All Brazilian fans of women’s football know that the state who invests more in the category is the state of São Paulo, the richest and most populous in the country. So, it is nothing new that two great clubs there, São Paulo FC and Santos FC, who previously invested in women’s football, return the female teams for the 2015 season.
The women’s team of Santos everyone should remember, the “Sereias da Vila” (“Sirens of the Village”) as it was known, won all possible titles between 2009 and 2012, having at that time created the dream team, filled with players of Brazil Women’s National team, having also relied on the distinguished presence, on two occasions, of the biggest women’s football star of all time, Marta, who played for the club on loan. Unfortunately, the club ended the project in 2012 due to lack of sponsors and the high wages of the playmaker, Neymar. The player himself tried to help reactivate the women’s team of the club at the time, through personal sponsors, but the money was not enough for the women’s team to be formed again.
Now, the women’s team of São Paulo, only a few people will remember, because its women’s team was deactivated in 2001. The new coach of the team is Marcelo Frigerio, who led the Kindermann the runner-up in Brasileirão Championship, in 2014, and that was also the coach of Equatorial Guinea national team, in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, in 2011. Another highlight for the reopening of the team will be the presence of former players Sissi and Katia Cilene, who defended the colors of São Paulo in the nineties and were founders of women’s football in the country, both will be part of the current project.
For the happiness of the fans and for the rivalry in the state of São Paulo to be complete, it is just missing Palmeiras and Corinthians (team closest to Marta’s heart) to announce the return of its women’s teams. In the meantime, Santos and São Paulo are in a race against time to assemble their teams to compete in the Brasileirão Championship and in the São Paulo championship, in 2015.
This weekend, São Paulo will evaluate athletes for the formation of women’s football teams in the categories under 15, 17, 20 and senior. For the senior team, the club already has the midfielder Ester, who joined the runner-up team during the Beijing Olympics and played the Bundesliga in the 2013-14 season, and the forward Adriana Costa Tiga, the Tiganinha, who defended the Equatorial Guinea WNT, FIFA Women’s World Cup, in 2011. According to the coach, Marcelo Frigerio, the club is in contact with an athlete of the Paraguayan WNT, an Argentine player and two Mexican players (Maribel Dominguez and Charlyn Corral). The coach still dreams to have the playmaker Marta on the team and says he will talk in future with the club and Marta’s manager.
Now the Santos, with a more modest proposal, announced the hiring of Caio Couto, as coach of the women’s team of the club. Couto, former coach of the Brazilian Women’s U-20 team, already has 16 contracted athletes. The idea of the Santos board is to have a cast of 25 to 30 players for this season.
The excellent player Alline Calandrini, better known as Calan, who has defended the colours of Santos and will again defend the “Sereias da Vila”, gave to Women’s Soccer United a short interview about the return of the female team of Santos:
WSU: Between 2009 and 2012, Santos created the largest and the most successful women’s football team in the country. Unfortunately, due to lack of sponsorship, the club president at that time, Luis Alvaro, ended the female team project. The current president of Santos, Modesto Rome Jr., is committed to the return of the “Sereias da Vila”. How is the team’s rebuilding project going and what is it like to return to Santos?
Calan: It will be a smaller project compared to the other one, years ago. The president took office recently. Already existed this project to return the Sereias and its returned. But it will be something more “modest”. I believe the greatest strength comes next year. What does not change is our responsibility of being champions.
Heading back to Santos is something extra special for me. I started my story here and I intend to finish it here. I lived and experienced special years, full of triumphs. Let it be so once again.
WSU: The coach Caio Couto was announced today as the new coach of the women’s team of Santos. Besides you, some other cast Athlete of old Santos is already agreed with the club?
Calan: It has some of the old players of Santos. The President will announce soon.
WSU: São Paulo FC, another club with great expressiveness in Brazilian football announced the creation of a women’s team for this year. In your opinion, how important is clubs like Santos and Sao Paulo to keep women’s teams for the development of women’s football in the country?
Calan: That is the best thing for women’s football. When it comes to clubs, they attract passion and crowds. If all teams (male teams) have the modality, the scenario would be another. I wish that these teams look at women’s football in a positive way. The clubs shoud not seek profit, but seek other benefits that exists and there are a lot. When it comes to great clubs TVs are interested. If the TV is interested, sponsors will be interested too and so on.
I would like to thank you for the interview and I want to wish lot of success in the return of Santos Calan!
Women’s football enthusiast based in Brazil. Supporting and raising the profile of the women’s game.