I’d be happy to die on a football pitch' - 43-year-old Goa women football star opens up on intentions of playing football life-long

Goa football star Laura Estibeiro opened up on intentions of playing football for her entire life. Here's the full story with quotes.

New Update
Laura Estibeiro plans to play football until death

Laura Estibeiro plans to play football until death (Source: Twitter)

When Laura Estibeiro was 16, she received her first call-up to the Goa state team. She had only been permitted to participate in the trials in 1996 at the request of the India captain at the time, Maria Rebello. Rebello, now a member of the Referees Committee, had seen Laura playing with guys in her hamlet of Macasana when she first noticed her talent. She possessed the abilities, but more significantly, Rebello recalls, "she had the passion for playing the game. I also believed that it would benefit her in the long run.


There are various types of desires. Some fuel success, while others fuel the rivalry. The other is the kind that keeps you involved in a sport simply because it makes you happy. Estibeiro taps into the third type.

Goa defeated Rajasthan in the opening match of Hero Senior Women's National Football Championships 2022-23

In the present, she is still here playing football and pursuing her lifelong love. On Sunday, March 25, 2023, at the Fatorda Stadium, the 43-year-old captain led Goa to a convincing victory against Rajasthan in their opening match of the 27th Hero Senior Women's National Football Championships 2022-23.


The morning after the triumph, she declares, "I'm nothing without football. And even if she is, she would rather remain in the dark. Estibeiro, possibly the oldest participant in the competition, has travelled and experienced a significant amount of the Indian women's game. 'When I started playing, girls didn't get paid," she says. "We were playing with boys, jostling for space and attention, and mostly just doing so to fulfil our own deep-rooted love for the game."

Estibeiro's mother and siblings constantly encouraged her to play, even though they didn't fully get the joy she felt in it. Estibeiro lost her father when she was very young. "They never stopped me," she says. "Sure, they questioned what I'd make of it. And if it would be enough to tide me over for life, but they didn't stop me. Couldn't stop me, actually."

Estibeiro, for her part, has no plans to stop playing the game any time soon. She plays football to stay in shape. "I'm fit to play football, and I stay fit by playing it" — and she works as a gym instructor in Nagpur to support herself.  "I'll play football till I drop," she says. "I've always said this. I'd be happy to die on a football pitch."