Brazil on the right path.
The last couple of years were very disappointing for the Brazilian women’s football fans.
This is because, despite the large investment in the women’s team, as the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) invested more than ever before, the team had a poor performance in the main tournaments, well below what was expected of them, having been eliminated in the Round of 16 at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and in the Quarter-finals in the Olympic Games in Rio, where the team was one of the favourites, since Brazil was the host country.
However, this week might be a turning point in the Brazilian women’s football future. The CBF, aiming to follow the global tendency to empower women in football, decided to dismiss Vadão, the current coach with all his coaching staff, that were composed only by men, and to employ a female coach, for the first time in Brazilian history, to lead the senior Brazilian women’s team.
The chosen is Emily Lima, 36 year-old, a former player and current coach, very well known in the Brazilian women’s football scene. Lima was recently coaching one of main clubs in women’s football in Brazil, the EC São José. She also led the Brazilian U-17 National team few years ago.
Her first challenge will be the International Tournament next month in Manaus. This edition of the tournament held annually in December until this development was lacklustre, but has now become of huge importance for us to know the new coach and her coaching staff, and know which players will be a part of Emily’s team.
Emily faces the challenge of renewing the team that does not have great talent in the youth categories as in the Marta and Cristiane’s age, besides giving a new face and tactical planning for the team, which Vadão failed to do after almost two years in charge of the team.
Another challenge for Emily is to find a replacement for Formiga, who will retire in December from the Brazilian National team, after 20 years of service. A task that is practically impossible, since Formiga is so unique.
The current coach will have a long time ahead to leave the team with her image and make the necessary renovations. Some players who until then were being crowded out probably will have the opportunity under this new leadership, such as the experienced Rosana, who currently has stood out in the São José team under Emily Lima’s command and the U-20 player Gabi Nunes.
Other players who have been standing out and deserve special attention from Emily are the strikers Beatriz Zaneratto, currently playing in South Korea and the American/Brazilian Jennifer Westendorf, currently playing for the University of Notre Dame.
I hope Emily Lima can make history as leader of our women’s team and that she might be the first of many women involved in the coaching staff, not only in Brazil, but also in South America and around the world.
I also hope that she will not be the only woman in the technical committee of the Brazilian team, that she can be surrounded with skilled professionals and giving the opportunity to include other women in her coaching staff.
To sum up, I wish that she takes coaches as Silvia Neid and Pia Sundhage as her examples, but without failing to tread her own path. Good Lucky Emily!