Home News We Asked, They Answered: 108 Women's World Cup Players on Their Job, Money and Sacrificing Everything – The New York Times

We Asked, They Answered: 108 Women's World Cup Players on Their Job, Money and Sacrificing Everything – The New York Times

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SHOW LIBRARY
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.viewport-medium-10 .ad.top-ad,
.viewport-medium-10 .nytint-upshot-nameplate,
.viewport-medium-10 .story-header.interactive-header,
.viewport-medium-10 .story.theme-main .story-footer,
.viewport-medium-10 .related-coverage
max-width: 720px;
margin-left: auto;
margin-right: auto;

.viewport-medium-30 .ad.top-ad,
.viewport-medium-30 .nytint-upshot-nameplate,
.viewport-medium-30 .story-header.interactive-header,
.viewport-medium-30 .story.theme-main .story-footer,
.viewport-medium-30 .related-coverage
max-width: 945px;

.viewport-large-30 .ad.top-ad,
.viewport-large-30 .nytint-upshot-nameplate,
.viewport-large-30 .story-header.interactive-header,
.viewport-large-30 .story.theme-main .story-footer,
.viewport-large-30 .related-coverage
max-width: 1050px;

.g-body,
.g-map-key,
.g-asset-source,
.g-table-container,
.g-column-container,
.g-asset-hed,
.g-subhed,
.g-chart,
.g-item-graphic
padding-left: 20px;
padding-right: 20px;

.viewport-large .g-body,
.viewport-large .g-map-key,
.viewport-large .g-table-container,
.viewport-large .g-column-container,
.viewport-large .g-asset-hed,
.viewport-large .g-asset-source,
.viewport-large .g-chart,
.g-item-graphic
padding-left: 0;
padding-right: 0;

.viewport-large .g-add-padding
padding-left: 20px;

.story.theme-main:not(.interactive-embedded)
margin-left: 0;
margin-right: 0;

@font-face
font-family: “nyt-imperial”;
src: local(“&#9786︎”), url(“https://g1.nyt.com/fonts/family/imperial/imperial-italic-400.woff”) format(“woff”);
font-style: italic;
font-weight: 400;

@font-face
font-family: “nyt-imperial”;
src: local(“&#9786︎”), url(“https://g1.nyt.com/fonts/family/imperial/imperial-italic-500.woff”) format(“woff”);
font-style: italic;
font-weight: 500;

@font-face
font-family: “nyt-imperial”;
src: local(“&#9786︎”), url(“https://g1.nyt.com/fonts/family/imperial/imperial-italic-600.woff”) format(“woff”);
font-style: italic;
font-weight: 600;

@font-face
font-family: “nyt-imperial”;
src: local(“&#9786︎”), url(“https://g1.nyt.com/fonts/family/imperial/imperial-italic-700.woff”) format(“woff”);
font-style: italic;
font-weight: 700;

@font-face
font-family: “nyt-imperial”;
src: local(“&#9786︎”), url(“https://g1.nyt.com/fonts/family/imperial/imperial-normal-400.woff”) format(“woff”);
font-style: normal;
font-weight: 400;

@font-face
font-family: “nyt-imperial”;
src: local(“&#9786︎”), url(“https://g1.nyt.com/fonts/family/imperial/imperial-normal-500.woff”) format(“woff”);
font-style: normal;
font-weight: 500;

@font-face
font-family: “nyt-imperial”;
src: local(“&#9786︎”), url(“https://g1.nyt.com/fonts/family/imperial/imperial-normal-600.woff”) format(“woff”);
font-style: normal;
font-weight: 600;

@font-face
font-family: “nyt-imperial”;
src: local(“&#9786︎”), url(“https://g1.nyt.com/fonts/family/imperial/imperial-normal-700.woff”) format(“woff”);
font-style: normal;
font-weight: 700;

/* Fullbleed for freebird */
body.noScroll
overflow: hidden;

a:link,
a:visited
color: #333;
text-decoration: underline;

.g-graphic-freebird
max-width: none;

.masthead.in-content,
.story-header.interactive-header,
#related-coverage,
#BottomAd
display: none;

.story.theme-interactive
margin-bottom: 0px;

.masthead.masthead-theme-transparent a:link,
.masthead.masthead-theme-transparent-ffffff a:link
text-decoration: none !important;

.masthead.masthead-theme-transparent .branding .branding-label,
.masthead.masthead-theme-transparent-ffffff .branding .branding-label
display: none !important;

.masthead.masthead-theme-transparent .home-button .icon,
.masthead.masthead-theme-transparent-ffffff .home-button .icon,
.masthead.masthead-theme-transparent .sharetools .sharetool.show-all-sharetool .icon,
.masthead.masthead-theme-transparent-ffffff .sharetools .sharetool.show-all-sharetool .icon
opacity: 1;

.g-cover
position: relative;
height: 95vh;

