Drika led Workforce Brazil to the 2014 Road Baby United World Cup glory in 2014. She comes from Serra Caída, a small village in Sergipe situated within the north of Brazil. Rising up along with her grandparents in a small home, she didn’t have some huge cash, luxurious or basic items, together with a range, lights, television or many toys.
Right here, she tells her story of how soccer impressed her and took her to a future she had by no means imagined.
I began taking part in soccer with my aunts and cousins once I was seven. That’s the one factor I might do.
I simply wakened and performed soccer… to have enjoyable. I didn’t have the rest to do in life.
After the loss of life of my grandmother, I moved to Rio once I was 13. I went to reside with my mom and stepfather. We didn’t have that mother-daughter bond as a result of I used to be not raised by her and I didn’t bear in mind the final time we met.
Within the village, life was tough however I used to be pleased. I used to be free. I might exit and play with my buddies on the streets. However issues modified once I moved to Rio. It was very completely different. I didn’t have my freedom, there have been folks with large weapons and I noticed plenty of violence.
In Rio, soccer once more was the one factor that made me really feel at house. Once I was taking part in, I didn’t take into consideration the violence I noticed. I simply wished to play soccer. All the things else might simply go on round it.
Once I moved in with my mom, I used to be a teen and I attempted to adapt. We obtained alongside, however I had some fights with my stepfather.
At one level, he kicked me out of the home as a result of I refused to provide cash that I earned as a stipend from a authorities apprentice programme. I moved in with the man I used to be courting however we broke up after eight months and I needed to transfer out. I used to be in a tough scenario and had to consider the place to go. That’s how I made a decision to contact my aunt and went to reside along with her.
Different folks’s homes are by no means like your personal, you might be all the time attempting to adapt. You may’t communicate your thoughts, or it’s a must to anticipate others to eat first, for instance.
The entire time you retain considering: “should you do one thing flawed, they may kick you out”.
Once I was 16, I used to be taking part in soccer with buddies when a Dutch man approached and requested if I wished to play for his workforce.
My buddies and I might go anyplace soccer was. That’s when issues began to vary. He was the founding father of Favela Road Women and he stated that they might compete in a World Cup.
As issues moved on, I ended up turning into captain of the workforce and after the Road Baby World Cup 2014, I grew to become a coach.
A dream come true
I by no means anticipated I might be representing my nation at a world cup as a result of I got here from a small village. It was like a dream come true as a result of I wished to be a footballer representing Brazil.
It wasn’t the official workforce however I believed it’s okay, I used to be taking part in soccer and that was my second. On the world cup, it was superb to fulfill folks from comparable backgrounds. No one spoke English however we used indicators and hand actions to speak. I made new buddies, it was simply superb.
From then onwards, I began considering that I can do way more than what I used to be doing then.
I see the game as one thing life-changing for them [the street children taking up football] as a result of it modified my life. Earlier than being a part of the road baby world cup I believed I might be like an atypical woman in the neighborhood — having a baby once I was 15 or 16 years, getting married and staying there, which isn’t unhealthy.
After the world cup, I met folks from completely different locations and that opened my thoughts and I believed that if I obtained there, I might do much more. The world was so large why would I keep simply in the neighborhood?
I did an internship in the USA, the place I went to Excessive College for 2 months and realized English. Then I went to England to review English. I’m learning bodily training and need to have my very own health club, my very own enterprise sooner or later. I additionally need to maintain working with the kids as a result of they’re household to me.
I realised that maybe I used to be a robust lady and despite the fact that I didn’t have cash, I might do what I wished to if I labored for it. Soccer and the world cup gave me an identification and altered my life.
Soccer was the platform that helped me attain that, to flee from the long run I used to be considering and anticipating as a baby rising up in that group.
As instructed to Luana Ferreira and Faras Ghani.