Alline Calandrini interviewPhoto source:Rafael Ribeiro

Brazil international defender Alline Calandrini is currently competing at the Copa América Feminina, in which Brazil are hoping to win a place at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015.

Alline Calandrini ‘Calan’ is considered as one of the finest footballers in her country. The 26 year old made her debut with the Brazil women’s national team in 2009.

Alline and her Brazilian teammates have successfully progressed to the final round of the Copa América and edge closer to those all important qualification berths. In an exclusive interview with Women’s Soccer United, the Centro Olímpico defender discusses the Copa América Feminina, the reality of women’s club football in Brazil, and her ambitions for the future.

Women’s Soccer United: You are currently competing at the Copa América Feminina, how has the tournament experience been for you so far?

Alline Calandrini: This Copa América is the beginning of a new cycle in the Brazilian National Team. The friendly matches ended and from now on it is only valid matches and this is extremely important.
I’ve been in another Copa América and I liked it a lot. The experience has been good and adding value to the team.

Esta copa América é o início de um novo ciclo na seleção brasileira. Acabaram os amistosos e de agora em diante é só jogo valendo e isso é extremamente importante.
Já estive em outra Copa América e eu gosto muito. A experiência está sendo boa e agregando valor a equipe.

WSU: What is the general mood like in the Brazil camp at this competition is their good team spirit?

Calandrini: The mood of the team is always cheerful, confident and focused. We trust one another, regardless of who plays. The goal and focus is to classify our team for the Women’s World Cup and win this tournament.

O estado da equipe é sempre alegre, confiante e focado. Uma confiando na outra, independente de quem jogue. O objetivo e o foco é classificar nossa seleção para o mundial e vencer este torneio.

WSU: How difficult are your opponents at this year’s Copa América Feminina, who in particular are the toughest to play against?

Calandrini: The South American teams have evolved considerably in the last two years. This is clear. We face a Chilean WNT who are well organized tactically. We also face Argentina where we had the most possession, more chances for goals and yet we lost. Argentina is a tough team. Against Argentina it is more of a game of rivalry, power and provocation.
In this new phase (Copa América Feminina final round), I believe that Colombia will be a great opponent. It is a selection that has more experienced players. From now on is “kill a lion by day.”

As seleções sul-americanas evoluíram bastante de dois anos para cá. Isto é nítido. Enfrentamos uma seleção Chilena bem organizada taticamente. Também enfrentamos a Argentina onde tivemos a maior posse de bola, mais chances de gols e perdemos. A Argentina é um time encardido. É um jogo mais de rivalidade, força e provocação.
Nesta nova fase acredito que a Colômbia será um grande jogo. É uma seleção que tem jogadoras mais experientes. De agora em diante é “matar um leão por dia”.

WSU: If Brazil is successful in their FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 qualifying campaign, what do you think is a realistic ambition for Brazil in Canada?

Calandrini: Return to be among the three best teams in world football. We will always look for the Gold medal. Before that we hope to have the ideal preparation to reach there as a great squad. We hope to reach the Women’s World Cup as a strong, united, trained and prepared group.

Voltar a estar entre as 3 potências no futebol mundial. Vamos buscar a medalha de ouro sempre. Antes disso esperamos ter à preparação ideal para chegarmos como uma grande seleção . Chegar como um grupo forte, unido, treinado e preparado.

WSU: Who inspired you to play football and have you seen many changes surrounding the women’s game since you first started to play?

Calandrini: What I have in my memory is the World Cup of 1994. I remember I saw Romario, Bebeto and Co… I thought they were the greatest. I used to pretend I was Bebeto and my brother was Romário.

I do not see major changes in the administrative part, professional part and visibility. I have attended a great time at Santos and there I thought that women’s football was going take off. The television was covering matches, it had fans’ attention, had press coverage. However, this was a reality of Santos only.

Today we have no TV coverage, we don’t have traditional teams (big clubs with facilities for male and female squads), we don’t have professionalism.

O que tenho na minha memória é a copa do mundo de 1994. Lembro que via Romário, Bebeo e cia .. Achava o máximo. Eu fazia de conta que era o Bebeto e meu irmão Romário.

Não vejo grandes mudanças na parte administrativa, na parte profissional e visibilidade. Já participei de um grande momento no Santos e ali achei que o Futebol feminino fosse decolar. Tinha Tv cobrindo jogos, tinha assédio dos torcedores, tinha assessoria de imprensa. Porém era uma realidade do SANTOS apenas.

Hoje em dia não temos cobertura de tv, não temos clubes de camisa, não temos profissionalização.

WSU: You currently play for Centro Olimpico. What is it like playing women’s club football in Brazil?

Calandrini: I have a great affection for the club Centro Olimpico. This team opened the door for us when Santos ended. I see a club that is in constant tactical, technical and physical evolution. Professionals seek to give the best of their knowledge to the athletes.

About the clubs in Brazil, they are not always stable. Salaries delay, salaries end, clubs end. Anyone who works in women’s football knows about the instability on the national scene. Which makes us think and rethink all the time.

Tenho um grande carinho pelo Centro Olímpico. Ele abriu as portas para nós quando o Santos acabou. Vejo um clube que está em constante evolução tática, técnica e física. Os profissionais buscam dar o melhor de seus conhecimentos para as atletas.

Sobre os clubes no Brasil nem sempre é estável. Salários atrasam, salários acabam, clubes acabam. Quem trabalha na modalidade sabe desta instabilidade no cenário nacional. O que nos faz pensar e repensar o tempo todo.

WSU: Would you ever consider playing in a league abroad? If yes, what league would you ideally like to compete in and why?

Calandrini: I have had opportunities to go and play abroad. I thought it was not yet time for that. My goals were different.
I would like to play in an American league. I find women’s football fantastic in the USA.

Já tive oportunidades de ir jogar fora. Achava que ainda não era o momento para aquilo. Minhas metas eram outras.
Tenho vontade de jogar uma liga americana. Acho fantástico o futebol feminino nos EUA.

WSU: What are your long term ambitions?

Calandrini: My goals are now focused on Brazil. Winning competitions with my club this year. Then go up one step at a time with the national team. Each player knows the of the responsibility to wear the shirt of this selection. It is time to seek improvements and changes for the women’s football in the country. And this can only happen with results.

Minhas metas hoje estão focadas no Brasil. Conquistar as competições pelo meu clube este ano. Em seguida subir um degrau de cada vez com a seleção brasileira. Cada jogadora sabe da responsabilidade que tem hoje vestir a camisa desta seleção. É a hora de buscarmos melhorias e mudanças para a modalidade no país. E isto só consegue com resultados.

2 Comments
  1. Gina West 5 years ago

    Thank you Calan!
    It is great to hear the mood in the Brazil camp is positive, I wish you all the best for the rest of your Copa America campaign.
    I really hope that women’s football in Brazil (club and international) gets more support so you can develop and have the possibilities of playing professionally.

  2. Izzy 5 years ago

    Thank you Calan! Obrigada Calan!
    Awesome interview!!!!!!

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