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
.g-cover
height: 100vh;

.g-cover .g-top-asset
margin: 0;
position: absolute;
width: 100%;
overflow: hidden;
z-index: 0;
top: 0;
left: 0;
padding: 0;
height: 95vh;

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
.g-cover .g-top-asset
height: 100vh;

.g-cover .g-top-asset img
height: 100%;
left: 0;
-o-object-fit: cover;
object-fit: cover;
position: absolute;
top: 0;
width: 100%;
filter: brightness(1.05) contrast(1.05);

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
.wc-logo
-ms-grid-column: 1;
-ms-grid-column-span: 2;
grid-column: 1 / 3;

@media screen and (min-width: 960px)
.wc-logo
-ms-grid-column: 2;
-ms-grid-column-span: 1;
grid-column: 3 / 4;

.mobile-inline
display: block;
max-width: 56%;
margin-bottom: 15px;

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
.mobile-inline
display: none;

.desktop-stack
display: none;

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
.desktop-stack
display: block;

#header-duplicate
display: block;

#header-duplicate .story-meta
position: relative;
z-index: 5;
transform: none;
margin: 0 auto;
max-width: 1280px;
padding: 40px 20px;

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
#header-duplicate .story-meta
display: -ms-grid;
display: grid;
grid-gap: 0px 40px;
-ms-grid-columns: (1fr)[12];
grid-template-columns: repeat(12, 1fr);
padding: 80px 40px;

@media screen and (max-width: 719px)
#header-duplicate .story-meta
padding: 80px 0 40px;

.nyt-app #header-duplicate .story-meta
padding-top: 40px;

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
#header-duplicate .story-meta
position: absolute;
left: 0;
right: 0;
top: 50%;
transform: translateY(-50%);

#header-duplicate .custom-story-heading
font-family: ‘nyt-cheltenham’, georgia, ‘times new roman’, times, serif;
font-size: 10.5vw;
font-weight: 100;
line-height: 0.95;
letter-spacing: -0.01em;
color: #333;
-webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased;
text-rendering: optimizeLegibility;
-webkit-font-feature-settings: “kern”;
-moz-font-feature-settings: “kern”;
font-feature-settings: “kern”;
line-height: 1;
text-align: left;
grid-column: 4/11;

@media screen and (min-width: 450px)
#header-duplicate .custom-story-heading
font-size: 8.5vw;

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
#header-duplicate .custom-story-heading
font-size: 60px;

#header-duplicate .custom-story-heading span
display: block;

#header-duplicate .custom-story-heading span.hed-kicker
font-family: ‘nyt-franklin’, Arial, sans-serif;
font-size: 17px;
line-height: 1.3;
font-weight: 100;
letter-spacing: 0;
text-transform: uppercase;
font-weight: 400;
margin-bottom: 10px;

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
#header-duplicate .custom-story-heading span.hed-kicker
font-size: 20px;

#header-duplicate .interactive-leadin,
#header-duplicate .summary
display: none !important;

.art-grid
z-index: 1;
margin: 0 auto;
max-width: 1280px;
padding: 40px 20px;
-ms-grid-rows: (1fr)[12];
grid-template-rows: repeat(12, 1fr);

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
.art-grid
display: -ms-grid;
display: grid;
grid-gap: 0px 40px;
-ms-grid-columns: (1fr)[12];
grid-template-columns: repeat(12, 1fr);
padding: 80px 40px;

@media screen and (max-width: 719px)
.art-grid
padding: 0;

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
.art-grid
position: absolute;
top: 0;
left: 0;
right: 0;
bottom: 0;

@keyframes xfade
17%
opacity: 1;

25%
opacity: 0;

92%
opacity: 0;

.xfade
list-style: none;
margin: 0;
padding: 0;
position: relative;

.xfade li
position: absolute;
width: 100%;

#xfade-one,
#xfade-three,
#xfade-two,
#xfade-four
display: none;

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
#xfade-one,
#xfade-three,
#xfade-two,
#xfade-four
display: block;

#xfade-mobile li:nth-child(5)
animation: xfade 20s 0s infinite;

#xfade-mobile li:nth-child(4)
animation: xfade 20s 4s infinite;

#xfade-mobile li:nth-child(3)
animation: xfade 20s 8s infinite;

#xfade-mobile li:nth-child(2)
animation: xfade 20s 12s infinite;

#xfade-mobile li:nth-child(1)
animation: xfade 20s 16s infinite;

#xfade-mobile
display: block;

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
#xfade-mobile
display: none;

#xfade-one
-ms-grid-column: 2;
-ms-grid-column-span: 2;
grid-column: 2/4;
-ms-grid-row: 3;
-ms-grid-row-span: 10;
grid-row: 3/13;

#xfade-one li:nth-child(2)
animation: xfade 16s 0s infinite;

