Hilda Magaia (28) remembers a local man who suddenly came to her house 10 years ago.
When asked who he was, Ma Gaia said, “His name is Cie Chi Sela Toul, and he is not an official of the club. He is just someone who lived in the village.”
Magaia grew up in Denilton, a small town in Limpopo Province, northern South Africa. He said there was no women’s soccer team there, so Ma Gaia always played with the men.
In fact, the expression ‘running together’ is not accurate. Magaia only trained. She couldn’t participate in the official competition because the men came forward, so she only ran and kicked the ball by herself.
In Magaia’s hometown, male athletes also suffered from a lack of equipment. He said there were even teams that only had two soccer balls in their possession. In a place where men also had a hard time playing soccer, women did not get their ‘turn’.
Magaia looked back and said, “Because there were no balls or shoes, the girls gradually stopped playing soccer. I was the only one left until the end.”
A women’s team was founded in an area about 80km away from Denilton, and I even went on a ‘soccer study abroad’ trip. However, due to the sudden death of the owner of the team, the creation of a team was not possible, and the daily routine of training with men but ‘not being able to play’ continued.
In 2013, when Magaia described it as “losing hope,” the man watched her train in silence.
One day, Selatul suddenly headed to Magaiah’s house.
Magaia said, “I was suspicious. How can I believe that someone suddenly came to my house and said he wanted to take my daughter away?” He added, “But my mother trusted me completely, so I eventually gave permission.”
The place where the man delivered Magaia was Mamelodi, on the outskirts of Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa, about 100 km from Denilton.
There, after some searching, Magaia was introduced to the women’s soccer program run by the prestigious University of Pretoria, and finally found the foundation to begin her career as a player. From then on everything went well.
She stepped into the top league of South African women’s soccer by moving to a team under Tshwane University of Technology in 2017, and was also selected as ‘Player of the Year’ in the 2019-2020 season. This season she exploded for 36 goals.
Margaia, who was first selected for the national team in 2018, left her home country to join Sweden’s Moron BK in 2021, and last year she established ties with Korea by joining Sejong Sports Toto of the women’s unemployment soccer WK League.
On the 31st of last month, Mar Gaia met with Yonhap News at the team’s lodgings in downtown Sejong and pondered the offer of ‘the man’ who changed her life. She said that Mar Gaia “just seemed to be driven by good intentions from her heart.”
Ten years after she received an unexpected offer from Sela Toul, Margaia has emerged as a star in South African women’s football.
She gave her country the joy of advancing to the round of 16 for the first time in history at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which ended on the 20th of last month.
She started scoring in the first game against Sweden, then scored a goal in the final match of Group G against Italy to make it 2-1, and even assisted on a goal that made it 3-2 just before the end of the game.
Thanks to this victory, South Africa made history by pushing Italy and Argentina to third and fourth place in the group. The local media uses the term ‘breadwinner’ to describe Margaia, who has been very active.
After the match against Italy, Magaia, who was filled with joy, also directly mentioned this nickname in a media interview.
At the time, Magaia said, “Everyone calls me the breadwinner. Without a breadwinner, you can’t even get bread. So I have to provide bread for my country.” The score that brought joy to the entire country was compared to bread.
The head of the family is an old nickname for Magaiah. Margaia explained, “During a game for a South African club, I scored a goal and made one save as a goalkeeper in a penalty shootout. From then on, his teammates called me the head of the family.”
He added, “In the final of the African Women’s Cup of Nations held last year, I scored two goals and South Africa defeated Morocco 2-1 to win the championship. Even then, my colleagues said, ‘You are the head of the family because you gave us bread.'”
Coincidentally, this nickname is very appropriate for Magaia’s family circumstances.
Magaia, who said that her two older sisters are separated, said, “I also have a brother. Her daughter is already 11 years old. She lives at home with me. Even my mother is part of the family,” and added, “They are my everything. I have to take care of them. I am the head of the household as well.” said.
The ‘head of the household’, Ma Gaia, is set to take home at least 80 million won thanks to her performance in this World Cup.
This is because FIFA has fixed the amount of prize money each player will receive depending on their advancement status for each round. Every player on the team that advanced to the round of 16 receives $60,000 (approximately 80 million won).
Magaia said, “I just do my best for my family. That’s why I want to do the given mission passionately,” and added, “I have to do the best I can at the task I receive. Only then can I support my family.”
Through this tournament, Magaia became the first foreign player playing in the WK League to score a goal in the World Cup.
Magaia smiled and said, “I heard about it from my agent. I’m really proud of this achievement in my first World Cup.” Magaia, who scored 9 goals this season, is ranked 2nd in the league scoring rankings after Moon Mira (Suwon FC, 12 goals).
Magaia, who concludes the second season of the WK League with the final regular league game of the season against Changnyeong WFC at home on the 3rd, will return home immediately. South Africa will play a series of international matches against the United States, the world’s strongest team, later this month. Magaia is getting ready to show off her skills.
Magaia’s dream is to one day play for Chelsea (England) like Ji So-yeon (Suwon FC).
“It’s not the time yet, but if you keep the faith that you can do it, one day God will bring you to Chelsea,” Magaia said.
He continued, “‘Anything is possible’ and ‘Nothing is impossible’ are my beliefs. Just because you are faced with misfortune doesn’t mean you can’t overcome it,” he said, adding, “It won’t be easy, but you just have to have faith and put all your effort into it.” .카지노사이트
In Magaia’s view, what women’s soccer needs now is a kind of ‘faith’.
Magaia believes that female players can play soccer just as well as men and can show a fierce game.
He said, “The female players also show intense matches that go beyond 90 minutes, extend to overtime for 120 minutes, and even go to penalty shootouts. In that respect, I don’t think we are any different from the male players. We have to believe that we have that level of ability.” “We also chase the ball hard for at least 90 minutes,” he said.
Additionally, Magaia believes that women’s soccer will be on an ‘upward trend’ for some time.
Magaia said, “Compared to the previous Women’s World Cup, all the teams improved greatly in this tournament. People said the powerhouses would go on to win, but everyone struggled. This is because women’s soccer is growing tremendously all over the world.”
She added: “We are moving in the right direction. I believe that with greater support and growth, women’s football can one day become as big as men’s football.”