Like a Boss
I’m be willing to bet you’ve never heard of the Brazilian professional goal keeper Barbara Michelline do Monte Barbosa. She’s just been quietly making a name for herself all around the world. She’s not very well known for getting into public controversy, even when it seems to throw itself on her lap, she just let her insane skills speak for her.
Barbara Michelline do Monte Barbosa, more commonly referred to as Barbara, has swept the Brazilian goalkeeping scene off its feet for the past couple of years.
To learn more about female goalkeepers, please read our article Top 10 Best Female Goalkeepers in the world here.
Barbara’s domestic career has literally taken her all around the world. She first signed to a professional club in 2006 when she was picked up by Sporting Club do Recife, her hometown club. Stayed with Sporting until 2010. She spent her first two years outside of Brazil as a professional in Denmark with Sunnana. Next, she went back to Brazil and divided her time in the 2011 season between Sporting and a new club, for Barbara, Foz Caratas. After just a season there, she returned to Sunnana for one year, and then went back to Brazil again to play with Sao Caetano. She continued her career with a season-long stint in Frauen Bundesliga with Cloppenburg.
In 2014, she went back home to Brazil spending a season with Kindermann FC. That season, Kindermann was runner up for the Brasileiro championship. Barbara transferred to Botafogo PB in 2015, and was finally able to claim the silverware with that club. She also won a domestic cup, Copa do Brasil Feminino, with Botafogo that year.
After that successful season with Botafogo, she moved on to Foz Caratas, still in the same league. This year, she moved backed to Kindermann and has made eleven starting appearances so far.
Barbara is a journeyman…woman. She kicked off her career with three consecutive seasons at Sporting Recife followed by two consecutive season with Sunnana. Since then, it has been rare for her to spend more than one year with any club. Her travels have taken her from the Brasilerio Feminino to the women’s professional league of Denmark to Frauen Bundesliga and back.
She has made return appearances at almost all of the club’s she’s ever put on gloves for. Hence, some lack in skills and personality deficiency does not seem to be the reason for her frequent moving from club to club. Suffice it to say her skills as a goalkeeper are very much in demand. Some players just don’t stay put, and there is no rule that says they need to.
Throughout her career, Barbara has been an integral member of most of the teams she’s played for. There have only been three club in which her starting appearances were single digit numbers. Foz Caratas (in 2016), Botafogo, and Cloppenberg are the only clubs that started Barbara for five times or less within a season. She spent exactly one calendar year, not necessarily an entire season, with Botafogo, and she spent ten months with Fox Caratas (in 2016). Perhaps, bad timing, especially considering Botafogo was in the midst of a title run, could be to blame.
Since 2007, Barbara has been a regular member of the Brazilian national team. The two years she spent with Sunnana are the only times she did not participate with the national squad. She was in the winning team when the women’s Brazilian national team claimed the prize at the Women’s Pan American games in 2015. Barbara was an integral part of the Brazilian team during RIO 2016 tournament. They were eliminated in the semi-finals by Sweden. Despite this, Barbara praised the Scandinavians strategy. In the coming months, she will participate in international friendlies against Iceland and Spain.
Barbara has dealt with racism throughout her career. The most known incidence of such discrimination happened in 2016 when a member of Brazil’s Federal Counsel of Administration (i.e. a public official who should have known better) made a controversial remark on Facebook. He posted a picture of Barbara. The picture said (translated) “I hate black, but with this goal keeper Brazil has a chance.” To play devil’s advocate, the word preto is usually used to describe black objects rather than black people. On the one hand, that could shed an innocent light on the stupid comments, or that could shed a more sinister light on it meaning that he was calling her an object in addition to being racist.
After public outrage, Marcos Clay, the man who made the completely unnecessary post, went on a long rant that basically said that people were taking his comments two seriously, white people were the only ones offended, and that he was married to a black woman. He acknowledged his fault by calling it (again, translated) “a joke made in bad taste.”
Like the esteemed professional she is, Barbara did not get into the fray.
Although 28 is not necessarily retirement age, many fans are hoping that Barbara will return to her hometown club Sporting Recife before she hangs up her gloves for good.
What do you think. Please leave your comments below. We look forward to reading each comments.