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These Brazilian Girls DGAF What You Think about Them Playing Soccer

Lala, 14, is not letting bullying and insults from boys stop her from playing soccer. Neither is her friend Milena.

Both girls live in Rocinha, one of the biggest shantytowns in Brazil. Both girls are obsessed with soccer. Thanks to Estrela Sports, a non-profit in the area sponsored by professional soccer player Elaine Nascimento, they can be part of a team, practice soccer and learn skills they can’t otherwise learn in their poor school system. So what’s the problem? They’re not entirely safe from the stigma that comes with playing soccer.

“The biggest stigma, which is still strong in Brazil, is that girls who play soccer are lesbians or will become lesbians by playing soccer,” says coach Guilherme Silva, who spoke with NPR. Why on earth do people think this? Because from 1941 to 1979 there was a ban that forbade girls from playing sports that were “considered incompatible to their feminine nature.”

Though the legal ban is gone, the social one is still in place…although there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel. “They’ve stopped criticizing me some because I’ve improved a lot since we first started,” Lala says. “They respect me more now.”

And that’s a good thing because Milena can’t imagine her life without the sport. “I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t play soccer. I don’t just like it. I love it,” Milena says.

Lala echoes her sentiment.  It’s not just about loving the sport though. It’s also about creating a safe environment for girls in a crack-riddled city. “I have a friend here,” Lala tells NPR. “She lives here in this neighborhood, a little bit higher on the hill. She’s 10 years old and she’s pregnant. I think if she played soccer, would she be pregnant right now?”

Learn more about Lala and Milena by reading the entire article here.

READ: Rape, Murder, Kidnapping: The Reality of Teenage Girls in El Salvador

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Argentine Soccer Legend Diego Maradona Dies at 60; Fans Grieve

Entertainment

Argentine Soccer Legend Diego Maradona Dies at 60; Fans Grieve

Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images

Legendary Argentine soccer player Diego Maradona is dead from a heart attack. He was 60 years old.

On Wednesday, the the Argentine Football Association announced through Twitter that it “expresses its deepest sorrow for the death of our legend, Diego Armando Maradona. You will always be in our hearts.”

Diego Maradona is considered by many to be the greatest soccer player of all time.

When he was just 18 years old, Maradona led Argentina to a youth World Cup Victory in 1986 and played in four more World Cups after that.

It was at the ’86 World Cup that he was catapulted into global stardom for scoring a goal that would be known afterwards as the “Hand of God”. Maradona led his team to victory over England by jumping over a goalkeeper and punching the ball into the net. Afterward, he described what drove the goal: “It was a little bit with the head and a bit with the hand of God.”

After, Maradona moved to Naples, which would become his adopted home town. He solidified his superstar status by helping the struggling Naples Club clinch its first Italian league title in 1987. A second followed in 1990.

But El Pibe de Oro was as famous for his excesses as he was for his talent. He publicly struggled with drug addiction and personal crises throughout his career and after it. Post-retirement, his health suffered.

Earlier this month, Maradona had underwent an operation to remove a blood clot from his brain. Shortly after, he was admitted to a rehab center to treat his alcohol addiction. On October 25th, he died of a heart attack in his home in Tigre, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In the wake of Maradona’s death, there has been an outpouring of grief from fans, peers, and rivals alike.

Cristiano Ronaldo took to Twitter to express his feelings about the death of a global superstar.

“Today I say goodbye to a friend and the world says goodbye to an eternal genius,” wrote Ronaldo. “One of the best ever. An unparalleled magician. He leaves too soon, but leaves a limitless legacy and a void that will never be filled. Rest in peace, crack. You will never be forgotten.”

Famous Brazilian forward Pelé also wrote a touching tribute to him on Twitter.

“What sad news,” wrote Pelé. “I lost a great friend and the world lost a legend. There is still much to be said, but for now, may God give strength to his family. One day, I hope we can play ball together in heaven.”

Fellow Argentine superstar Leo Messi posted a touching tribute to Maradona on Instagram.

The two players have always drawn parallels because of their country of origin.

Maradona’s adopted stadium of San Paolo in Naples lit up in memoriam of their greatest player.

The entire sports world grieves at the passing of such a legend. Rest in peace, Diego.

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Brazilian President Bolsonaro Distances Himself From Former ‘Friend’ Donald Trump

Things That Matter

Brazilian President Bolsonaro Distances Himself From Former ‘Friend’ Donald Trump

Photo: Andressa Anholete/Getty Images

As we previously reported, different world leaders gave very different responses to Biden’s win and Trump’s loss of the recent presidential election. 

While Mexican President López Obrador is making headlines for refusing to acknowledge Biden’s victory “until all the legal matters have been resolved,” another Latin American president is grabbing the media’s attention for a recent remark he made. 

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro surprised everyone by recently telling a group of students that Trump “isn’t the most important person in the world.”

“I’m not the most important person in Brazil, just as Trump isn’t the most important person in the world,” he told a graduating class of police cadets. “No one is more important than God.” This statement raised eyebrows because up until this point, Bolsonaro acted like Trump was, indeed, the most important person in the world. 

Throughout his presidency, Bolsonaro has made a public display of his respect and admiration for President trump. In fact he was so complimentary of Trump that the media dubbed him the “Trump of the Tropics”. He went so far as to tell Trump “I love you” at a meeting between the two world leaders in at a United Nations conference in 2019.

The similarities between the two blustering leaders are numerous.

They both practice populist, nationalistic, authoritarian tendencies. They both have placed their children in high-ranking government positions. They both love to use the term “fake news”.

Since Trump’s defeat, Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo has continued to publicly voice his support of Trump. He recently Tweeted out a statement implying that Americans are “naive” and “puppets” of social media conglomerates who are dictating to us what is “real or fake” based on their selfish desires. He also Tweeted out that “disinformation is the weapon of the left.”

But sources close to President Bolsonaro say that he has adopted a “more pragmatic tone” since his advisors told him that Trump wouldn’t be the next President of the United States. 

Although Bolsonaro appears to have distanced himself from Trump he, still, reportedly has not congratulated Biden on his win. But nevertheless, he no longer seems to be as head-over-heels with Trump as he did when Trump was at the height of his power. Bolsonaro’s attitude reversal begs the question: if he can forsake his “friend” and role model Donald Trump, we wonder what other former sycophants are next in line to cut ties with the sitting duck president. 

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