“FOOTEUSES”, un documentaire sur le foot au féminin | Ballon sur Bitume

I’m in the metro, we’re on our way. See you. Happy birthday! In the beginning my mother didn’t want me
to play football at all. Not at all. Sometimes, when we’d win, I’d cry because I knew that when I’d get back home,
my mom would be like ‘Not football again!’ With time though, she got used to it. She accepted it eventually. I feel freer ever since. It’s a way of expressing myself. In my everyday life, I’m a little shy. On the pitch is where I feel the most at ease. I’m somebody else. I could never tell you what I like about playing. Because it’s something I feel that no one except for footballers can feel. I’d never ask myself whether
I’d have a future in football. ‘In which club am I going to play?’ No, not at all.
On the contrary, I’d do it only because I loved it. What made me like sports
is the team spirit, being part of a family
and enjoying good vibes. We’re solid.
We win and we lose together. During a game,
your heart is on a roller coaster, you can go from laughter to tears, the emotions are unexplainable, that’s worth all the money in the world, it’s all about the emotions. I don’t really know how it started but my half-brother played football so every week-end we’d drive him to his games
with my father-in-law. My dream was that the coach would say: ‘We’re missing a player for today’s game, can your sister replace him?’ Of course, it never happened. So every week-end I waited for someone to say: ‘Betty, you have to play’. Back then, I was like 7 or 8 years old. And the first time I played in a club I was 13. Many years passed before I could play like I wanted to. Use your arms. Lift your knees. And you walk small steps, like a cat. Softly, with your tiptoes.
Ok? Then I want you to speed up. Let’s go! One step in each! Here you go! Again! Again! Yeah, well done! Here you go! Perfect! Yes, use your arms! I’ve been playing football
since I was 15 or 16 years old. My father came to watch me play precisely… Never. I’m joking! But seriously, neither my father, nor my mother, nor my brothers ever came to cheer me on. Nobody came to watch me play. It is what it is. As long as you believe in yourself,
you have to keep going. So I never gave up. I don’t necessarily need their support. I believe in myself.
I know what I have to do. Whether they support me or not, I’ll keep going. End of story. I think at some point
my passion got he upper hand. I wouldn’t pay attention
to anything other than that. I really wanted to succeed in this. I told myself: ‘I want to play football, I have to play football’. Yet at the time,
you had few opportunities in football. Did female players get any money?
We didn’t know anything actually. I’d just tell myself that
I had to play football because I loved it. We’d often have birthdays at home, with a lot of people,
she’d still leave but she’d cry. There were family dinners,
but at 5 pm she had to catch her train. Everybody was home
eating and having fun but she’d take her train anyways. It would break my heart,
she’d leave crying but she’d leave. It wasn’t easy for me to leave them. Especially because it was in Paris
and I didn’t know anybody there. It was hard at times. But I’d still go, because I loved it. It’s like girls are afraid! Because when we’re on the pitch
they chill while we play. They never play. If a girl asks you to play,
does it bother you? Yes! It’s only guys! It’s rare actually! Honestly, there’s such inequality between men and women in the football world,
it’s something… Yes, because you minimize girls’ potentials, and that they can make it in football. Excuse-me, I’m talking. As of today, the male French team plays the exact same part
as the female French team. They represent France. During the World Cups, both teams… There’s a difference of levels between male football and female football,
let’s face it… You know it! Our football is ten times harder!
Yours is basic. If you say so… However,
you guys are all pussies and we’re not. You know I’m right. You’re just being mean. Guys, it’s ok though.