#xfade-one li:nth-child(1)
animation: xfade 16s 6s infinite;

#xfade-two
-ms-grid-column: 4;
-ms-grid-column-span: 3;
grid-column: 4/7;
-ms-grid-row: 10;
-ms-grid-row-span: 1;
grid-row: 10/11;
min-height: 6.5vh;

#xfade-two li:nth-child(3)
animation: xfade 15s 0s infinite;

#xfade-two li:nth-child(2)
animation: xfade 15s 5s infinite;

#xfade-two li:nth-child(1)
animation: xfade 15s 10s infinite;

#xfade-three
-ms-grid-column: 9;
-ms-grid-column-span: 3;
grid-column: 9/12;

#xfade-three li:nth-child(3)
animation: xfade 15s 0s infinite;

#xfade-three li:nth-child(2)
animation: xfade 15s 5s infinite;

#xfade-three li:nth-child(1)
animation: xfade 15s 10s infinite;

#xfade-four
-ms-grid-column: 11;
-ms-grid-column-span: 2;
grid-column: 11/13;
-ms-grid-row: 9;
-ms-grid-row-span: 1;
grid-row: 9/10;

#xfade-four li:nth-child(3)
animation: xfade 12s 2s infinite;

#xfade-four li:nth-child(2)
animation: xfade 12s 6s infinite;

#xfade-four li:nth-child(1)
animation: xfade 12s 10s infinite;

.g-intro
margin: 0 auto;
max-width: 1280px;
padding: 40px 20px;

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
.g-intro
display: -ms-grid;
display: grid;
grid-gap: 0px 40px;
-ms-grid-columns: (1fr)[12];
grid-template-columns: repeat(12, 1fr);
padding: 80px 40px;

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
.custom-intro
-ms-grid-column: 3;
-ms-grid-column-span: 10;
grid-column: 3 / 13;

@media screen and (min-width: 960px)
.custom-intro
-ms-grid-column: 3;
-ms-grid-column-span: 8;
grid-column: 4 / 10;

.custom-intro p
font-family: ‘nyt-franklin’, Arial, sans-serif;
font-size: 17px;
line-height: 1.3;
font-weight: 100;
letter-spacing: 0;
font-weight: 400;
color: #333;
margin-bottom: .7em;

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
.custom-intro p
font-size: 20px;

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
.custom-intro p
font-weight: 100;

.custom-intro .byline-dateline
letter-spacing: 0.02em;
font-size: 0.875rem;
line-height: 1.3rem;
margin: 0;
font-family: ‘nyt-franklin’, Arial, sans-serif;
font-weight: 700;
color: #121212;
margin-bottom: 1em;

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
.custom-intro .byline-dateline
font-size: 15px;

.custom-intro .byline-dateline a
-webkit-text-decoration-color: #ccc;
-moz-text-decoration-color: #ccc;
text-decoration-color: #ccc;

.custom-intro .byline-dateline a:hover
text-decoration: none;

.custom-intro .byline2
display: block;

.custom-intro .dateline
font-weight: 400;
display: block;

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
.custom-intro .dateline
display: inline;
margin-left: 3px;

.g-item-image,
.g-item-video
margin: 0;

.chelt-hed
font-family: ‘nyt-cheltenham’, georgia, ‘times new roman’, times, serif;
font-size: 10.5vw;
font-weight: 100;
line-height: 0.95;
letter-spacing: -0.01em;
color: #333;
-webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased;
text-rendering: optimizeLegibility;
-webkit-font-feature-settings: “kern”;
-moz-font-feature-settings: “kern”;
font-feature-settings: “kern”;
margin-bottom: 40px;

@media screen and (min-width: 450px)
.chelt-hed
font-size: 8.5vw;

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
.chelt-hed
font-size: 60px;

.chelt-hed.reverse-color
color: white;
text-shadow: 1px 1px 0px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.75);

.g-question
position: relative;
margin: 0 auto;
max-width: 1280px;
padding: 40px 20px;

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
.g-question
display: -ms-grid;
display: grid;
grid-gap: 0px 40px;
-ms-grid-columns: (1fr)[12];
grid-template-columns: repeat(12, 1fr);
padding: 80px 40px;

.g-question p.g-body
font-family: ‘nyt-franklin’, Arial, sans-serif;
font-size: 17px;
line-height: 1.3;
font-weight: 100;
letter-spacing: 0;
max-width: 600px;
margin-bottom: 1em;
padding: 0;

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
.g-question p.g-body
font-size: 20px;

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
.g-question p.g-body
margin: 0;

#q-one-thing,
#q-jobs
grid-gap: 0 40px;
padding-bottom: 0;

.g-quote p.g-quote-body
font-family: nyt-imperial, georgia, ‘times new roman’, times, serif;
font-size: 17px;
font-weight: 400;
letter-spacing: -0.63px;
line-height: 22px;
margin: 0;
color: #444;
-webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased;
text-rendering: optimizeLegibility;
-webkit-font-feature-settings: “kern”;
-moz-font-feature-settings: “kern”;
font-feature-settings: “kern”;
margin: 0 !important;

