The soccer wife: the ones who watch and the ones who play

Wednesday, November 30

By Paloma Doti

Shout their goals, mourn their defeats. Decorate their photos, their events. Raise their children, plan their meals. Asking them for money, not having your own. Waiting for them in a big empty house, welcoming them with a smile after hard days. If the life of a soccer player's wife were stripped of luxury and glamour, all that would remain would be that of a housewife who, out of love, gives up her dreams and keeps the home to satisfy a man who would never do the same for her.

Thousands of young girls, especially in times where the World Cup is being played, express on social media like Tik Tok or Instagram, that they let out a sigh when they think of the mere possibility of not only marrying an attractive footballer like Neymar or Gavi, but also of marrying with the fame and money that this action would bring, added to the simplicity of a vacuous and superficial life. The work that is done in return, is to be the lucky charm of the athlete, travel the world and make sure to do everything possible so that the passing of the years is not noticed neither in the way you dress nor in the wrinkles that form when you smile, thus postponing the divorce as much as possible.

It is often thought that the fame of the footballer is for the footballer himself. However, without a woman who not only takes care of the children and the house of the soccer player who most of the time is not in his city, but also accompanies him to the events and appears in the press giving the name to the player and showing herself as an award the sportsman has achieved, his name would not be heard except when the reporter pronounces it at the games and among fans. This does not mean that if a player does not have a partner he cannot be famous. But, when he has one and has already started a family, he would not be able to maintain that fame or a certain image without the wife. However, the fame will always go only to them and will always fall on their names, while that of the wife remains in the shadows or hidden after the phrase "the wife of". 

The same happens with housewives: they are women who support the home and allow men to go out to work, thus allowing companies to function and the economic system to sustain itself, supported by their unpaid work, which also conditions them not to expand their horizons of life because they are limited by those of a man. 

The idea of being a housewife is no longer attractive to the younger generations, while the idea of marrying a soccer player is. This is because being the wife of a footballer, they are also the wife of fame and money. This seems to be sufficient remuneration for the work done by them. They are seen as luxurious, independent, strong, beautiful and happy, and sometimes even seen as an example of female empowerment. But, their luxury, their beauty, their happiness, their house, their cars, their trips, their fame and their power are not theirs, they are of the soccer players. The wives' bodies are for the players to enjoy and show off. Their goals are for them to win. The fame and money they acquired when they got married can vanish when they get divorced. This means that everything the woman is, is really the man, therefore, if the woman stops being with him, she doesn't exist. 

The idea that these marriages are ideal is frightening for future generations. While he plays, she watches. The decisions that change the game are the men's, while the women only serve to decorate the stands and suggest ideas that the man on the match will never listen to. 

In these models we give to young girls, a woman's dreams are limited to being a consequence of a man's dreams. To change this, we have to start telling girls that instead of marrying a rich man, the rich man can be them.




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