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The Player's corner: "I wasn't even a goalkeeper..."

Raíssa Tayná, 27, is a Brazilian professional football goalkeeper for Hapoel Beer Sheva (Israel). While she keeps playing overseas, she watches games from homeland on mycujoo. Check out this story, on her own words, about the very beginning of her career!

Raíssa Thayná with her club of Atletico Mineiro in Brazil

"Hi!

I am Raíssa Thayná, 27, professional goalkeeper. I am going to tell you a very funny story that happened in my life. When I think about the beginning of my career, I cannot help but remember this.

I was born in Minas Gerais and later moved to Espírito Santo. When I was 20, I was on vacation and went to my former state to visit some family members. I went to the Atlético Mineiro headquarters, my favorite team since I was a kid, with my cousin. We were just looking at the trophies, items and everything else, while talking to each other.

During the conversation, she mentioned to the club’s staff that I played football, and one of the workers said that a trial would happen during that period. Suddenly, I was curious to know more about this and, to be honest, a little bit anxious. I took their contact details, scheduled a trial and summoned up all the courage possible.

Until that day, I was a defender. When I came by, I found there were many players. The main problem is that they were all outfield players. I quickly realized that it would be a tough challenge. When they asked my age and position, I said directly: “Goalkeeper”! Instantly, they were all curious staring at me.

I did the evaluation. To be honest, I could not do anything right - one of my main difficulties was diving. They asked me if I live in Minas, and then I said that was only in vacation. Then I repeated a couple of trials at Galo for another week. Later, came a specific goalkeepers’ coach called Caetano, who trained the girls from their youth categories. However, the coach from the main team, watching some practices, said that I was not a good goalkeeper. One day, he reached out to Caetano and said to him 'We can’t go on with this one! She can’t do anything, anything...'.

Caetano came to talk and I asked, for the love of God, for him to be patient, because I was going to practice a lot. I promised to get better and be a great goalkeeper. To achieve that, I trained from Monday to Saturday in two periods. My coach used to record some videos of those activities so we could identify how to get better. Everything that I wanted was this chance – and he believed me. Today, I thank him a lot.

That was just the beginning. Later, I played in Atlético’s main team and was champion with Minas Gerais in 2011. I played for Capital-DF, SERC-MS, Rio Preto-SP and Neves-MG, was considered the best goalkeeper of the Paulista Championship in 2016 and, among team honours, q Brazilian champion. I went to Kiryat Gat after being recommended by my friend and former teammate Ana Alice, and then I changed within Israel to Hapoel Beer Sheva, my current team. I can watch games from Brazil through mycujoo!

And I was remembering that, until that day, I wasn’t even a goalkeeper..."