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
.g-quote p.g-quote-body
font-size: 19px;
line-height: 24px;

.g-quote p.g-quote-body.featured
font-family: nyt-imperial, georgia, ‘times new roman’, times, serif;
font-size: 18px;
font-weight: 700;
letter-spacing: -0.8px;
line-height: 22px;
margin: 0;
color: black;
-webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased;
text-rendering: optimizeLegibility;
-webkit-font-feature-settings: “kern”;
-moz-font-feature-settings: “kern”;
font-feature-settings: “kern”;

.g-quote p.g-quote-signer
font-family: ‘nyt-franklin’, Arial, sans-serif;
font-size: 15px;
line-height: 1.3;
font-weight: 400;
letter-spacing: 0.025em;
color: #aaa;

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
.g-quote p.g-quote-signer
font-size: 17px;
font-weight: 100;

@media screen and (min-width: 960px)
#q-one-thing .g-quote p.g-quote-signer
margin-bottom: 1.25em;

#q-fav-player .g-quote p.g-quote-signer
margin-bottom: 1.25em;

#q-family .g-quote p.g-quote-signer
margin-bottom: 1.5em;

.g-quote .align-center
text-align: center;

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
#q-hardest-best
display: block;

@media screen and (min-width: 960px)
#q-hardest-best
display: -ms-grid;
display: grid;
grid-gap: 20px 40px;
-ms-grid-columns: (1fr)[12];
grid-template-columns: repeat(12, 1fr);
padding: 80px 40px;

#q-hardest-best .g-hardest-desktop-hed
display: none;

@media screen and (min-width: 960px)
#q-hardest-best .g-hardest-desktop-hed
display: block;

#q-hardest-best .g-hardest-mobile-hed,
#q-hardest-best .g-best-mobile-hed
display: block;

@media screen and (min-width: 960px)
#q-hardest-best .g-hardest-mobile-hed,
#q-hardest-best .g-best-mobile-hed
display: none;

#q-hardest-best .g-hardest span.oomph
color: #fb3d0a;

#q-hardest-best .g-best span.oomph
color: #5d9a00;

@media screen and (min-width: 960px)
#q-hardest-best .g-hardest
-ms-grid-column: 1;
-ms-grid-column-span: 6;
grid-column: 1/7;
-ms-grid-row: 1;
-ms-grid-row-span: 2;
grid-row: 1/3;
display: -ms-grid;
display: grid;
grid-gap: 20px 40px;
-ms-grid-columns: (1fr)[6];
grid-template-columns: repeat(6, 1fr);
padding-top: 180px;
position: relative;

#q-hardest-best .g-hardest::after
content: ” “;
position: absolute;
display: block;
height: 75%;
top: 21%;
left: 60%;
z-index: -1;
transform-origin: bottom right;
transform: skew(-23deg, 0deg);
border-right: 2.5px solid black;

@media screen and (min-width: 1080px)
#q-hardest-best .g-hardest
padding-top: 152px;

#q-hardest-best .g-hardest::after
width: 11%;

@media screen and (min-width: 960px)
#q-hardest-best .g-best
-ms-grid-column: 7;
-ms-grid-column-span: 6;
grid-column: 7/13;
-ms-grid-row: 2;
-ms-grid-row-span: 1;
grid-row: 2/3;
display: -ms-grid;
display: grid;
grid-gap: 20px 40px;
-ms-grid-columns: (1fr)[6];
grid-template-columns: repeat(6, 1fr);
position: relative;
top: -20px;

@media screen and (max-width: 959px)
#q-hardest-best .g-best-mobile-hed
margin-top: 40px;

#q-hardest-best .g-best .g-quote
transform: none !important;

@media screen and (min-width: 960px)
#q-hardest-best .special-padding
padding-right: 10%;

.g-fixedSlide
position: relative;
margin: 0 0 31px 0;
overflow: visible;

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
.g-fixedSlide
margin-bottom: 50px;

.g-fixedSlide .fixed-slide
position: relative;

.g-fixedSlide .fixed-slide::after
content: “”;
display: block;
position: absolute;
z-index: -1;
height: 100%;
width: 100%;
top: 0;
background-attachment: fixed;
background-size: cover;
background-position: top center;

.g-fixedSlide .fixed-slide > *
z-index: 100;

.g-fixedSlide #fixed-slide-1::after
background-image: url(‘https://static01.nyt.com/newsgraphics/2019/03/19/wwc-survey/assets/images/ali-riley-nz-33-crop-2000.jpg’);

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
.g-fixedSlide #fixed-slide-1 .g-hed
margin-bottom: 40px;

