Patricia Rodríguez is an example of the growth of the female figure in the world of football. Beyond the explosion of women’s football, in recent years it is not uncommon to see women working in a world that until not too long ago was practically exclusively for men. Now seeing women as club presidents has been normalized, but there are also women in the sports field, such as physiotherapists, doctors or assistants. And Patricia Rodríguez is an example of this. She started in 2014 as an adventure in Eibar and now she is one of the most experienced Spanish soccer leaders who has been able to make the clubs she has been in grow.: Eibar, Elche and now Granada. Rodríguez spoke of this change in the world of football and of his personal growth in FIFA.
“I love what I do and I am passionate about it. I dedicate hours and hours to it. I provide training, experience and above all attitude”, highlights Patricia. In a highly responsible position, he often has to be unpopular, but he assumes that naturally: “Many times I make decisions that are not very popular but that I understand are the most appropriate and ideal, even if I get criticized. I have argued with a lot of people, but I always go face to face. If I think differently, I say it, we see it and we analyze it.“.
An adventure that started in Ipurúa
“I applied to the offer without much hope, I came from another world and I was a woman. At that time the role of men in football still predominated notably, but I finally got the job,” explained Rodríguez, who did not hesitate to take the car and travel to Eibar to start an unknown adventure: “Nobody knew about the interview. I told it because it was going to be a radical life change. Everyone thought they had driven me crazy … I had a hard time making the decision, but in the end I would rather not do something than regret not doing it. “
Seven years have passed since that and football has changed in a remarkable way: “Since I started in 2014 until now, I do notice important differences. From the presence of women in meetings by the League, as other clubs that are not at the highest level but are beginning to have directors of marketing, foundation, financial … They are preliminary steps and in a short time we will see that it is something more common. “Although for Patricia there is still a long way to go:” I wish there were many more women and it was not news. We must give visibility so that future generations see that they can aspire to it. It is important that women are in decision-making positions so that they collect to a greater extent that in society there is a balance between women and men “.
Her work has brought her many headaches, but also recognitions such as that of 2019. Then she was chosen in the Top 100 of Women leaders in Spain: “I was especially surprised to see the women around her. It was a pride, a satisfaction and a certain responsibility because in the end what you transmit has to be aligned. In that sense I have been learning about the barriers that exist, what feminism is. Before I was somewhat innocent and ignorant, but I have evolved I try to pass on to other people what they have taught me. “
Patricia Rodríguez is a connoisseur of women’s football and the FIFA empowerment project: “It is key that large federations and top organizations get involved. It is a message that permeates the entire structure of women’s football, which has taken a giant step in recent times. The World Cup in France is the turning point in Spain, where everyone commented on what was happening. It is key to talk, see, tell … Four years ago that did not happen. “Professionalization in Spain has been a reality very recently, for Rodríguez, in part, this pandemic has accelerated the process: “It has been something negative, there is no doubt, but it has had small points with positive effects. If I had not had to stop women’s football it would not have accelerated so much; the difference that there was and should not have been so evident. Those little details have sped up this necessary process. I am convinced that it will bring us a giant step forward ”.