Women's Football: First transgender footballer signs for top flight side in Argentina

Mara Gomez and Ludmila Angeli both signed for the side this week

Argentinian side, Villa San Carlos, have signed Mara Gomez who has now become the first-ever transgender player to feature in the Primera Division A Women's league.

Gomez is the first transgender player in history to play in a professional Argentinian league, having moved to Villa San Carlos from the amateur league side Malvinas, where she won two league titles and became the club's top goalscorer. 

The 22-year-old has previously played for Toronto City and recently spoke out about growing up and the struggle of feeling 'different' during her childhood.

"When I was going through a moment of change with my identity and my sexuality I suffered a lot of discrimination, bullying and exclusion. There came a time when I did not find meaning in life and did not want to live anymore because I was afraid of my future," the Argentine told EN24.

"I took football as a therapy, I started to dedicate time. At 18, everything changed when I made my gender change in my identity. I tried in Toronto City and they accepted me as I am."

Gomez has been faced with critics throughout her career who believe that she could be at an advantage against other women, but the Argentine disagrees.

"The physical difference is not real. There are a lot of players with much more strength and speed than me and they are not men. It has nothing to do with it.

"If we talk about physical difference and hormones, let’s go to the example of Messi. An extraordinary soccer player, who measures 1.60 meters. If Messi plays against men, why do they have to chase him [in groups of] four?"

Gomez has been vocal in her wishes for the future of football in Argentina and demonstrates an understanding of the responsibility she holds being the first transgender introduced to the top-flight.

"Being able to be in professional football represents a historical struggle. Just as women’s football fought for professionalisation, we all fight for the right to achieve a football in which we can all participate."

The striker joins her new club amid a heavy relegation battle. Villa San Carlos are currently bottom of the league with only one point and are yet to win a game. Gomez, who signed alongside fellow Argentine Ludmila Angeli, could make her debut next month when Villa San Carlos take on league leaders Boca Juniors.

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