Ana Galindo shows the Liga MX Femenil champion medal with América, in 2018.
Ana Galindo shows the Liga MX Femenil champion medal with América, in 2018.

Ana Galindo was running towards the parking lot with her green board. There she had her notes and a replica of a soccer field. It was May 2017, in the first professional women’s soccer tournament in the bunker of the Mexican Soccer Federation. Galindo, 37 years old, was the second coach of America. “I had to wear huge uniforms and shin guards, play on fields that had three pieces of grass, but the opportunities keep coming,” she told this newspaper. Five years later, those opportunities came. Today Galindo has become the first female coach to lead a men’s team in Mexico.

The Mexican Soccer Federation published on Monday night the first call for soccer players under 17 years of age who will have a match tour of Japan. This division is the spoiled one for Mexicans because two generations have been proclaimed world champions: in 2005 and in 2011. The next World Cup will be in 2023. Ana Galindo will take charge of the U-17 men’s team on a temporary basis due to the fact that the designated coach , Raúl Chabrand, is also in charge of the under-21 team. The institution, however, did not make a physical or virtual appointment of Galindo. The Mexican strategist will guide the team in three games: Uruguay, the Czech Republic and Japan, the local team. It’s her time.

Born in Mexico City, she made her way as a soccer player in a country that lacked a professional league, although she managed to be selected as a Mexican. She began her work as a coach in America since 2017 behind Leonardo Cuéllar, who was the coach of the Mexican women’s team for 18 years. The Eagles won Liga MX in 2018.

A year later, Ana Galindo made the leap to the Mexican women’s teams. The Mexican Federation entered into a renewal process to dignify the work of the coaches and no longer appoint only men. Galindo had to start with the under-15 divisions and she won, along with her pupils, the Dallas International Girls Cup tournament, in one of the Meccas of world women’s soccer. She also made history by becoming the first assistant coach on the men’s under-20 team.

Ana Galindo during a training session with the Mexican women's under 17 team.
Ana Galindo during a training session with the Mexican women’s under 17 team.

In March 2021, Leonardo Cuéllar resigned from América, who had been an orphan since Galindo’s departure, a connection with the players, but who already had a good reputation in the Tri divisions. Mexican strategists were beginning to take giant steps within the Mexican structure: Maribel Domínguez, one of the best Mexican strikers, took charge of the women’s under 20 team and Mónica Vergara was named coach of the women’s senior team.

The pioneers are not lacking in football. In the Mexican Third Division, the case of Ana Zavala arose, who at 25 years old, was in charge of a men’s team, the Delfines de Abasolo. In Italy, Patrizia Panico marked a milestone by being the first woman to lead a men’s team, under 16, in March 2017. In Hong Kong, Chan Yuen Ting, was the first coach to win the Men’s League in 2016 with the Eastern Sports Club. And the great reference is Corinne Diacre, who directed the Clermont of the French Second Division.

Now, it is Ana Galindo’s turn to show the leadership leadership that a woman can also lead men’s teams.

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