Women and football: face to face with Viviana Greco

In the life of Viviana Greco, Argentinian model and journalist from Reconquista with a television past also in Italy, football has always been a constant presence. Like the ball on Maradona's left that afternoon in 1986 at the "Azteca" stadium in Mexico City. Or like the beauty on the terrace of the Pincio in Rome at sunset.


A passion gushed out in childhood and developed over time also thanks to journalism, which today sees her radio host for the Spanish broadcaster “ClickRadioTV” and allows her to talk about the role of women in the most popular sport in the world.


Where does the passion for football come from?


In family. My father had played as a defender in Argentina's Serie-B and was a big fan of Boca Juniors. So as a child, even to spend more time with him, I started watching the games together and I got passionate.


What do you particularly like about this sport?


The adrenaline, the fight to the end, the perseverance in pursuing a goal, the losing but coming out of the field with your head held high and the unpredictability, which always gives you great emotions.


Football made it known to the Italian public with its appearances at “Quelli che il calcio…” where Fiorentina from Batistuta (also from Reconquista), Rui Costa, Toldo followed ... How did you get there and what memories do you have?


I had moved to Italy for work and I started participating thanks to the fashion agency for which I worked. It was a show that I liked very much, I remember Fabio Fazio, very kind, there was a fun atmosphere. In those years I also participated in the "Domenica Sportiva", I have wonderful memories of that period.


Was it there that interest in sports journalism was also born?


Also. But more than anything else, it was a combination of reasons: the possibility of making oneself known, the passion for football and, above all, the possibility of reporting an event live.


Last big event followed?


The world championship in Russia for the “Feed Latino” program of the “Miami Online” platform. I've seen at least fifty games and I think I've never watched so much football in my life!


In your experience, how did you find yourself dealing with a subject that has long been mistakenly believed to be a male enclave?


I can say that the balance is positive.


What differences did you find in the journalistic narrative of football by men and by women?


Men pay much more attention to the technical aspect of the event, to the match, to how the teams played. Women, on the other hand, are more interested in the emotional and psychological part, such as the attitudes of the players or the reactions of the public.


What is the presence of journalists dealing with football in Spain and Argentina?


In Argentina the majority is always male, but compared to twenty years ago there are more women. And their space has also increased in Spain.


Have you ever been the victim of episodes of machismo dictated by the prejudice that a woman cannot talk about football?


In 2002, a journalist in Argentina said that women could not do this, because they had to stay at home and wash the dishes. At the time I was shocked. Then I replied that he too could not make judgments because, like women, he had never played football.


Comparing Argentina, Italy and Spain, are there any differences in the way of living football?


It can be said that football is a transversal passion for these three Latin countries. A lot of cheering, a lot of heat, a lot of enthusiasm. In Spain and especially in Argentina it is much more felt than in Italy. With us, for example, when the national team plays, schools also stop if necessary.


What is the level of the Argentine league?


Good. But the best players immediately move to Europe. And it is sad that away matches are forbidden for fans.


Why, despite having a wealth of talent, has Argentina not won the World Cup for over thirty years?


Because there is no organization at the federation level. First we had Grondona, who has been president for too long (from 1979 to 2014, ndg). After him, three more have already happened. There is a lot of confusion.


How is Maradona seen today?


Thinking about what he was like as a player, that is, a champion, I think he is seen with great sadness for his very polemical attitude. His experience as a coach has been a disaster, a leader must lead by example.


Let's move to Italy. In the last two years, women's football has grown due to investments and media attention. Are we on track to achieve parity with men's football?


I think that progress has been made compared to, for example, twenty years ago. But there are still huge differences, and not only in Italy, between the two genres compared to other sports, for example tennis. I believe that the new generations will be able to bridge this difference.


What is the main difference between women's and men's football?


Economic conditions, starting with salaries.


What do you think of Serie-A this year?


Juve are always the strongest, but now Inter are also fighting for the Scudetto. Then there are Lazio, Atalanta and Cagliari who play very well.


Speaking of Lazio: when you were at "Quelli che il calcio ..." did you also meet Sister Paola?


Yes. Never seen a nun so much a fan of a football team (laughs)!


Interview conducted by Tommaso Nelli for the Gioco Pulito website.

Saturday 25 January 2020.