During the 2019 Women’s World Cup, Goal Click teamed up with adidas, The Argentine FA and national team forward Mariana Larroquette, to document the tournament from the insider’s view. Mariana captured her experiences in France, from training pitch to match day, including the famous comeback to draw 3-3 versus Scotland. Here is her story, in her own words and photos.
Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your football life?
My name is Mariana Larroquette. I grew up in Castelar in Buenos Aires. I started playing at the age of 6 with boys - in my street with my neighbors. I played until 13 or 14 with men and then started playing with women. I first played for Argentina in 2007 at an U17 championship, even though I still did not play for any club yet. After that I played for 9 years at River Plate, 1 year at Universidad de Chile and 2 years ago I joined UAI Urquiza.
What has been your football experience so far?
As a footballer I had to give up many friends and outings, but I did not suffer because I always knew that football was the most important thing in my life. The worst thing I experienced as a footballer was to suffer an external ligament injury in the knee - I was only off the field for 6 weeks. I am not a player accustomed to injuries.
Who is in the photos? Where were the photos taken?
The photos were taken in Paris during the Women’s World Cup. In the photos you will find my Argentina teammates, the kinesiologist who helps us recover after matches, and in some cases my shirt and the shirt of a rival with whom I have swapped shirts. My favorite photo is one that I took at the PSG stadium where you see my feet and the entire stadium. It is the best stadium I have played in.
I swapped shirts with Erin Cuthbert after the Scotland match, because when we finished the game I saw her crying a lot - I was beside her trying to comfort her and then I asked her to swap.
What was your experience playing in the Women's World Cup in France?
The World Cup was my biggest dream. So playing in the World Cup was a dream come true. I felt emotions I had never felt. It is something difficult to explain and that I would love to experience again.
The game against Japan began to write a new story for Argentine women’s football and I was happy to be part of that. The three goal recovery against Scotland was so exciting - the best thing that has happened in our football careers.
What are the biggest changes that are happening right now in women's football?
The biggest changes that are taking place will be economic, where clubs invest in women equally with the men. We need that. Another important change is also the visibility that we are now having worldwide.
What does football mean to you? Do you have a message for the next generation of young soccer players?
For me soccer is my life. I never want to stop doing it. My message for the youth is that they must fight for their dreams. In our life as an athlete we will always have to make sacrifices, but in the end it is always worth it. In the moments that you succeed, you always think of everything you had to do to get there and that is the best satisfaction.
What are the opportunities for women’s footballers in Argentina?
For women I think it is beneficial to start playing football. In Argentina the youth have little opportunity to start as a football player. As with me, many of my teammates started playing with men. Although I think it is an advantage to play with men, it would be good if everyone could choose who to start playing with and not have to wait until the age of 14 to play with women.
What is the future of Argentine women's football? What do you expect to change after WWC 2019?
I hope that after this World Cup we will continue to grow as female athletes and show that we can do the same as men, that our game is also attractive, and that we deserve the same as they have.
What does your family think of your work as a professional footballer?
My family has supported me since I started playing at age 6 and they still do, so I am grateful that this happens to me. I hope that many girls who want to start playing the most beautiful sport in the world also have their family support them, because it is something very important.