.g-fixedSlide #fixed-slide-2::after
background-image: url(‘https://static01.nyt.com/newsgraphics/2019/03/19/wwc-survey/assets/images/cho-so-hyun-south-korea-18-2000.jpg’);

.g-fixedSlide #fixed-slide-3::after
background-image: url(‘https://static01.nyt.com/newsgraphics/2019/03/19/wwc-survey/assets/images/cho-so-hyun-south-korea-14-2000.jpg’);

@supports (-webkit-overflow-scrolling: touch)
.g-fixedSlide .fixed-slide::after
background-attachment: scroll;

.g-fixedSlide #fixed-slide-1::after
background-image: url(‘https://static01.nyt.com/newsgraphics/2019/03/19/wwc-survey/ae6aeaeb17c4a8eafe63af465bd932ee2f4062f7/mobile-2.jpg’);
filter: brightness(1.05) contrast(1.05);

.g-fixedSlide #fixed-slide-2::after
background-image: url(‘https://static01.nyt.com/newsgraphics/2019/03/19/wwc-survey/ae6aeaeb17c4a8eafe63af465bd932ee2f4062f7/mobile-3.jpg’);

.g-fixedSlide #fixed-slide-3::after
background-image: url(‘https://static01.nyt.com/newsgraphics/2019/03/19/wwc-survey/ae6aeaeb17c4a8eafe63af465bd932ee2f4062f7/mobile-1.jpg’);
filter: brightness(1.1);

@supports not (-webkit-overflow-scrolling: touch)
@media screen and (max-width: 599px)
.g-fixedSlide .fixed-slide::after
background-attachment: scroll;

.g-fixedSlide #fixed-slide-1::after
background-image: url(‘https://static01.nyt.com/newsgraphics/2019/03/19/wwc-survey/ae6aeaeb17c4a8eafe63af465bd932ee2f4062f7/mobile-2.jpg’);
filter: brightness(1.05) contrast(1.05);

.g-fixedSlide #fixed-slide-2::after
background-image: url(‘https://static01.nyt.com/newsgraphics/2019/03/19/wwc-survey/ae6aeaeb17c4a8eafe63af465bd932ee2f4062f7/mobile-3.jpg’);

.g-fixedSlide #fixed-slide-3::after
background-image: url(‘https://static01.nyt.com/newsgraphics/2019/03/19/wwc-survey/ae6aeaeb17c4a8eafe63af465bd932ee2f4062f7/mobile-1.jpg’);
filter: brightness(1.1);

.g-grid-container
position: relative;
padding: 20px 20px;
margin: 0 auto;
max-width: 1280px;

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
.g-grid-container
display: -ms-grid;
display: grid;
grid-gap: 0px 40px;
-ms-grid-columns: (1fr)[12];
grid-template-columns: repeat(12, 1fr);
padding: 80px 40px;

.g-grid-container .g-item-image
cursor: zoom-in;
margin: 0 0 8px 0;

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
.g-grid-container .g-item-image
margin: 0 0 15px 0;

.g-grid-container .g-item-image .g-asset-source
padding: 6px 0 0 0;
font-weight: 400;

@media screen and (min-width: 720px)
.g-grid-container .g-item-image .g-asset-source
font-weight: 100;

.g-grid-container .g-item-image .g-asset-source .g-caption
font-family: ‘nyt-franklin’, Arial, sans-serif;
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The eighth Women’s World Cup, which begins Friday in France, comes at a pivotal time for the women’s game. For years, players around the world have demanded better pay and more support from their federations. In some countries, serious progress has been made; in many others, the fight continues.

We wanted to know what it’s like to be an elite women’s soccer player in this moment.

To get inside that bubble, The New York Times sent a survey to every national team participating in this year’s World Cup and heard back from more than 100 players from 17 of the 24 countries competing in France.

And through a partnership with Goal Click, we gave dozens of players disposable cameras and asked them to capture their lives as they see them. Through their photographs and answers to our questions, the players took us places fans and the news media rarely go.

Here are their stories, in their own words and images.

Chelsea F.C. Women players on their way to their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal in March.
Photograph by Ali Riley, 31, New Zealand defender

Monica, left, and Kerolin playing Teqball at Granja Comary, the Brazilian training center outside Rio de Janeiro.
Photograph by Tamires, 31, Brazil defender

The cleat room at Providence Park in Portland, Ore.
Photograph by Caitlin Foord, 24, Australia forward

Rattikan Thongsombut of Thailand during national team training camp.
Photograph by Miranda Nild (Suchawadee Nildhamrong), 22, Thailand forward

What does your family think of your job as a professional soccer player?

Members of the Australian national team at Brighton-Le-Sands Beach, Sydney.
Photograph by Steph Catley, 25, Australia defender

‘Proud, but unsure if it is economically viable.’

Ali Riley, 31, New Zealand defender

‘That it doesn’t last a lifetime.’

