Italy and Juventus star Barbara Bonansea, A scholar at a University Torino should have been studying on macroeconomics and entrepreneurial strategies.
However, she was engulfed fantasizing about football two days to an exam and a few days after she had a world cup qualifier game.
She passed her exams and got her business economics degree. But the ‘biggest exam of her life’ was tougher: a FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifier against Portugal.
“I was always daydreaming in class,” Bonansea said “Little words or phrases would remind me of football, and then I’d be off, deep in thought about playing for Italy in packed-out stadiums at the World Cup, like I envisioned it when I was little and watching the Italian men’s team at the World Cup on TV.
She scored a goal to return Italy to the World cup after a 20-year absence, seven months after the Italian men failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. “Now I’m very close to realizing that dream. It’s an amazing feeling.”
“Studying and playing football isn’t easy, I started university doing management engineering, but I changed degrees after a year because it was too demanding and economics doesn’t come with attendance obligations, so I could study in my own time, but I still have four exams to do and my goal is to graduate in 2020,” said Bonansea.
Now her dream has come true, she believes they can pull a shocker “I think we’ll be able to surprise a lot of people at the World Cup…”
“In football, it’s normal to dream and to believe you can push yourself beyond your limits. I dream about Italy winning the World Cup, even though I know the chances are slim and we’re certainly not the favourites.”
The asset in the 27-year-old arsenal that has most Italians salivating, is her mastery of the knuckleball free-kick pioneered by the likes of Juninho Pernambucano, Andrea Pirlo, Didier Drogba, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Gareth Bale.
“I had never been tasked with taking free-kicks, but I always wanted to, so I started stopping back after training, attempting them, trying to improve,” explained Bonansea.
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