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Lizbeth Ovalley, the Mexican “La Maja” who made men angry because they played better than them

Lizbeth Ovalley, the Mexican “La Maja” who made men angry because they played better than them

Lisbeth O'Faly intercepts the ball with Crystal Dunn during the Mexico-USA Women's Gold Cup match. (Harry Howe/USSF/Getty Images for USSF)

Lisbeth Ovalle has a nickname that does justice to her immense talent on the ball: the magician. The 24-year-old Mexican midfielder creates magic on national football pitches and also when she represents El Tri. This was demonstrated by her legendary goal, now written in gold letters, against the United States in the Women's Gold Cup. It was magic in its purest form: the definition of a masterful left-hander to open the frame and show that overcoming world power is not a dream but a possibility.

Talent is not enough in football or in any sport. Success stories are always supported by a great will that knew how to triumph in moments of pressure. So was Ovalle, who for some reason initially had to deal with the sexist comments: They didn't think a girl could play better than a boy. This is what the striker said in an interview with the official channel of the Mexican national team two months ago.

“I've had setbacks and bad situations. For example, I played a game and the opponents' parents said: “Break it, I'll pay for it, how can a girl hit you, hit her hard, it doesn't matter.” These kind of comments, at some point, made me think about quitting football. I thought football wasn't for me. But my father talked to me and told me that I was good at what I did and that the other children’s parents were angry because I was better than them.”

Offaly, after this talk, made the decision to continue in football and progress as far as possible, because at that time there was no professional league in Mexico. But she was called up by the Aguascalientes team and then underwent testing at the High Performance Center in the Mexican capital. When she was just 14 years old, she ventured out and her qualities made her stand out. He reached the junior teams where he began to become a regular at the age of 17, playing in the Under-17 and Under-20 World Cups. “It's a responsibility to represent Mexico not just here (focus), in your home, with your friends. I always play for the national teamShe said in the same interview that she is proud of her achievements.

Ovalie is currently studying at the Faculty of Sports Organization at the Autonomous University of Nuevo León. He combined his sports career with higher education. Although his path in football initially seemed governed by the university environment, Professionalization came when the Liga MX Femenil was founded in Mexico in 2017. Offaly's talent also made her a reference for Tigres Feminil, the club with which she won six times and scored 97 goals.

His cutting-edge techniques, creativity and access to the region were highly regarded abroad where he received offers from Europe. “The truth is that I have had offers. I won't tell you the difference, but I have offers. If I don't want to leave it's because I love the club. I'm happy with Tigres, and with the city.” For everything they gave me, for everything they gave me, for everything I gave, but the dream is to emigrate one day. I don’t know what day I don’t know if I will leave for a year. He said in an interview with TUDN: “Two years, if I leave for a season and come back.”

Ovalie is living a dream and her stunning goal against the USA confirmed that she is the person she represents in Mexican football and beyond. She plays at a very high level that she has learned to develop over the years, with dedication and perseverance, despite criticism from those who cannot see a woman beating men in football.

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