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      International Women's Day

    1. election betting india,lc exchange login,casino logo,Arianna Criscione: The Disney story that led to dual PSG role 

            • Arianna Criscione.
              © imago images

                          • Arianna Criscione is a goalkeeper at Paris Saint-Germain
                          • The former Italy international is also one of the club’s sponsorship managers
                          • She tells us about her dual role and the “Disney story” that led to it

                          Millions of us grow up with the dream of playing for a world-renowned club. As we mature, and those ambitions fade for all but the fortunate few, hopes can form of an off-field role in the game.

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                                    The idea that it would be possible to do both, simultaneously combining these dream jobs, would seem the stuff of fantasy. Yet Arianna Criscione – Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper and Sponsorships Manager – has made it her reality.

                                    Criscione is 36, and by the time she arrived in France, the California-born keeper had already won caps with Italy, Serie A titles with Torres and experienced football in Sweden and the Netherlands. But two years ago she had stopped playing and was drifting towards retirement when a chance meeting with Bruno Cheyrou, then sporting director of PSG’s women’s team, changed the course of her life.

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                                    As she explained: “I’d been working as project manager at the Women’s European Freestyle Championships and somehow – don’t ask me how – ended up with a first-class ticket home. When I got on the plane I noticed that Bruno, who I didn’t know at the time, had European Club Association papers next to him, so I just started chatting to him.

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                                          “I’d just done my Master’s at the FBA (Football Business Academy) and he was asking about everything I’d learned, what I thought about the future direction of women’s football and, when we landed, he looked at me and asked me if I wanted to keep playing. I told him I’d love to, but that I’d studied and worked so hard to start making the transition from playing to the business side. I asked if there was any way I could combine both and, fortunately for me, he loved the idea.

                                            “I call it my Disney story. I grew up on Disney movies and, for me, that whole situation with Bruno was the kind of thing that you could imagine watching on TV, thinking: ‘I love it, but that sort of thing never happens in real life’. It really did happen though, and it happened to me.”

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                                                  The outcome, of being able to forge an off-field future while enjoying the autumn of her playing career with one of the world’s best teams, is a fairy tale ending in itself. But Criscione, who plans on retiring at the end of the current season, has her sights set on adding a final flourish that would, again, be Disney-esque.

                                                  1. “I’d love to win the Champions League and, honestly, I think we can,” she said. “We have the best squad in women’s football right now as far as I’m concerned and, with the way the season’s going (with PSG in the UWCL Round of 16 and leading Lyon in the French top flight), we should definitely finish with a trophy or two.”

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                                                        Arianna Criscione in action for PSG
                                                        © imago images

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                                                            Regardless of how the campaign ends, it seems highly unlikely that Criscione will be tempted into prolonging her playing career. Not even the inspirational, record-breaking example of team-mate Formiga – 43 this week and still going strong – is sufficient to prompt second thoughts.

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                                                                  “It’s incredible and awe-inspiring to see what Formiga can still do, but she’s a real physical anomaly. And I’m just not,” Criscione admitted frankly. “I’m stopping on my terms, and I’m ready. I’ve had some injuries, my body’s tired and, while I’ll still work out for the enjoyment of it, it will be nice not to need to train every day.

                                                                  “It’s also not always easy to combine the two roles. We don’t have a set training programme with the team – it changes from week to week, often at short notice – so it’s really tough to schedule business meetings.

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                                                                      1. “And although I’m retiring, I’m not saying goodbye to football. I’ll still be very much involved – just from a different perspective. I’ll be as passionate as ever about developing women’s football, and I feel I can make a real contribution to that off the field.”