult is the lean calendar. The Brazilian U-20 (formerly U-18) stays for two months. Under 17 (prev. Under 16) lasts 17 days. The lower categories have one-week competitions, such as the Development League, which takes place in December.

– It is clear that this is a structural obstacle in the country. For example, if you don’t have a goalkeeper at a young age, it is clear that a taller girl who wants to pursue a career in sports will end up in modalities that are better served at younger ages and are more financially regulated, such as volleyball, basketball and even soccer Hand. Today it is very clear that the maturity of athletes depends on the repetition of practice at an early age, on the repetition of gestures, and that without proper and high-level competitions, it becomes very difficult – he explains. Dulio Montero Alves, President Corinthians, the current Brazilian U-16 champion and U-18 runner-up:

Corinthians only got seven new shirt sponsors in 2021. So there is no longer any talk that women’s football is not viable. It makes me very proud, because Corinthians has always been a pioneer in the resumption of women’s football. But you have to be realistic. The method still seeks self-sustainability. We need to move forward, because the product is good and has a lot of potential for improvement.

Countries with regional championships manage to fill out the calendar quite a bit. But it is common to spend an entire semester without competition. U16’s captain FluminenseAnd Rafaela Saadeh You know this fact. She and her teammates will reappear this week to begin training for the current season. But the first tournament on the horizon is the Brazilian U-20 Championship, scheduled for May (the Tricolor will not participate in the U-17 tournament, which begins in April). Besides him, Carioca and the U-16 Development League will play in December.

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“You train and you train and nothing comes up. You can’t show what you know. Surely without a tournament it’s easy to get discouraged. He has to be very resistant — the steering wheel admits, which adds another problem: the short duration of tournaments.” Since it sometimes only lasts for two weeks. You have no possibility of being unwell, or getting sick. You must be at your best. Otherwise you will lose your only chance to play.

It was for Giovanna not to go through with this that Botafogo put her in the men’s team, with a much more organized schedule. In addition, he loaned her to Internacional, where she competes in women’s competitions in the lower categories. In 2021, he played for the Colorado team in the Nike U-17 Cup and in the U-14 Development League. This year, they will play those tournaments again, as well as the women’s Libertadores base, and the World Cup if successful.

– While Giovanna is physically compatible with men, as she has a full schedule, she is excellent. If girls play ten games a year, how often do they play? 50? Technical and cognitive development will be much higher. But these are things to change in Brazil – he regrets his father, Renato Costa.

GLOBO sought out CBF and sent questions to Aline PellegrinoCoordinator of competitions and women’s teams. But they had not been answered until the publication of this report.