Browse all

"Sport to overcome every obstacle", interview with Agnese Bonfantini

From the national dream via the growth of women's football to fashion, Agnese Bonfantini is ready to take it all

Sport to overcome every obstacle, interview with Agnese Bonfantini From the national dream via the growth of women's football to fashion, Agnese Bonfantini is ready to take it all

It is often said that football is not a sport for young ladies. A phrase often heard since childhood, in the suburban fields with friends, and later in the green rectangles perhaps after a rough tackle. And fortunately over the years the rhetoric around football has been changing, women's football in Italy has managed to carve out an increasingly central role for itself and a few months ago the FIGC announced an epoch-making change that will unify the women's Serie A with the other European leagues, such as those of England, France, Sweden and Spain, finally making female footballers into professional athletes. 

A change that has met with enthusiasm from the players who had been waiting for this reform for years. There is still a long way to go, however, as Agnese Bonfantini, Juventus striker, confessed to me: 'in my opinion women's football in Italy is growing a lot and in a short time, we are at a good level. Like any fan, she approached football from a very young age, and from that moment on, she has not been able to stop: "I approached football little by little, I have a family of volleyball players who tried to direct me towards this sport, I played fot one month and then I realised I only wanted to play football. It all started in primary school, I was always playing with my classmates at recess."

Contrary to the old-fashioned narrative that sees young girls far from the football pitch, Agnese Bonfantini had no great difficulties or hindrances, indeed, "my family has always supported me and as soon as I said I wanted to play football, they were ready to support me. At school, ever since my classmates saw me play, they have always brought me up, spoiled me and treated me more than well. I've never had any particular problems even though there still are, many girls who want to play are stopped by their families or coaches." It was even she who turned everything around, a sign perhaps of her spontaneous and natural talent, suggesting to one of her first coaches the role where she could perform best: "when I was a child I played midfielder, I was the classic number 4. Then I actually asked the coach if he would put me further forward, luckily he agreed and I still play as an outside forward." 

In addition to playing as an outside forward, the young striker still retains another habit that links her to the beginning of her career. In fact, from a young age she has worn nothing but Nike shoes on the pitch, now preferring Mercurial but having also used other models of the American brand. "I remember the first ones I had were the ones made for Totti, they had the signature on the side, they were really crazy. If I'm not mistaken they were the Tiempo, a model dedicated to the iconic number 10." An indissoluble bond that has always accompanied her, a story common to many other female footballers who have found in Nike a brand willing to support the entire movement with technologies and innovations designed on the field specifically for female athletes. 

It was precisely this approach that struck her, then and now. "Nike not only supports women's football but women in all sports, across the board. Nike truly believes that women are driving the transformation and the future of sport. At the heart of Nike's commitment to women's sport is listening to the athletes. In fact invests more and more in women's research, such as technology, innovation offering unique products tailored to them. Operating under the banner of unreserved inclusiveness so that more women can approach sport, with serenity and confidence. This is one of the reasons I chose Nike as a sponsor, I not only appreciate Nike's values but also the way it communicates them." An unconditional support, the same that he will try to give to the Italian team. Yes, because during our long chat, Agnese Bonfantini confesses to me that she has a dream, not yet fully realised but for which she is working hard to achieve: "I have always dreamed of representing my country, living and playing in a big competition. I will try to do my best and I really hope to participate in such a big competition like this summer, it has been my dream since I was a child." 

The premises are certainly not lacking, last year she arrived at Juventus and it is from the most titled team in Italy that she is laying the foundations to build her own future full of goals, also thanks to the advice of great players like Barbara Bonansea, one of the most prolific Italian forwards in history: "it is a stimulus as well as an honour, I always try to steal some secrets by watching them at training. I think Barbara is a footballer of a different level, but so are many others. I am very honoured to be by their side." But digging in, there are actually other footballers and female footballers from whom she draws inspiration today: "I also like Delphine Cascarino of Lyon because of the way she plays. Both on and off the pitch certainly also Alex Morgan, she helped give women's football a good image."

Besides football, which of course is the absolute star, there is also more to Bonfantini's life. A passion that cannot be glimpsed on Sundays on the pitch, namely that for fashion. Agnese in fact is extremely passionate about the world of fashion, never missing a fashion show and always trying to keep up with everything that is released by her favourite brands. In addition to Nike in fact, chosen not only for the shoes or the clothes but especially for the style, someone else has made a breach in her heart: "I am very passionate, I follow all the Fashion Weeks, social direct, I am really passionate, I never miss anything. I would like to do courses but I don't have the material time unfortunately." 

It is a passion that will certainly find a place in his future, also because at the moment he is becoming more and more popular and is on his way to retracing the steps trodden by men's wear, including the exploration of the relationship with fashion. And also, as Bonfantini said, 'I'm happy because I've managed to realise a few dreams, but I still have many bigger ones as I told you. I try to improve myself and learn from the more experienced players day by day. I don't know what the future holds for me, but I want to stay positive and we'll see." A singular desire to do and impose herself, which we are sure, will allow her to reach the top, proving once again that football is not just a business for men, far from it.

Talent: Agnese Bonfantini
Photographer: Alessandro Lo Faro
Light Assistant: Federico Terenzio
Stylist: Linda De Giorgi
MUA: Caterina Camera
Digital: Assistant Luigi Cianfarano
Words: Emanuele D’Angelo
Editorial Coordinator: Edoardo Lasala
Production: nssfactory