Mariana Larroquette, 26, Argentina forward

‘My family is happy. But we’re still not professional in Italy.’

Sara Gama, 30, Italy defender

‘I think they think I’ll do a couple of years but ultimately leave early due to monetary reasons.’

Miranda Nild (Suchawadee Nildhamrong), 22, Thailand forward

‘Initially they were against it, saying, “Girls playing soccer?” … But they are very happy now that I am a member of the Korean national team and that I am doing well on the best team.’

Lee Sodam, 25, South Korea midfielder

Members of the United States national team at training camp in San Jose, Calif., in May.
Photograph by Kelley O’Hara, 30, United States defender

‘They support me, because they know nothing else brings me joy than playing soccer. And my income supports my family.’

Thembi Kgatlana, 23, South Africa forward

‘They love that I get to do what I love.’

Kelley O’Hara, 30, United States defender

What’s the biggest sacrifice you’ve made to play soccer?

Having my mom invest in my soccer career even though money was very tight. Leaving school multiple times a year and to play for the national team and missing out on classes.

A lot of social aspects

Putting a business I own on hold

Finding my way to training and back

Missing a lot of school and being away from home a lot

Giving up my studies

Traveling far from my family and friends

Body

Financial prosperity

Social life through high school. Didn’t stay out late or party often like my friends. And then social life in college was restricted to one or two days a week

I try to devote every time I have the opportunity to practice and compete in football. Because I love football the most

Postponing motherhood after being told my ovaries have to come out early due to BRCA

To stay hungry so I can save money for my transport to training, so that I can play soccer

Leave school and family

Leaving my family

Leaving my family behind at the age of 14

I wouldn’t call it a sacrifice, because I love what I do but having to make my life and my decisions revolve around football

Not further my education after college

Not pursuing my studies

Leave my family continents away

Leaving home early, and therefore missing out on day-to-day relationships with relatives.

Teamwork

Leaving my husband

Missing being with my family

Leaving my children at home to play

Moving far away from my family at 15 years old

Teenage life

Moving away from family to a country I knew nothing about

Sacrificed one semester of school to participate in a continental tournament

Over all just missing important, once-in-a-lifetime events. Being away for school/soccer caused me to miss the birth of my niece and nephew as well as my brother’s wedding. Just events like that, especially since I’m such a big family person — that was a big sacrifice for me

If there was one thing that I sacrificed for soccer, it would be taking part in social events throughout my teenage years. However, I was always happy playing soccer and hanging out with my teammates so I never felt the need to seek approval from other peers by going to parties. Being part of a soccer team taught me to always make good decisions in life.

Leaving home to pursue my dream as an athlete overseas

When I was 10-13, I was homeschooled because it created more time for me to focus on soccer, along with a couple of other reasons. I missed a large part of my childhood as a child due to the dream I had of playing futbol at an elite level

Missing family events to go to tournaments

Postponing my university degree

Leave my family and country

Living away from family. Lack of personal time due to group living

Team (group) living. Making concessions. Being considerate of others

The biggest sacrifice I’ve had to make was friendships. A lot of times soccer took me away from my friends and time with them.

Leaving my studies twice

I would throw my shorts and takkies out of the window so that my mom mustn’t see that I was going to play soccer

Moving away from my home, family, friends and country to the other side of the world

Leaving my diploma exam for Under 17 World Cup in New Zealand 2008

I had to walk 20 kilometers to training

Making more money in the field I studied in college

It’s not a sacrifice but I have had to deal with discrimination

I haven’t had to make any

Moving away from my family

Time with family in important festivals

Having to stop working and earning a salary and sacrificing time with my family

Sacrificing personal time to participate in a joint exercise for the team

Injury

Away from the family to devote to playing football for the country

Injury

It was go far from my family early, I was 17 years old

I come from Martinique, I left my family for France when I was 14 and a half

Nothing in particular

Not being able to live in New Zealand close to my family

I had to leave my family

Not attending my nephew’s funeral to play Cosafa Cup final

Not attending my cousin’s funeral

To leave my family and loved ones

Nothing

Had to leave school and go play professional football in Russia.

Being away from family

Not having enough food to eat, taking two buses to get to the club, being away from my family

Leaving my family at the age of 12

You sacrifice relationships with family and friends

To leave my family

Aftereffects following injuries

By running away from home to another state just to pursue my dream by playing soccer

Leaving my family at the age of 12

Playing abroad

I had to leave my hometown when I was 17. Missed my family and friends a lot

Leaving my families at tender age to play football

Dropped out of school

Missing important events for the people I love

Everything in my life comes second to my football. I’ve given up everything to be where I am

Moving away from my family

Living far away from my mother, so that I could put all chances on my side to succeed in soccer

When I was growing up playing without getting paid

Distance from my family

My aunt passed away while I was in training. I mentioned it to the team but didn’t feel comfortable leaving the team so ended up staying. I was sad

