As the world of football counts down to the reveal of the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 official emblem and slogan – in Paris on 19 September – we are interviewing major figures from the women’s game about the history, the present and the future of the Women’s World Cup.
- Cristina Ferral has embarked on her pro career with Olympique Marseille
- *The Mexican's biggest ambition is to play in the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ *
- “I want to give my all and do Mexico proud”
Mexican midfielder Cristina Ferral knows that she owes much of her happiness to the game of football.
Thanks to her ability with the ball, she won sports scholarships to universities in Mexico and the USA, and is now living out her dream of playing the game at the highest level in Europe.
The club that has made that dream come true is Olympique Marseille of France, the country that is set to become the global focal point of the women’s game by staging two major competitions: the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018 and the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™.
Discussing her career, her arrival in France and what she hopes to bring to the Mexican national team, she gave an exclusive interview to FIFA.com.
Fact file *
*Name: Cristina Ferral
Date of birth: 16 February 1993
Place of birth: Tampico, Mexico.
World Cup appearances: *FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Trinidad and Tobago 2010, group phase
*Position: defensive midfielder
*The standard of football* **“As everyone knows, the final of the Women’s Champions League was between two French teams, which tells you a lot. There are some very good players and teams around. I’ve been taken aback by the sheer commitment and professionalism of all the players at Olympique Marseille.”
*Expectations ahead of the two major competitions* **“Women’s football is big in France; a lot of people are interested in it and follow it. Two of my team-mates at my club have been called up to the national team and they’re really excited about it. There are still two years to go, but time flies and you have to start preparing now.”
*Her debut* **“I was very nervous and excited, so it was a case of mixed emotions for me. It was a childhood dream of mine. Playing in Ligue 1 in France is special and I want to give my all and do Mexico proud.”
On the Mexican national team:
*What she has to offer* **“The pace of the game here is a bit faster than in Mexico, because when you’ve got someone closing you down you have to think more quickly about what you’re going to do. I like the fact that Olympique play all their passes along the ground, which is something the Mexico coach likes too.”
*The possibility of playing in the World Cup* **“I get really excited thinking about the World Cup. I’ve only ever played in the U-17 world finals. It’s something every player wants and I’d love to be able to take part. That’s one of the reasons why I came here. It’s always been a dream of mine.”
*On the newly created Women’s Liga MX* **“I’m delighted to see the support the clubs are giving the national women’s team. I know that Mexican players are going to improve thanks to that kind of exposure week in week out, and that’s going to help us compete against the best in the world.”
Did you know?
- Ferral’s love for football developed late: “I was a very, very restless child and to begin with it was just a way for me to burn off all the energy I had.”
- Olympique Marseille are the first professional club she has played for: “The only teams I played for before were the University of South Florida and Borregos Salvajes ('Wild Rams') at the Monterrey Institute of Technology.”
- Favourite hobbies: “Watching films, cooking and being with my family. I was 18 when I left home, so I make the absolute most of the time I get to spend with them now.”
- Favourite food: “Main course: Mexican. Dessert: French.”
- Dancing queen: “I prefer dancing with a partner, so I can follow their lead. My favourite music is reggaeton and I like a bit of pop too.”
- A dedicated student: “I studied Business Administration at university and I’m about to finish a Master’s in Finance.”