Football has always been a male monopoly, in which women barely had a presence. For a few years the situation has evolved and women’s football has taken a place on the sports scene. Meseguer and Fernández explain to EFESalut how the landscape has changed and how they make the playing field compatible with Medicine and Nursing.
Playing soccer since childhood
Silvia Messenger the MIR is preparing to choose a medical specialty. He plays for Sevilla FC and she remembers how, from a young age, in her village of Terol de Híjar, she enjoyed playing football with her friends during school recess and on the street.
“In those days I didn’t even know that women’s football existed. I was just playing and that’s it. In addition, I only played with boys, in the surrounding towns there were no girls who played football”, comments the footballer.
And she didn’t find out there were women’s teams until her Physical Education teacher called her to play with the group he coached in Zaragoza. She was in the 3rd year of ESO and in the absence of female references on the playing field, she wanted to be like the former player of Real Madrid and Juventus, Zinedine Zidane.
Passion for Medicine and juggling to combine
His passion for Medicine also came early. “I don’t know why because I don’t have anyone in the family who is a doctor, but I always liked it and it was clear that I wanted to study this career”, says the footballer.
When he started to study the career he was at Atlético de Madrid, he went to the faculty in the morning and trained in the afternoon, thus he was able to combine the two passions “with a lot of organization and discipline”.
“In the second or third year at Atlético, we started training in the morning, at twelve, but even so it gave me time to go to the race practices, which started at eight, and since the hospital he was next to me and I could organize”, recounts Meseguer, who also played with the Spanish national team.
In the last year of his career he had to “juggle” to be able to reach everything. He had to leave practice, then make it up in the afternoon. “He was a goblin”, he points out.
In fact, Meseguer had to resign from the Spanish team in order to finish his career, he could not stretch the time any longer and the trips with the national team were at least a week and a half long.
He still doesn’t know which specialty to choose once he passes the MIR because he says it will depend on the grade he gets, but he does rule out surgery because he doesn’t like it and is attracted to intensive care medicine and anesthesia.
Incomparable with men’s football
She is well aware of the rapid evolution of women’s football, but still says that it cannot be compared to the men’s game and, moreover, needs more opportunities.
“Men’s football takes us so many years, that it cannot be compared, it is the same sport but it has nothing to do with it, we must focus on ourselves, on continuing to grow little by little and everything that has managed to keep you from going back”, emphasizes the Sevilla player.
At the beginning of his profession, he admits that he suffered from masculinity because of the “typical comments that women don’t know how to play football”. And that if you’re a woman “you can’t be good” at football. In this sense, he emphasizes that you need to overcome it and if you really love doing what you love, you will continue to do it.
For this March 8, Meseguer wants to make visible that women’s football is interesting, that if it has grown so much in a very short time it is because people want to see it, that is why he encourages society to help this women’s sport but not only this one, to all the women, who “maybe they are more on the side”.
“We need to look ahead and above all focus on what we can achieve, on the steps you can take forward, that are firm. It will probably cost a lot but you have to keep going because of the many sticks we receive”, says the health worker and Sevilla player.
And to that man, child or adult, who tells a woman, child or adult, that he cannot play football, Meseguer sends him a message: “Go on a Sunday to see any women’s football match, it would surprise you”.
Referee and nurse
Iragartze Fernández is 29 years old. He is an assistant referee in the First Women’s Division and the First RFEF men’s. It combines this profession with another, that of a nurse, at the San Ignacio health center in Bilbao.
At the age of four, her father signed her up for the school football team. He played with and against boys. There were no women’s soccer leagues. “I’ve always liked the ball and football”, says Fernández, but also refereeing, in fact, his father, at his request, laminated yellow and red cardboard for him and bought him a whistle.
She loved nursing from an early age
“Hospitals, patients, health issues have always attracted my attention, I loved watching Hospital Central on television. In addition, I have family members who are nurses and they used to tell me everything they did, so I decided for that”, says the referee.
An injury took her out of football shortly after she turned 20 but pushed her into refereeing, a world that attracted her greatly.
All this making it compatible with his career in Nursing. He was in the third year of his career when he started the course on arbitration.
“The refereeing went hand in hand with the Infermeria, they gradually complemented each other and became compatible with each other” explains Fernández, who has had the Athletic player as a point of reference and now Levante’s second coach, Érika Vázquez. “For me she has been my heroine”.
What she likes most about her profession as a nurse is seeing the satisfied and grateful faces of her patients when they leave the office when they have solved a problem, because, in the end, “health is what matters most”.
“This feeling of gratitude, this feeling I can’t even explain, I was able to help a person, this feeling that I was able to help him is what I like the most. I go home very happy the more people I see in my office and the more I can help”, says the nurse.
Masculinity exists everywhere
He is of the opinion that it is not only the nursing profession or that of female refereeing that supports sexist attitudes. “Everywhere there is sexism and these comments. Yes, we are achieving many things, and in the refereeing to get a place in the First Division”, reflects the nurse.
And he believes that a referee will be insulted regardless of whether he is a man or a woman. “This is my experience, I go to the field and to the referee the same as they say about everything, if he makes a mistake it’s the same for me”, he adds.
“We have to stay with the positive things because everywhere there are negative things, in any job. If we focus on the bad, it’s a way to stagnate, if we focus on what we’re improving and how we’re moving forward, in the end it’s a way of revaluing who we are and gaining a little more power”, he maintains.
Impulse at 8M
For International Women’s Day, claim equality and continue working as women are doing, look at the present and always move forward.
It is clear that he emphasizes that many things have happened and are happening that must be kept in mind so that they do not repeat themselves, but he urges “to be aware of what women are achieving in order to have the energy and impetus so that in our great never be afraid to get what you want”.