Now… What we’d expect from you is
you give us a boost too. There’s no female sports, there’s no male sports. You’re right. We must support you and you must support us. Don’t you think? There might be
female teams and male teams but at the end of the day,
we all play football. We’re just one big family. Right? Right. I agree, I agree to what she says. I have nothing to add. Between the age of 6 and 14, I was playing football, 24/7. Literally. As soon as we’d get out of school,
we’d meet up to play. Most of our friends were boys. Because when you live in an area
such as La Goutte D’Or, girls don’t go out too much. People criticize you all the time like: ‘Ugh, she’s always around boys’. My mom was a bit reluctant when we’d tell her
we were going to play in the streets. She wasn’t into it so we’d do it secretly. It’s true that in our neighborhood, everyone said: ‘She’s a good player, you must let her play!’ But I disagreed,
I thought she shouldn’t be playing, football was for her brother,
not for her, not for a girl. And as I didn’t agree,
they joined the club behind my back. I was lucky enough
to start playing football with boys, we played street football. It helped us a lot. Regarding our “vista”, the moves… We were more comfortable
than the other girls. Having started to play with boys is a good thing. If they had to play with their foot,
they’d do it, if they had to be agressive,
they’d be agressive, so… Actually, they trusted me but at the same time
they never did me a favor. So I had to reach their level. I had to show them. Bring Dédé!
Where’s my agent? She’s a very good player, for real. She’s fine. We’re proud of her. I hope she’ll make it. I hope her fame doesn’t go to her head. She scored hat-tricks already, she also knows how to shoot free kicks… Football-wise, she destroys everybody here! It’s quite true. Only because we stopped playing football.
Otherwise… No, seriously, she’s better than him. What’s wrong with you, man? I’ve always been the only girl playing here, but it never bothered me,
because they always supported me. They always accepted me in the group.
Always. It brought me self-confidence
because I thought that people I see everyday, that I’ve known since I was a kid,
know that I am worth it. So if they think I’m worth it,
nobody else will have their say. So yeah,
it brought me self-confidence and motivation. It’s not just either black or white, it’s not that all men refuse
that women play football, we must qualify what we say, and avoid being excessive,
either on one side or the other. Of course, I have been through moments
that were difficult, when it was made clear that as a woman,
I didn’t belong here. In life you must fight for everything anyway. So if it takes fighting and showing that I have the skills in order to be accepted, even more than when
I’m in a female environment… I was very well brooded by many men in the football world
and they really helped me. Now we’re going to try to play the same game
and we’re going to fight together. Let’s try to make up for our weaknesses, with the belligerence of warriors! Why do you think I asked you:
‘Which warrior is going to be there tonight?’, in my text, this morning? Because I want the same warriors
there was last Tuesday. It means that we don’t care, we lose,
we don’t lose… Remember what happened
when we lost last Tuesday. Were we proud or not? Despite the defeat,
to us, it’s a victory! The game we played was some real shit! It’s our best game to this day! Let’s make the same efforts again! Actually, I had asked him if he could train my group of girlfriends
from the neighborhood to do a little of jogging and gym… And he said right away: ‘We’re going to play football’. I was a little surprised,
because it wasn’t what I was looking for. I had never played football before. I didn’t know if I were still able to run
that much, for a whole game or for a 2 hour training. Go! Yeah! Go! Go! Go! At the first training session, I actually didn’t think it would last. I thought it was just about having a little fun. One session, maybe two or three, tops… I’d never have thought that 18 months later,
we’d still be there. With 31 members that subscribed this year. Yeah, I’m a little surprised. Good, Nadia! Today,
we must’ve taken 6 or 7 goals… But sometimes it goes up to 13. But the atmosphere doesn’t change,
it’s always the same. We go for drinks afterwards. We play sports and we have fun,
so it’s really nice. We form bonds with other people, that maybe we would’ve never met
elsewhere. We combine business with pleasure! Also, we enjoy getting back to each other.
It’s our Tuesday night appointment. That’s it.
