The Sant Cugat FC player and resident of family and community medicine, Marta Feliu, was one of the three profiles protagonists of the last SC Trade Center Talks of 2023. The talk was called “You play like a girl “and have gathered several women from the world of soccer.
What do you think of the headline of the latest SC Trade Center Talks, ‘you play like a girl’?
When I read it, I thought, wow! you play like a girl’, in fact there’s been a whole campaign around this, ‘you play like a girl’, historically that generated a negative feeling. Now it’s like a way of standing up for yourself, it’s like saying what an honor and being proud of it. After all, I am a girl, and what could be better than playing like a girl.
Based on your experience in women’s sports and, specifically, in soccer, what are the main difficulties you have faced?
I started playing soccer fifteen years ago, and at that time there were already girls playing, but it was not as famous as it is now. I was a member of a club for 4 years in which we were few girls training. Some girls used to practice 2 sports, hockey and soccer at the same time. We used to be only 3 or 4 training and we had to train together with the boys because there were not enough of us and going to matches being few because we had to prioritize other sports, did not have the importance that it has today. However, at home, in my environment and in general, everyone has been very proud and happy that I played soccer.
So, among your close friends, did they understand that you wanted to play soccer?
I remember watching pictures of my birthday celebrations when I was in kindergarten that most of my friends were boys and at home they understood. It’s something that has always been in me, because during the break and whenever I could I played, so it didn’t seem strange to anyone that I played soccer. The truth is, even now, people are surprised when I tell them I play soccer. At work, or with the people I meet… you tell them that you play soccer and you see how excited they get, especially the boys, because they still consider it something strange. Fortunately, no one has ever said anything bad to me, I have not been in that circumstance and if people thought it, they never said it to me.
Fifteen years ago, when you started in soccer, did you have any female role models?
The only thing I watched was men’s soccer and the only thing I was taught was men’s soccer. I was a Barça fan, very culé and the posters I had, all my references and shirts were of players like Messi, the truth is that I had little information. Until I started to get more into the world of women’s soccer, until I joined Santcu, I didn’t start going to the matches and I didn’t go to watch the women’s Champions League, I wasn’t aware that there were girls who could be a good reference.
Are the values of women in soccer and men in soccer the same or are they different?
I think they are different. In the end it is not possible to make comparable and everyone has their own things, but there are significant positive female values that are seen on and off the field. As easy as the hullabaloo that are sometimes organized, I have even damped a Barça-Madrid match, because they were about to hit each other and I thought that those people did not represent me at all. In my opinion there is much more respect among the girls, much more companionship, even when it comes to associating with each other, perhaps women are better at working as a team.
Are there teams in all women’s categories at Santcugat?
Yes, I think so now. In fact, this year some teams have been added, we are growing a lot in the women’s section
Is there any moment in your career that you are particularly proud of?
I am proud to have participated and lived together for so many years enjoying soccer. As a success I would mention that we won a league, but for me the success is to enjoy soccer every day with my friends and being able to share a sport and being a reference for some girls. If I think that those girls have been able to look up to me and see me as a reference, as a point of light, that is the greatest success.
Currently, do you practice during the week and play during the weekends?
I don’t go to games very often, because nowadays I’m doing hospital duty and since there are a lot of us playing soccer, I need a little break. Now, I’m training and going to an occasional game.
Have the qualities of soccer helped you in your career as a doctor?
Of course. The commitment gives you the determination, the sense of spirit to work as a team with companionship towards your teammates and your opponents… In my day-to-day work, as a doctor, I also have to work as a team. I must continue training and improving myself to be a better doctor and to be able to treat patients better, I must respect the people I treat…. Yes, yes, it has helped me 100%.
Today you will participate in the SC Trade Center Talks, here at the Trade. Have you been here before, how do you like the facilities?
No, I don’t think I have been here before, but I liked the place a lot, it’s comfortable and very close to downtown.