Wide Angle

Barca Women’s team: Leila Ouahabi, a Spanish football player of Moroccan descent takes part of the club

Fascinated by football since childhood, Leila Ouahabi made of her passion a full-time job by joining the iconic football club FC Barcelona. El País published an article to shed light on the young athlete's profile.

Leila Ouahabi, Spanish football player of Moroccan descent./ DR
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Born in Mataro, Barcelona, the young football player is still attached to her Moroccan origins. «I consider myself part of the second or third-generation of Moroccan immigrants who live in Spain. I have spent all my life here [Spain] but I have travelled a lot in Morocco as my family and siblings live in Tangier», said the 24 year-old football player to the Anadolu news agency in 2015.

«If I had stayed in Morocco, it would have been difficult to play football», Leila informed the Spanish newspaper El País in a biographical article. «My mother and brothers like to come see me playing whenever they have the chance to», the young Barca player stated, without mentioning her father.

A talented immigrant

In love with football since childhood, Leila Ouahabi unlike girls her age, used to ask her mother to buy her balls instead of dolls and toys. «When I was 7 years old, they put me in a gym for kids», she remembers. It is her brother who ignited her passion for football by bringing her to matches with his friends :

«I used to focus on the way they were playing football. (…) I joined the junior team at the Barcelona club when I was 9 and eventually I became a professional player at age 18.»

The young athlete has temporarily left the Barcelona team to join the Valence football club. Currently, she is a left-back player at the Barcelonian club which is participating to this season’s prestigious Champion’s League tournament. «All the teams are very powerful. The matches are very intense and physically-demanding», she said while displaying a sincere and contagious smile.

Leila’s smile is a sign of victory, since it is the first time in her club's history that it gets ranked fourth best team in Europe. «We all are optimistic and passionate.»

Leila Ouahabi as an Arab and Muslim immigrant wants to represent her culture. According to Anadolu, she doesn’t hesitate to show off with pride her neck tattoo that «says "Leila" in Arabic».

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