‘Football’s little ladies’: Brazilian girls prepare for future Women’s World Cups | Brazil

Thaissan Passos grew up playing football with her male cousins on the streets of the Beira-Mar favela in Duque de Caxias, a city in Rio de Janeiro’s sprawling suburbs. When the boys progressed to proper practice, she wanted to join too – but the football club wouldn’t take girls.

“I was so frustrated,” recalls the 37-year-old, wiping away tears as she recounts the innumerable obstacles she faced in her attempts to play football, her only refuge from a violent home. Persistence paid off and Passos built a career in the sport, first as a goalkeeper, then as a coach, and then as the…

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