Yeah. You had doubts about your mom! Yeah, I was afraid that
she’d make a fool of herself in front of other people,
when she’d play games against other teams. But in the end they play pretty well. You know, it doesn’t matter
what other people say. What other people think. They didn’t say anything actually! Exactly, they don’t say anything,
they say: ‘Congratulations’! I’ve been interested in football for a long time,
I watch the games and everything but I never had the opportunity
to get on the pitch. On top of that,
they’re not easy to find in Paris. I came here because
I wanted to underline this. I think it’s rather
a matter of opportunities. Honestly, my boyfriends don’t care that
we’re girls, they play with us. But what’s good here is that it’s a free place, there’s no registration, we only meet up,
we’re going to learn to know each other, and it’s going to be very friendly. The fact that it’s a group activity
made me want to do it. When I go to the gym, I do cardio exercises, I stretch, I workout and
I go back home. In the end it makes me feel good,
I exert myself but I don’t interact with people. We’re in Paris,
everybody glares up at each other, people don’t help one another. Whereas here it’s a girls’ place, the group is nice,
we don’t necessarily know each other so we somewhat
have to make efforts to form bonds, and it motivates us. Yeah. I think it’s like a decompression chamber
to them. When you’re a girl,
you always have to go by the codes. And here, they do whatever they want. If they start shouting on the pitch,
I’m going to enjoy it, because when I see them arriving
they barely dare to say hi but on the pitch, they change. We all get along,
there’s no pressure, we’re having a good time. There’s no headaches:
‘Am I the best? Am I good at this?’… There’s so many different levels, some girls really know how to play
in our team and there’s also me,
I don’t play so good you know, but we all help each other,
it’s dope. It really was our stance to accept the way we play
and we don’t need to prove anything, because often as a girl,
you have to prove things. I’ve discussed with girls that play very well,
in clubs, and to establish themselves on the pitch they get there, they dribble the guys and
they’re accepted. I’m unable to do such a thing
and I don’t want to, yet there should still be room for me
on a pitch. The fact that you don’t see girls
playing football, it’s the boys’ fault! They take too much room,
it has to stop! If you’re a girl, you’re a soldier,
you have to be bold. I’m a girl but I’m still here, I don’t mind. These are the girls I hang out with the most. I’m always with them, when there’s championships,
we’re a team. When there’s street tournaments
for instance, we’re a group.
There’s no way we go in other teams. We don’t need to find another female player, we’ve got our team and it’s full. Nobody’s missing,
there’s no need to add a player and we’re used to playing together.
You can tell when we’re on the pitch. Tak, tak, tak! When one of us isn’t focused,
we feel it right away. We can tell. We stick to each other.
It’s all logical, because we’re used to being together.
That’s what it is. That’s my boy! Yeah boy! What we like about football,
sincerely, I think it’s the team spirit
and the group cohesion. What do you girls think? Yeah! It’s that we help each other, and there’s a real sense of family. It’s a sport in which you can count on
one another. If you don’t make it,
the player behind you will do it for you. No? Yes, I agree. Your teammate is always going to support you
and tell you not to give up. ‘There’s 30 seconds left,
5 minutes left, it’s not over,
you must keep going, don’t give up.’ It makes want to go even more.
I don’t care, I play football to see my girlfriends, to be honest. Before they’re my teammates,
they’re my sisters. Stop it, stop it! I’m embarrassed. We’re a family.
We stick together. We often meet up, we do things together. Before the games, the girls would come over, we’d eat together,
and then we’d go to the game. Outside the trainings we’d meet,
we’d go out, etc. We really were all together. I never had the guts to do it. To go away, and try to live a new experience. I never had the courage to leave. Why? I don’t know… Actually, I knew that… I don’t know. I had this… How can I put it? Why is it that
you wouldn’t let go of the club? I brought girls to that club… I brought them and
I thought I couldn’t leave them. The more years went by,
the more I grew attached to them. Until I couldn’t leave anymore. There were different things actually,
I was afraid of the unknown, and there was the complicity, the fact that
I was holding the team together. I knew that if I left the club,
the team would fall apart. Now that I have more distance, I know I let some opportunities slip through
my fingers. That I didn’t seize these opportunities. But I regret nothing. I regret nothing because I know that… that… I know that… If I had left my club, maybe I would’ve never had the luck to feel these emotions
and the pleasure I shared with the girls from my team. I’m a footballer on the pitch. Outside of it, I dress up normally. Like a girl, you know.
Like everybody else. To me, a woman is someone who’s completely comfortable
with herself. That’s it, really. Who’s not afraid to… Who doesn’t even think about other people.
