Superstar Footballer Offspring - Girls Included?
A week ago, one of the greatest players to grace the pitch, Leo Messi, had surpassed Brazilian Legend – Pelé, with the most goals scored in one year. Messi earned his 75th and 76th against Mallorca a week ago, his 77th and 78th during the La Liga match against Real Zaragoza this past weekend and consequently, his 79th & 80th two nights ago in the UEFA Champions League.
The football world (rather, Barca fans) have been rejoicing in the Messiah’s latest achievement although many feel it was inevitable.
Far more interesting, in my opinion, is the news that Thiago Messi, Leo’s newborn son has been registered with Newell’s Old Boys football club. The same organization that fostered his father before the move to Spain.
It has been stated that club officials shall travel to Barcelona to meet the infant and present him with his official documentation and a replica kit.
This must be an exciting time for Argentinian football. A possible future superstar!! An heir to the Brilliance of Messi!
Good thing he is a boy.
Am I the only one wondering whether any interest in a football career may have emerged if Messi’s girlfriend, Antonella Rocuzzo, had given birth to a girl?
Would Newell’s Old Boys Club be registering a 10 day-old baby or showing interest? She would still have that magical DNA. She would still have Argentine nationality and a connection to her father’s home club.
The answer is an obvious “no” as Newell’s does not have a women’s division. Like many countries there is a cultural struggle in Argentina with the perception that football is a man’s game. Would Miss Messi get the same opportunity from Football Club Barcelona – who do have a women’s division?
Are the daughters of international superstars such as Andres Iniesta, David Beckham and the great Zinedine Zidane inundated with offers to play at various clubs at their tender young ages?
Or are we moving into the next generation of Superstars that are expected to be men only?
What about the children of Mia Hamm? Are her daughters recognized to be the offspring of a great footballer?
For the opportunity of women’s football to advance, there should be an effort and recognition from famous footballer Dads to publicly voice their support should their daughters choose to play football. In addition to adorning their daughters in replica kits and bringing them to matches, they should engage in providing active training and exposure to playing- not simply watching from the sidelines.
It will be interesting to see in 20 years, how many daughters of great players have themselves, joined leagues, professional clubs and continued the family tradition of football.
We would be able to assess whether members of elite football families all had access to the beautiful game; regardless if they were girls.
Contributor of this piece – Shireen Ahmed is a frontline worker in Social Services, writer and footballer. Her passions include her amazing family, Barca, coffee and her two cats. She writes about her experiences in football and sport in her blog “Tales of a Hijabi Footballer” at www.footybedsheets.tumblr.com. You can follow her at @_shireenahmed_