A female soccer player in United States is not extraordinary. In Brazil, however, the country known as the “Soccer Nation”, it is an uphill battle for women that grow up playing “the Beautiful Game”.

Larissa Messner was able to overcome many obstacles, and with the support of her friends and family, chose to pursue the sport of soccer throughout her youth. Now, some 15 years later, she is studying Sport Management and playing college soccer for Warner University in Florida.

As a Sophomore she is taking on another challenge having accepted a position to work for USA Futsal at the World Futsal Championships, which take place from July 31st to August 3rd at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

“What attracted me to the World Futsal Championship was working directly with children and futsal, two passions that I have. There will be over 100 teams from all over the world, children from all over the world with different cultures and religions, all competing against each other. It is wonderful to help create a tournament where the children can learn from each other’s culture and make new friends for a lifetime. This environment really makes the experience rewarding for me.” said the Brazilian Messner.

On the International Women’s Day, Larissa dreams for a better and more equal world and for this dream she will keep playing her part.

“Women are coming increasingly important in every field of work and this shows that we have the same capacity as men. People are beginning to see and understand this, especially in Brazil. It’s still going to take a lot of time to end this prejudice, but even to see this small change, at least for me, means that I have more strength to keep fighting and show everything that we women are capable of achieving.”

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