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HomeSportsWith 'captain's armband', Aline Pellegrino coordinates Brazilian C and D series

With ‘captain’s armband’, Aline Pellegrino coordinates Brazilian C and D series


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Aline Pellegrino has always been, as she says, “big girl”.

When he was 12 years old, already close to his current 1.80 m, he played against rivals aged 17 or 18 and couldn’t sharpen in the divisions. She needed to prove herself as strong and as good as they were. If she showed frailty, they would try to put her in a goalie, which she hated.

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Showing confidence proved to be a valuable lesson in his life. When she was in a meeting with the presidents of the 20 clubs in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série C, she already knew what to do. It was all just a variation of the games on the streets of São Paulo. She had to take responsibility and show what she was capable of.

“I put on the captain’s armband. I said: ‘Hey, guys, I’m Aline and I’m responsible. It’s up to me’. I already put myself as the person who would do the intermediation. , he explained.

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The only woman in the management of national tournaments in the country, Aline is a competition manager for the CBF (Brazilian Football Confederation). It is under her responsibility all the logistics of the C and D series of the Brazilian men’s and that of the first division of the Brazilian women’s Championship.

She spends a good part of the day at the entity’s headquarters, in Rio de Janeiro, talking to one or the other, always eloquent, speaking quickly and without hesitating in words. It takes care of the organization of competitions that demand a lot. Serie D started with 48 teams from all regions of the country. The final will be on the 25th, when América-RN and Pouso Alegre will face each other in the return match.

The two have already moved up to Serie C, alongside São Bernardo and Amazonas.

“We usually look at the top of the pyramid, which are Série A and Série B. But without the base, that doesn’t happen. So, arriving at the weekend in Pouso Alegre, shaking hands with the president of the club and saying ‘ congratulations on the access’ is very important. It brings responsibility. Serie C, for example, is very big. There are teams like Figueirense, Vitória, Paysandu there…”, he said.

If some top hat found it strange to discuss his demands with a woman, it didn’t reach the manager’s ears. She has no problem introducing herself, saying who she is. She shouldn’t. Aline Pellegrino was a soccer player for 18 years. As a defender, she was part of the Brazilian silver medal team at the Athens Olympics, in 2004. She won gold at the Pan-American Games in Rio, in 2007.

Everything she talks about the present brings a story of the past. Like when she was invited to give a lecture to members of Abex (Brazilian Association of Football Executives). She went up to the pulpit and said exactly what was on her mind.

“I already know who you guys are, but you probably don’t know who I am. So I’ll introduce myself. But with everything I’ve played for, with everything I’ve won in football, if I were a man I wouldn’t have to do this.” started at the time.

Today she deals almost every week, by phone, with some of those executives who were in the audience that day.

Aline started working with football management in 2016, when she was invited to work at the FPF (São Paulo Football Federation). Four years later, she was called up to the CBF. Series C and D are the first work in men’s football. Her priority has always been (and, in a way, continues to be) the feminine. This Sunday (18), the first match of the Brazilian final will take place, between Internacional and Corinthians.

Her goal is for women’s football to have more and more competitions. Not just professionals but at the grassroots. It celebrates that, in 2023, Nacional will have three divisions. He also wants the 27 state federations to organize championships for the basic categories, which until now has not been possible.

She knows that the struggle is to create and grow the culture of women’s football in Brazil.

“How would it be possible to have this culture in a country that banned women from playing football for 40 years? This was something that ended only in 1983. The world developed, and Brazil was taken out of this process”, he recalled.

Aline was part of different teams that were noticed by the media and the public only when traveling to international competitions. And, with each return, the players heard the speech: “the girls need support”, “they need encouragement”. It lasted two months, and nothing happened. In part, he believes, because there were no competitions in the country.

“What would people see? What would they encourage? Today the players return to play in a national championship that is televised. They return to clubs that invest almost R$9 million, are hired to play in other countries… it’s something so simple, it can be done overnight. Olympics and World Cup are held every four years. More important is having Brazilian, under-20, under-17 and state championships every year”, he observed.

Aline Pellegrino has a goal. She may be distant, but it’s not as difficult as defying her father’s desire, who didn’t want to see his daughter play ball, despite having passed on to her a love for the sport. The manager today waits for the day when the feminine culture is so ingrained that people realize, without effort, that football is the same for men and women.

During the interview for Sheet, several times she said that “football is football”. It doesn’t matter the gender.

“That’s right. Football is just football. The fan needs to know that his favorite club has a women’s team because his daughter wants to watch it, and for this father or mother, it doesn’t matter if it’s male or female. their daughter wants to see it, it’s her passion. It’s a process. I came from a generation that didn’t have a salary. I can’t change that. It’s gone. Today I’m one of the few women who are in football management, but ten years from now years we will have more. We have to open doors”, he said.

It’s something that, between one phone call and another, between demands and requests, she always thinks about. Aline Pellegrino is an agent of change in Brazilian football.

“I make this reflection. Today Aline, that girl who played ball, deals with Serie C and Serie D. Men are not used to these women. It has been very rich, and I have been very happy. It takes a lot of work. , but when there is a request that is resolved and the manager calls to say that everything worked out… It’s a giant paradigm shift. It’s something that in the future will make football just football.”

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