Toni Duggan: "When I was little, I felt ashamed to say that I played football"

When Toni Duggan (Liverpool, 1991) was eight years old, the club of his loves, Liverpool, invited the neighborhood team in which he played a test for his academy. The illusion can

When Toni Duggan (Liverpool, 1991) was eight years old, the club of his loves, Liverpool, invited the neighborhood team in which he played a test for his academy. The illusion can be imagined. She was the scorer of the group and, at the same time, taught by her two boxer brothers , the most quarrelsome but, just upon arriving at the venue, she discovered discrimination. «No girls allowed». His teammates played a tournament all day and she stayed to see them as ball boys. This Sunday, player of Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals against Bayern Munich (6:00 pm, Movistar Champions League), can already celebrate how much her life has changed and analyze if she has done so too women's football and society. "Something has changed, sure, now women's football is fashion, it's cool, here in Spain our games are broadcast, we have an audience, the press talks about us ... I notice that women's football is growing," he tells EL MUNDO.

Has society changed since that 'No girls allowed'? I do not know how to tell you in other areas, but in sports it has changed. When I was little, I felt shame for saying that I played football, hid it; I was frowned upon and they put obstacles in your way. Now I see more girls playing, they have more references ... I want to think they have it easier. Sport is important for equality because it is one of the first areas where you can be separated or discriminated against. There are initiatives that help: you marked and won last month in a full Metropolitan Wanda, for example. Why does Barça do the same in the Camp Nou? I want to play at Camp Nou, no doubt, any player wants to do it, be it man or woman. But I also understand that it is not possible, that Barcelona has a tight schedule and that opening the Camp Nou costs a lot of money. What if we open it and only 5,000 people go? What would be the point? First we have to fill the Mini every week and then we will see. What do you expect from the semi-finals against Bayern Munich? Most of the players of the German national team play in Bayern, so I expect their usual football: direct, physical, very similar to English. There are many ways to play football, they propose one, but I think that in the end the way that Barcelona proposes is the best way to win. When it came to Barcelona, ​​in 2017, it took a long time to adapt. In my first season I did not feel comfortable, it's true. I saw myself alone near the area and the team wanted to elaborate the play more, be patient: I did not understand it. In England my task was clear: they gave me the ball and scored goals. Here it was hard for me to understand that I had to do other things, adapt to the style, play more for the whole. If you grew up here it seems easy to understand, but coming from England is complicated. Perhaps for that reason there are very few English players playing abroad. Why did you choose Barcelona to leave your country? Now I find it funny, but in England I felt like a technical player, of touch. Before playing here, I spent four years at Manchester City and there are many former Barcelona coaches who try to introduce another style, play with more patience. They are changing the way they play in England, but here it is something else. They say that at age 17 he already visited the Barcelona Museum. Yes, yes, Barcelona was the destination of my first trip abroad, with my friends from the institute. I remember taking a picture with an advertisement for Leo Messi, things like that. At that time I did not even dream of playing here. In 2016, a few months before signing, I was able to come to the Camp Nou to see a classic with my boyfriend and I kept telling him that we had to enjoy it because we would not see another classic in our life. Fortunately, look, I've already lived five. But that journey with 17 years was not just football. [Laughs]. Well, we went to several parties, of course. I like dance music and we were in several clubs in the city, in a White Party ... we have fun, there's no doubt about it. What role do you think Spain can play in the next World Cup? the lower categories, it is clear that Spain can achieve many things, but they need to make the big jump and that is not easy. They are Patri Guijarro, Mariona, Aitana, Claudia Pina, they are all very good, but they need to get used to the best.

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