Definitely to move from home when I was 17 for my first professional contract

I missed my sister’s wedding

My injuries, because I know, that I’m gonna have problems with my knees in the future. Also my family. I love to be with them, it’s the most [important] thing for me, but at least, it doesn’t work to live with my family and play professional soccer

Missing out on family gatherings and big moments in the lives of my dearest, like weddings

Being away from family

Leave my family house when I was 15 to go to soccer boarding school

Leaving friends and family

Leaving the family and friends

I had to leave my family and my country

I missed many school trips, birthdays and activities with my friends

Change the school at the age of 17

Leaving my family, missing birthdays and important celebrations

Time with family and friends

To balance my study and play with boys because there was no ladies team

Going to training in a hidden form and I will get beaten by my cousin

I couldn’t see my family for a while. I went to Clairefontaine, France’s soccer training center, when I was 14. I come from Rouen, in northern France, and started playing in Montpellier, southern France, at 16. The cities are opposite to each other

As a player on the national team, I have to consider different factors. Like playing in Europe even if the annual pay is low.

Did you ever have to play on boys’ teams, or against boys, growing up?

From left: Letícia, Tamires, Kathellen and Luana of Brazil in Don Benito, Spain.
Photograph by Aline Reis, 30, Brazil goalkeeper

‘I played with boys from the beginning (age of 4) till 16. Also in my age now, I play against boys and men in the preseason of my club.’

Johanna Elsig, 26, Germany defender

‘I have played on boys teams until the age of 18, by choice.’

Loes Geurts, 33, Netherlands goalkeeper

‘Used to play on boys’ teams up until 15 years old. I still have practice games against boys’ teams.’

Saki Kumagai, 28, Japan defender

‘Yes, every day.’

Natalia Campos, 27, Chile goalkeeper

‘Yes. Against boys growing up.’

Tamires, 31, Brazil defender

Members of the South Korean national team at the Paju National Football Training Center in South Korea.
Photograph by Cho So-hyun, 30, South Korea midfielder

Trondheims-Orn playing in Norway.
Photograph by Lauren Silver, 26, Jamaica midfielder

Orlando City Stadium.
Photograph by Alanna Kennedy, 24, Australia defender

Abby Dahlkemper, left, and Emily Sonnett of the United States in San Jose.
Photograph by Sam Mewis, 26, United States midfielder

How many jobs do you have in addition to playing soccer?

Rose Lavelle, left, and Alex Morgan of the United States in an ice bath during training camp in San Jose.
Photograph by Sam Mewis, 26, United States midfielder

‘Being that I just graduated from college, I have never had another job besides helping my parents at their restaurant, while completing soccer and school.’

Miranda Nild (Suchawadee Nildhamrong), 22, Thailand midfielder

‘Only soccer.’

Saki Kumagai, 28, Japan defender

‘Today I am a professional soccer player, but not that long ago I was studying to get a caseworker diploma, which I did.’

Julie Debever, 30, France defender

‘At the moment, I’m out of work.’

Virginia Gómez, 28, Argentina defender

‘Aside from studying, two.’

Daniela Pardo, 31, Chile midfielder

About how much money did you make playing soccer this year?

I.L. Sandviken players in Bergen, Norway.
Photograph by Stine Hovland, 28, Norway defender

‘Not much. I don’t get a salary, only travel expenses for the national team on FIFA dates.’

Natalia Campos, 27, Chile goalkeeper

‘A few hundred thousand. Between $300,000 and $400,000.’

Ashlyn Harris, 33, United States goalkeeper

‘Cool amount of money that could take care of me.’

Rasheedat Ajibade, 19, Nigeria midfielder

‘I was in university on a soccer scholarship, so all the money I received on scholarship was put towards my education.’

Chanel Hudson-Marks, 21, Jamaica defender

‘I’m sorry, I don’t talk about that.’

Valérie Gauvin, 22, France forward

Below are approximate earnings figures provided by individual players and converted to United States dollars.

$0 Jamaica
$159 Thailand
$225 Jamaica
$400 Jamaica
$476 Thailand
$800 Jamaica
$1,600 Nigeria
$2,106 South Africa
$2,340 Nigeria
$2,808 South Africa
$3,131 Argentina
$3,172 Thailand
$3,172 Thailand
$3,173 Thailand
$3,500 South Africa
$3,510 South Africa
$5,077 Thailand
$6,345 Thailand
$6,345 Thailand
$7,000 Jamaica
$7,019 South Africa
$7,281 Chile
$7,500 Brazil
$8,500 South Korea
$10,000 South Korea
$10,000 Jamaica
$10,000 South Africa
$10,528 South Africa
$13,150 New Zealand
$13,888 Nigeria
$13,888 Nigeria
$15,000 Jamaica
$15,653 Chile
$18,000 New Zealand
$21,225 France
$25,000 South Africa
$25,000 South Africa
$27,778 Nigeria
$28,000 Norway
$30,000 South Africa
$30,000 New Zealand
$30,000 Brazil
$32,000 France
$33,411 Brazil
$40,000 Nigeria
$50,000 South Korea
$50,000 Nigeria
$50,000 France
$60,000 New Zealand
$89,641 Nigeria
$167,500 United States
$350,000 United States

What’s the hardest / best part of being a female soccer player?