That’s what it is to me. I used to think that I was mature
and that I was a woman. But now that I think about it… I wasn’t at ease with my body yet. I couldn’t stand up straight. I couldn’t take on all the things
I’d say or think. I’ve already been through a situation where I introduced myself saying:
‘Hello, I’m Suzanna Garcia, I’m a football coach’
and I was told: ‘You can’t be a football coach’. Because I’ve got false nails,
I wear nail polish, I wear make-up, and because I don’t answer to the footballer stereotypes, being a tomboy, being slightly violent… It’s true that there’s this cliché of the girl who plays football
being a tomboy. It’s not wrong. I was a tomboy when I was younger,
and my sister too. It was difficult for us to wear jeans
for the first time. It was a fight to us! Me, when I was younger,
I wasn’t a tomboy! I was a boy, literally! That was quite something! I think I gave myself the part of the tomboy
to fit in the boys’ group. To show off to them: ‘Look at me, I can do just as you do!
I can play football!’ ‘I talk like you talk, I act like you act.’ Maybe it wasn’t all necessary to fit in, but yeah, I was a tomboy.
I wanted to do it all the way they did. I started changing when… When you had a boyfriend! Never!
Boys, never! I’m done with boys! Boys aren’t for now! That’s not even on my mind.
Forget about them. No,
I started changing when I started working. I mean come on, I’m a woman,
I’m not going to be a tomboy forever! I started working,
I went to school, and it’s not primary school anymore. It’s the world of adults now. I’m in the world of adults and I work. I’m not going to go there like: ‘Yo, what you want? What size?’ No, I can’t talk like that. ‘Hello Miss, can I help you?’ We manage to adjust our behavior
to the environment, it’s important. It depends on the girl, on the personality, on how she’s like… All of us five,
outside the pitch, nobody would believe we play football. We’re girly at work, we wear make-up, I mean, me, personally… When I wear make-up you can’t tell
the difference! So I gave up. Feminity is about the attitude to me. It’s more of a feeling
than clothes and wearing a skirt. You can be very girly wearing football shorts
or a football shirt. It’s more of an attitude, I’d say. It’s what you bring out. You can be girly wearing a tracksuit.
You can be girly wearing trainers. In the past, you had to wear heels… Lipstick… A low-cut neckline… It’s different now, trends moved on.
Time passed. There’s no categorical definition. There’s no female categories: ‘You’re a girl because you wear this,
you’re a girl because you say that…’ That’s not true. You’re just the way you are. To me, there’s no definition of what it is
to be a woman. Each of us can be the way she wants to. Naked… All dressed up…
Wearing a tracksuit… Heels… Classy…
As she pleases. It used to be very cliché when you said:
‘Hey, I’m a girl, I play football’. This very cliché is fading a little bit. It’s still there, there’s still a mental block. For instance, my sister and I,
we’re still not at ease to play at the square or to play in the streets, etc. If there’s still this mental block it’s because we haven’t reached
the level of the male football yet but it’s a good start. There’s a whole imagery that exists
around male football but it’s left to be built for female sports. They’re not represented.
And I really believe in the power of representation. A drawing of a girl that plays football, you never see this! So it’s super important. When you see this on a piece of clothing, when you see this at the cinema,
you might think it’s possible, that you can do it. It opens up the scope of possibilities. I was very interested in the figure of the witch, women that went against the norms, social norms, religious norms, etc. The idea to make up a female football team today goes against the norms too. Even in 2019. That’s how the Witch FC was born. It was a fictional project, more like a fantasy. And now, reality and fiction merges
as we created the team. I used to search for
female footballers’ Instagram accounts, I also searched for pictures,
but I couldn’t find any. It was only football pictures. So I made my own profile and I’d show them to the others, to make it easier for them to play football. I often hear:
‘My mom doesn’t want me to play football’ because ‘it’s for boys’, etc. To me it matters,
because they can show my profile like: ‘Mom, look at her, she plays football
but she doesn’t only do that.’ Before each game,
we try to analyse the opposing team. As soon as you see them coming,
with a certain attitude, the way they’re dressed up, etc.
