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"Happy Father’s Day (and thank you), Rafael Muga"

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"Happy Father’s Day (and thank you), Rafael Muga"

I open an umbrella when I hear: ‘Why does it have to refer to a man to talk about women’s football?‘. The reason is simple. Because Rafael Manuel Ruiz Muga, better known as Rafael Muga, could well be considered the father of Spanish women’s football. Because he, a man from Badajoz living in Madrid who studied teaching and combined his administrative work with a family business, it was a vi

sionary and took advantage of his contacts, business skills and people skills to position the soccer players on the front lines of the media and sports

. He did it in the ’70s, doing

in the face of the rejection of the Franco Regime and the RFEF chaired by José Luis Pérez Payá

which did not recognize the selection that Rafael launched in 1971 (l

the forgotten stars

, he called them in a book published in 2015) until twelve years later. He organized the match that faced Mercacredit and Sizam on December 8, 1970 that

They packed 8,000 people into the Boetticher stadium (25 pesetas a ticket)

and that he ended up with Rafael in the Civil Guard barracks… because the commander wanted to meet the author of such an exploit. He got the support of Juan Antonio Samaranch – that’s why he renamed his team with the name Olympic Villaverde – and

signed the first professional contracts to Victoria Hernández and Conchi Amancio

. He came close to leading Spain to the unofficial 1971 World Cup and laid the foundations for a national championship before he was sidelined. Those of us who are lucky enough to have crossed his path know that

It is an encyclopedia with intertwined conversations

. Each telephone conversation with him lasts no less than an hour. It would be unfair not to mention him to explain the current moment of Spanish women’s football.

Congratulations, Rafael, and thank you very much

. I close umbrella.

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