To win a Championship and a Coppa Italia in the same season is already a feat that few clubs can manage, and it is even more so if you think that the team was born just two years ago. We are talking about the ladies of the Fiorentina Women's Football Club who have achieved the double whammy in women's football at the end of an exciting season during which they dominated all the opponents on the field.
The interview with Cristina Scaletti
Clearly, to be able to stay at the top for a whole season, from beginning to end, it is necessary to maintain a top psycho-physical condition which also goes beyond the boundaries of the playing field, as is explained by Cristina Scaletti, scientific director of the Fiorentina Women's Football Club.
First of all give us a comment about a season full of successes and triumphs.
It has been an intense season, full of satisfaction thanks to a punctual programming declined in all its meanings, and to the commitment of the girls and the work of all the Fiorentina staff. These extraordinary results, winning both the Championship and the Cup were possible thanks to the foresight of the Della Valle family who believed and invested in a great project, both from a football and civic point of view, and which Mario Cognigni, Sandro Mencucci and Vincenzo Vergine were able to interpret in the best possible way.
From the point of view of health, what is the secret behind the Fiorentina Women's successes? How was it working with these girls?
The secret is a constant commitment and the great knowledge of their bodies that these girls have. They know how to interpret feelings and to transmit these to the medical staff which intervenes promptly and often even in a preventive way. The Fiorentina team not only takes to heart the therapy of the athletes once an injury occurs, but intends to transmit a general philosophy which goes from lifestyle, to nutrition, to the attitude during training and during any competition. All the Fiorentina staff knows the girls one by one and a relationship of continuous exchange is created, something which is in all respects the first therapy. Working with the girls has been extraordinary, from a professional and human point of view.
This outcome is the result of the company's great attention to women's football. How important is this example for equal rights, beginning from sports?
These results have been extraordinary not only from the point of view of football, as giving women's football the same dignity as men's football is to give substance to those rights which too often are just proclaimed. There is a long way to go if you think that women's football, unlike men's, is not considered professional, with all the economic, welfare and pay consequences that follow. But the example of Fiorentina, which other big teams are now following, is a fundamental step to finally reach those long-awaited equal rights. After all, the Artemio Franchi stadium full of Fiorentina fans gathered to celebrate the girls' victory is the best example to prove that sport is an extraordinary means to convey rights which on the 6th of May in Florence had the smile of our girls stamped on it.
A good example to follow?
Absolutely, to be followed and encouraged, just think that thanks to the successes of the first team many girls now choose to play football, supported by their families. Because the beauty of rights is that they are contagious!
It used to be said that football was not a sport for women... Is it not like that anymore, today?
Fortunately, no. It will not be easy to overcome all the prejudices, but we are well on the way. Women's football is physiologically different from men's football. As are volleyball or athletics. Because women are different from men. But they are no less beautiful or exciting because of this. Equality means having the same rights in diversity. And I am grateful to Fiorentina for making the Viola colour the colour of rights in 2017.
As regards the health management of the athletes what is the relationship with Sixtus? Are there differences with men in treatments or products? Should we talk about pros now, without any differences?
Sixtus is a precious ally in the field of sports medicine, able to meet the complex needs of a first level team that must be able to differentiate its approach both by investing in prevention and in therapy. And Sixtus is always there! Women players and men players are professionals without distinction and the Fiorentina team has achieved this before everyone else, it has not made any distinction between women and men, giving women's football the same dignity of men's football, considering women athletes pros even when legislation wants them in the amateur league. We hope that the arrival of other important teams can help accelerate essential changes. We believed in this and we will continue!