What’s the hardest part of being a female soccer player?

‘Financially it doesn’t make sense.

Ashleigh Shim, 25, Jamaica forward

‘Female soccer players get less attention, we hardly get the same treatment they give to male soccer players. We work very hard but hardly get recognized.

Chinaza Uchendu, 21, Nigeria midfielder

‘Trying to figure out how and when to take a break and start a family. Thinking if I can come back from having a baby.’

Sashana Campbell, 28, Jamaica midfielder

Discrimination in every area, no support, no equal pay, no good soccer fields. … We claim respect.’

Kathellen, 23, Brazil defender

‘Playing with your monthly cycle.’

Rasheedat Ajibade, 19, Nigeria midfielder

‘Being an amateur.’

María Belén Potassa, 30, Argentina forward

Nattaruja Muthtanawech of Thailand rehabilitating on the sideline.
Photograph by Miranda Nild (Suchawadee Nildhamrong), 22, Thailand forward

What’s the best part of being a female soccer player?

Members of Kopparbergs/Göteborg F.C. of Gothenburg, Sweden, during a league match.
Photograph by Loes Geurts, 33, Netherlands goalkeeper

‘Enjoying the purity and fairness of the game. Female players live for the game, not for the money. That motivation makes the game more pure and fun.’

Loes Geurts, 33, Netherlands goalkeeper

‘We get to meet new friends daily. And I’m always happy with the ball on my feet.’

Lebohang Ramalepe, 27, South Africa defender

‘Wearing the badge of your country.’

Daniela Pardo, 31, Chile defender

To score a goal! No, to play a game in a full stadium. Ten years ago in France, the games weren’t on TV. There was limited enthusiasm. Social media has helped, too.’

Viviane Asseyi, 25, France forward

‘The best part about being a female playing soccer is proving people wrong. In all aspects of our society it has become habit or trend to underestimate women. That being said, it feels amazing to silence the nonbelievers.’

Chanel Hudson-Marks, 21, Jamaica defender

Alanna Kennedy, left, and Steph Catley of Australia at training camp in Denver.
Photograph by Caitlin Foord, 24, Australia forward

Eugenie Le Sommer with a ball in Lyon, France.
Photograph by Eugenie Le Sommer, 30, France forward

Jordan Nobbs, left, and Leah Williamson of Arsenal warming up before a training session.
Photograph by Beth Mead, 24, England forward

Dijon F.C.O. of the Division 1 Féminine league playing its last game this season at Stade Paul-Lignon in Rodez, France.
Photograph by Awona Marie-Aurelle, 26, Cameroon defender

Erin Cuthbert of Scotland at Stade Jean-Bouin in Paris before she and her Chelsea teammates played a UEFA Champions League quarterfinal in March.
Photograph by Hedvig Lindahl, 36, Sweden goalkeeper

What’s one thing you always do before a game?

‘I always go see what the field is like.’

Eugenie Le Sommer, 30, France forward

‘Bow before entering a field.’

Saki Kumagai, 28, Japan defender

‘Eat rice noodles and drink Vita 500.’

Moon Mira, 27, South Korea midfielder

‘I always eat spaghetti/pasta before every game and the evening before.’

Kathrin Hendrich, 27, Germany defender

‘I touch the posts and the crossbar and look at the sky.’

Laura Giuliani, 26, Italy goalkeeper

‘Pray and dance.’

Faith Michael, 32, Nigeria defender

‘I listen to romantic music.’

Javiera Grez, 18, Chile forward

‘I listen to a 30-minute playlist of reggae music from the ’90s.’

Nicole McClure, 29, Jamaica goalkeeper

Which player do you hope to play against this World Cup? Why?

‘Marta and Sam Kerr.’

Sashana Campbell, 28, Jamaica midfielder

‘Sam Kerr because she is always a challenge for me and I love challenge.’

Monica, 32, Brazil defender

‘Marta, because she is really good and she is an icon.’

Emelyne Laurent, 20, France forward

‘Alex Morgan. The opportunity to test myself against one of the best forwards in the game? Big yes.’

Meikayla Moore, 22, New Zealand defender

‘Marta. She inspires me a lot and I’ve never played against her before.’

Asisat Oshoala, 24, Nigeria forward

‘Alex Morgan, to be the best you got to play the best.’

Tiffany Darunee Sornpao, 20, Thailand goalkeeper

See full coverage of World Cup 2019 »

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