It decides things a little. You might think:
‘Ok, this one looks like a good player’, just by the way she’s dressed up! You’re like: ‘She seems pretty good’. So yeah, it decides things somehow,
your look. But sometimes it can be misleading. I happened to meet girls who looked
super strong… ‘Girls, watch out for this one!’
Then you’re on the pitch and she sucks. So, sometimes it matters,
sometimes it doesn’t, so… A lot of girls are overdoing it! They have Pogba’s last cleats which cost
200 € or 300 €! You think he’s going to kick it on the pitch!
And then they are trash! Nothing at all! She dribbles, she looses the ball herself!
Even with no defender! She messes her step-overs! Are you serious? Of course! For sure! There’s girls on Instagram,
you think they’re super strong and then you see them in real life…
They suck so bad it makes you flip out! They suck! On Instagram they post videos,
so you think they know how to do a nutmeg! They like showing off.
They tell their friends to help them faking it: ‘Spread your legs!’ I think that’s what they do
so then we all think they’re strong but then you see them on the pitch
like: ‘Isn’t she the one from Instagram?’ and we’re a little worried! I can’t go training
if my outfit doesn’t match. I can’t mix Nike with Adidas. I know I sound crazy when I say that
but I can’t! And I can’t mix two different clubs.
I don’t know, it stresses me out. Even when I’m training you can tell
I’m being obsessive about this. Sometimes our female players
play with a headscarf, you shouldn’t be playing with
your headscarf! They take it off and they’ve got massive braids
on their heads! They don’t give a shit!
Style isn’t… Ok, you should drip a little… You shouldn’t wear
green with red you know… The teams have to match! Our favorites! But it’s according to you. Some girls don’t care, others… Nah, they’re tripping. Ah… You can’t wear Real Madrid and FC Barcelona!
Come on! Let’s not forget where we come from.
Firstly. Because ten years ago,
we were right here. I’ve known night trainings
that finish around 10 or 11 pm, after a day of work. I was studying at the time
but I trained with girls who worked all day. I could’ve never… Once I became professional,
I would’ve never been able to have this lifestyle again.
It’s pure madness! We had no salary, or maybe a match bonus
but it was 50€! It sounds anecdotal but we were happy
and above all, we were passionate. Yes, I remember a woman,
that I’ll never forget. She came to see me…
‘What is your daughter doing? She’s outside!
There’s nothing to get with football! There’s no money, there’s nothing at all!
Where will this take you? You should tell her to let it go,
she’s wasting her time, she should be going to school.’ There were mothers who told me:
‘Tell her to give it up!’ ‘It’s not worth it!
She doesn’t do nothing instead of going to school!’ Many people were hostile,
it’s true. But that lady however,
she made up her mind! Once, she told me:
‘Oh Lord, I said football wasn’t good for girls but look at it today! There’s the World Cup now!’
I was like: ‘You see!’ You can’t predict things. [‘We’re girls, we’re not guys, but still we touched the ball! Let’s go Paris Alesia! Hooray for Paris Alesia!’] It’s becoming normal.
A girl who plays football, who plays tennis,
who plays basketball or whatever… I think they have a great future.
It’s getting structured, clubs are becoming
more and more professional, women earn a better living with it now too. People are trying to change things. We’re not the only ones to open football academies,
other people do it too. Let’s not forget that it’s quite recent
in people’s minds. We start from far away compared to men. Honestly, I’m not worried at all about
female football. Now, I see 6-year-old girls
that already play in female teams. At this age, there was no female teams for us. When we were 6, it didn’t exist.
When I see football academies for the youngest, it makes me happy. That’s how you understand that
female football has changed a lot. In the past, there was no competition,
club-wise, position-wise, etc. Now, there’s a lot of it. There’s a lot of players,
so you know that if you don’t train and if you don’t give yourself fully,
you won’t play. If in your everyday life
there’s things standing in your way, you shouldn’t focus on that,
you should be stronger than that and not find yourself excuses. Fight to get what you want. Even if it’s a little harder
and you find it unfair at the time, remember that the fact that you’re fighting
to get what you want will make you even prouder in the end,
when you’ll have made it.

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