There is a highly problematic assumption among football fans that female players can’t hold a candle to their male counterparts, which have long dominated the attention of sports enthusiasts since the game’s inception. And this French advert which has since gone viral highlighting some of the best plays from the country’s men’s football team almost seems to prove these toxic assumptions right. However, there’s a big plot twist towards the end of the video, so make sure you stay to the end for the shocking reveal.
Yep, that’s right. Those weren’t the glowing performances of football’s leading men, but in fact the impressive moments that can be found while watching women’s football. Players like Atlético Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann and Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappé have had their iconic appearances superimposed over players like Delphine Cascarino and Selma Bacha, from France’s national female football team.
The wonderfully subversive advert has managed to shine a spotlight onto women’s football, and the initial reaction from the internet is a wholeheartedly positive one. The advert, which was posted to TikTok on 16 July 2023, and has already earned close to one million likes, is filled with comments praising the bold statement. One user went as far as saying: “Why did I almost cry watching this?” while another added that the video gave them “Absolute chills.”We couldn’t agree more.
I can only imagine how the video probably caused anger from those toxic male fans who are still convinced women’s football is nothing more than a gapstop slotted inbetween the “real” sports, aka, the men’s league. Oh wait, I don’t have to use my imagination, I can just take a peek into the video’s comments section. Half the men in the comments felt the urge to highlight that they “could tell because the stadium was near empty.” As if that made the player performances in the video any less impressive?
It really just proves the point of the video. There’s very little in the comments arguing against the actual playing, with most people agreeing that they were successfully tricked by the video. A lot of the men just sought to point out the lack of stadium visitors, themselves accidentally highlighting the inequality in the leagues and the fact that yes, the world needs to start putting some respect on the name of women’s football.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup, is due to take place on Thursday 20 July 2023, and its growing global attention leaves us all hopeful that sports inequality will soon be a thing of the past.