International Women’s Day 2023: Jacinta Galabadaracci on her life at Celtic, celebrating the history of Scottish football and her international career | Football news
Jacinta Galabadaarachchi is a name to remember and is currently winning the Scottish Women’s Premier League with Celtic.
“Everybody always says to me, ‘How do you say your name?’ wants to. This is too long. But that’s easy to say – it sounds awful. “It’s interesting, it doesn’t fit behind my shirt,” he says. sky sports.
The Australian started playing soccer with his 5-year-old brother and quickly fell in love with the game.
“From the age of nine, I told my parents: ‘I want to play in Europe,'” says the 21-year-old. “It’s been a goal of mine since I was young.”
“I watched all the football matches in Europe. It was really cool. I saw a lot of men’s teams, but I always wanted to play there. Especially when I saw Messi in Barcelona, I always wanted to play in Spain.”
At the age of nine, he was invited to trial with Manchester United, and when he arrived in the UK, he spent eight weeks training with Manchester City.
At the age of 15, he signed a contract with Melbourne City and three years later, when he was 18, Galabadaarachchi joined West Ham and moved to London.
“It was a big problem for me. It was a difficult step to leave home and not be with my family anymore. But I am happy that I won it,” he says.
The then-teenager made 11 appearances for the Hammers before joining Napoli on loan in 2020.
But 2021 was the year Galabadaaracci made Scotland his long-term home, moving to Celtic and quickly becoming one of the team’s most valuable players, winning Celtic’s Player of the Year award for 2021-22.
Galabadaarachchi was a standout player in Celtic’s Scottish Cup winning season and left a mark on Scottish women’s football.
“Celtic Player of the Year was very important. But to see the fruits of your hard work. “It was nice to receive this award, but I wouldn’t have been able to do it if the whole team didn’t do a good job,” he said. .
It wasn’t the only accolade he received during the 2021-22 season. Galabadaracci made history when he won the Young Player of the Year award at the 2022 PFA Scotland Awards.
“It was amazing. That said, I really wasn’t expecting it. “I didn’t think I would win even when I was offered,” he laughed.
“So when they say my name, the girls are like, ‘Go, go!’ said. I didn’t expect that. But yeah, it was amazing.”
And this year’s campaign was no different. In the opening game of the 2022-23 Scottish Women’s Premier League season, Galabadaarachchi set the tone by scoring her first hat-trick.
What is the next step?
Galabadaarachchi’s mother is Argentine and Italian and her father is Sri Lankan, making her a rare example for South Asian women’s football in the UK.
Where does such a mix-up leave his career as an international footballer?
Galabadaaracci plays for Australia’s U17 and U20 teams, but because of his mother’s citizenship, he can also play for Argentina, who are currently ranked 29th by FIFA.
But what about his dreams of playing in Spain? With talk of interest from Barcelona and Levante, who knows where he will be in the future, even when his contract with Celtic expires in June 2023?
If Barcelona came knocking, he wouldn’t say no.
“It’s been a dream of mine ever since I saw Messi play at Barca, so it’s hard to say no even though I love Celtic, the fans and the club.
“I think any player dreams of playing at a club like this.”
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