Featuring some of the biggest names in the women's game, 'The Football Podcast' will entertain and inspire the next generation of players coming through.
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Top players including Megan Rapinoe, Pernille Harder and Sari van Veenendaal join footballing hosts Shanice van de Sanden, Nadia Nadim and street soccer legend Rocky Hehakaija on 'The Football Podcast', a new show from UEFA's Together #WePlayStrong.
Club and international rivalries are set aside as players combine to discuss and debate some of sport's most prominent issues.
"By placing issues such as gender, race and equality under the microscope, we hope to spark conversations which will empower girls who have had similar experiences to never give up on their footballing dreams," says Dutch international van de Sanden.
Sparking a revolution
From the equal pay debate to whether women should play with smaller footballs or goals, the players candidly share what they believe needs to change to improve the game at all levels, as well as taking a stance against derogatory, misogynistic and gender-biased social media comments, revealing their own personal challenges playing at the top level.
"The perception of females involved in football has shifted massively since I began my career but unfortunately conversations around racial and gender equality has remained largely the same," explains Denmark forward Nadim. "By unlocking these subjects and bringing them to the forefront, we hope to spark a revolution of our game and unite the women’s football community to inspire change."
As part of UEFA’s Together #WePlayStrong campaign, the six-part series aims to provide a platform for the game’s most influential players to inform and motivate the young stars of tomorrow to continue aspiring to reach their footballing goals.
"Athletes should be brave and use their platform to stand up and speak up," says World Cup winner Rapinoe. "They should always fight for more, and always inspire. Society glorifies athletes, we have a responsibility to use that shine and spotlight to make the world a better place."
'The Football Podcast': first six episodes
The one where no one cares: exploring the evolution of women’s football in a crowded sports landscape.
The one where our goalkeepers are embarrassing: breaking down stereotypes and discussing whether adjustments to pitch, goal and ball size could have a positive or negative impact.
The one where we should get back to the kitchen: players reveal the common insults they experience on social media and how this has impacted their performance on the pitch.
The one where we were beat by 15-year-old boys: looking at the best coaching environments to help steer girls to the top of the game.
The one where we don’t deserve equal pay: reviewing the most debated topic in women’s football – equality. But is it really about equal pay? The players reveal what they believe needs to change.
The one where we shouldn’t mention our periods: noting how menstrual cycles can affect players’ training and match performance.
The first three episodes are available now on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube and IGTV, with the next three, featuring UEFA Women's Player of the Year Pernille Harder, to be released in the near future.
"We wanted to create the first women’s football podcast that is genuinely made by the players, for the players," said host Hehakaija. Shanice, Nadia and I have all faced challenges whilst pursuing careers in the sport that we love, both individually and collectively as women. Throughout the series, we hope to support young girls who are starting their journeys and encourage them to never give up,” added podcast host Rocky.
Time For Action and #WePlayStrong
‘The Football Podcast’ will play a critical part of UEFA Together #WePlayStrong’s overarching aim to change the perceptions of women’s football and make the sport feel cool and relatable to young girls in the hope of encouraging them to continue or consider playing in the future.
It is a key component of UEFA's women's football strategy, Time for Action, which was launched in 2019 to support, guide and lift women’s football and women in football by 2024.