If anyone ever tells you girls can’t play football and that it’s a man’s game, just say two words to them: AEM Lleida. The Spanish AEM Lleida girls’ team have beaten the boys to come in top of the Lleida junior regional league. In Spain, mixed-sex football teams are allowed up until the age of 14, with the Lleida girls playing against boys since 2014. The amateur club AEM Lleida had been coaching girls for many years and dominated other girls’ teams, which is why they decided to register in the boys’ league. Now, they are not only competing against them but beating them. They won all but one of their games this season.
Girls’ success goes global
Their success has been so incredible that even The New York Times ran their story with AEM president Sergio Gonzalez admitting that some parents felt they were crazy. It was not an easy start with the girls finishing 12th out of 18 teams in the league in their first season, but as they improved, some people reacted badly to watching their sons being beaten by girls.
In their final home game, AEM faced the boys from La Noguera, whose technical director Pere Clariso admitted the girls’ superior discipline is one reason behind their success. He said you could see they listened to their coach and took on board the advice. However, despite the success of this side, women’s football is not given the recognition nor the financial backing it deserves in many countries.
Building a team
Playing football is an ideal sport for team-building, boosting confidence and all-over exercise. Whether you are playing for fun or in a league, it is important to look the part by wearing the right kit and boots for your playing surface. One of the big names in football sponsorship is Adidas, and you can see a range of Adidas football kits at https://www.kitking.co.uk/category/adidas-full-strips.
Following interest in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015 and women’s football at the 2016 Summer Olympics, the sport is raising its game. FIFA says the interest in football played by women is at an all-time high, but there is more potential for growth. Why not join the growing number of women in the game and see if you can Bend It Like Beckham?