The stars of the Club World Cup final

Palmeiras and Chelsea executives reaffirm the importance of women in international football.
2022-03-25 23:41:16

The Club World Cup was settled last week between Chelsea and Palmeiras, with the English club prevailing in extra time. Players like Thiago Silva, Dudu, and Lukaku stood out on the pitch. Outside of the lines, however, two ladies stood out as major players in the match: Leila Pereira and Marina Granovskaia.

While the president of Palmeiras is the first woman to hold the role, the Chelsea director is owner Roman Abramovich’s right-hand man. Both operate behind the scenes, but they are key characters in strengthening the female presence in football throughout the globe.

Learn more about the history of the CEOs and their significance for the current European and South American winners!

Photo of the executives from Palmeiras and Chelsea went viral on the internet

The two took a photo at the Club World Cup that went viral on the internet, showcasing the female power in front of both teams. Two women rule the roost in a sport dominated by men and hold great power throughout the continent.

Leila Pereira is already a well-known figure in Brazil, having been a long-time Palmeiras sponsor and often posting about the club on social media. Marina, on the other hand, was less visible but has a considerable influence on the acts of the European giant.

It’s worth noting that, in addition to Marina and Leila, additional women in international club leadership roles are becoming increasingly common. Few people know that Susan Whelan, a manager who played a key part in bridging the gap between the owners and coach Claudio Ranieri, was the driving force behind the Leicester club that stunned the world in 2016.

These are examples of success that may inspire other clubs to invest in female leadership positions.

Leila Pereira, the first president in the history of Palmeiras

Palmeiras’ Leila Pereira story began before December 2021, when she took over as president and became the club’s first female president. She has been a part of Verdao’s routine since 2015 and has gained recognition among fans.

Crefisa and FAM, two Palmeiras sponsors that have committed over R$1 billion in the club’s finances, are owned by Leila. She went on to become a councilor and was re-elected before winning the presidential election as the lone candidate.

Her predilection for commenting on Palmeiras-related things and connecting with supporters on social media has made her well-known among football enthusiasts. During game preparation, she also enjoys being in close proximity to the players and coaching staff.

She’s used to being criticized, but her time at Palmeiras, whether as a sponsor or an advisor, was a big success. Palmeiras is a two-time Libertadores champion and the first Brazilian team to win the Cup. True, she won the World Championships on the balance beam twice, but Leila is known for encouraging female involvement in Brazilian sports.

Marina Granovskaia, a “Dama de Ferro” do Chelsea

Marina Granovskaia, a Russian, has been the director of Chelsea since 2013, after working for owner Roman Abramovich for eleven years. In the absence of the tycoon, she is in control of player transfers and contracts, as well as making judgments.

Marina is the mastermind behind Chelsea’s high-profile acquisitions in recent months. She helped negotiate and play a key role in Nike’s £60 million sponsorship deal, which will last until 2032.

She was also in charge of selling Eden Hazard to Real Madrid for more than 100 million euros and signing Romelu Lukaku for 115 million pounds (almost R$ 700 million) from Inter Milan.

Margaret Thatcher, the British Prime Minister in the 1980s, earned the nickname “Iron Lady.” Granovskaia maintains a low profile and is seldom seen in public, although she is well-liked and has been named one of the world’s most powerful sportswomen by Forbes magazine.

True, more effort has to be done to correct the problem and recruit more female CEOs to the sport. This is, nevertheless, an important step toward encouraging equality and, as a consequence, the growth of women’s football, notably in Brazil.