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In Spain, unlike women´s soccer, men´s soccer is the one that gets all the expectation and attention. Even though we find more and more women coming into this world, the women´s soccer is still undervalued. However, in other places such us USA, it occurs just the opposite. Women´s soccer is even more important and gathers more attention, while men´s soccer stays in a second background. The women´s soccer in Spain is in disadvantage in relation with USA, due to several factors, being the main one the great inequality that exists between both genders relating to sports.
Some of the causes of this huge inequality between women´s soccer in Spain and the USA are due to the different perspectives that each country has regarding to economy, the mass media and the professional world, among others.
First of all, it has to be mention the salaries and the professionality that women´s soccer players have in both countries. In Spain, only one league is considered as professional, saying that, and considering that a men´s soccer league already exists, it is no possible for both men and women be considered as professional, therefore, women´s soccer is only a hobby for girls. There are some teams that name themselves as professionals, but this is only three out of sixteen teams that play in division one. However, these three teams that are considered “pro”, have no advantage or benefits comparing to the rest, indeed, the name “professional” is pretty much needlessly, because when talking about salaries, they´re not even close to what a man can make for playing soccer. (Newspaper AS, para 1, 2011).
According to the newspaper La voz de Galicia, the woman´s soccer player that receives the highest salary makes between 1000 and 1500 euros a month, depending on the team´s budget and the player´s experience (para.3, 2012). Nevertheless, those cases are very rare, because most of players make no more than 800 euros, and others don’t make a cent, being soccer as mentioned before just a hobby and not a profession in which players can live financially out of it.
On the other hand, according to the newspaper El Mundo Deportivo, the man´s soccer player with the highest salary makes around 36 million euros (para.2, 2015). Because of the inequality regarding to money, many women that play the sport have to make an extra effort, trying to combine studies and jobs with traveling for games and trainings. Regarding to the second division, besides from not making any money at all, players have to even pay to be able to play, while men make at least 4000 euros a month. (Newspaper ABC, para.3, 1014)
As you can see, the inequality is huge in Spain, unlike here in the US. In the United States, women are totally considered as professionals. According to the website La Jugada Finaciera the woman player that receives the highest salary is Alex Morgan, who makes around 3 million dollars. (Para.1, 1015). Also, when talking about college level, it is possible for student’s athletes to receive financial aid, not necessarily a salary but through scholarships, and therefore being able to combine studies and sports, which in Spain is unthinkable to do.
As a second point, it has to be mentioned the unequal impact that women soccer has on both countries. In Spain, regarding to the mass media, it is super uncommon the media like the television or the internet stream alive a soccer match, unless is a championship final of the national tournament, or a match of the Spain national team. Apart from that, the newspapers and the radios don’t really make an emphasis on the woman soccer, regarding to new players coming in, wins or injuries, unlike the men´s soccer that the audience is updated about what´s going on at least five days a week.
Another point, is that woman don’t really make money advertising sport brands, in fact, only three woman soccer players in Spain are paid to do so, and it can´t even being compared to what a men would make for doing a commercial with any known brand. Woman players that have done some kind of advertising said that is not even worth do to that because they don’t even get free stuff, which is totally the opposite for men because for every commercial they make they get paid million and millions of euros, besides the free gear they get for doing so. Men get so much free stuff that they don’t even have to spend from their salary to buy cleats or any sport gear.
Another point to consider is the presence of an important identity, such as the president or the king. In men soccer events there is always some kind of relevant identity representing the country and supporting them, but when it comes to woman soccer, they have to conform to only the presence of their coaching stuff, themselves as a team and the relatives cheering for them on the bleachers. This is due to the minor importance given to woman´s sports by the authorities, because they don’t really consider them as a significant achievement for the country.
Another inequality within the mass media is it to be posted about the tournament results and championships that are not played in Spain, because they are not live streamed by any social red or media until the match or event is finished. Besides that, if there is any championship won by woman people don’t bother to cheer or celebrate in the streets as if the men would win something.
As in the US, we can see just the opposite. A triumph by the woman is as important as the men, and it is definitely much more valued than it is in Spain.
In the US, division one women´s soccer matches are streamed alive by different channels, and some of them are even televised in Spain by the internet, which would be almost impossible for woman soccer in Spain. Radios and newspapers are much more updated with women´s soccer, even more than they are with men´s. Another fact in consideration is that college competitive leagues such as NAIA and NCAA not only stream games through the College website, but people can also see the record and statistics of every single game.
Regarding to sport brands, many women´s soccer players sponsor are actually paid for being the “face” of such brand. Sport gear and cleats are given to them for free, and they don’t have to spend a dime on buying athletic clothes, which is totally the opposite in Spain. A clear example is Alex Morgan, who was mentioned before, and who sponsors different brands such as Coca Cola, Nike, Panasonic, bank of America, among others, and 90% of her incomes are from advertising. She also advertises for magazines like Sports Illustrated and ESPN (Website TOP100Futbol, para.2, 2014).
When talking about the impact that the women´s soccer has in the US, according to the newspaper “El mundo deportivo”, with only paying attention to the number of viewers that watched the last women´s soccer final world cup (26,7 million people), beating the number of people that watched the men’s final in 2014, with only 26,5 million. As if that were not enough, authorities from the government gave the city keys to the team, which is usually done only for great and especial occasions. “All cities in the state of New York celebrated this historic win, these girls are heroes.” Bil de Blasio said. (TWC News, para.10, 2015).
These facts ensure and highlight the clear difference between both countries regarding to the women’s soccer. Despite of this, woman players work and make an extra effort to become better day by day, and to someday being recognized as important and great as men are. The goal is to gain more recognition by the society and become to what soccer is in America for woman.
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