“I am motivated by sport management and that there are more women with important roles in football; it is one of my goals,” says Aitana Bonmatí, FC Barcelona and Spanish national football team player, before starting her online program
Johan Cruyff Institute welcomes a leading figure in women’s football to its classrooms for the new academic year 2022-23. Aitana Bonmatí, midfielder for FC Barcelona and the Spanish national team, will combine her sporting career with her academic training, as a student of the Master in Sport Management Online.
Goal-oriented and eager to make the most of her sporting career, Aitana has been looking for “more specific training focused on sport management” ever since she decided to put her sport and exercise science degree on hold. Her representation agency, B-Engaged, and Johan Cruyff Institute are now giving her that opportunity thanks to the collaboration agreement between the two companies, both committed to facilitating dual careers for professional athletes and guiding their future career development beyond the playing field.
In Aitana’s case, her ambition and proven talent for earning herself a place among the best players in the world have not been reason enough to neglect her personal academic training. “In the end, we always talk about dual careers, and I would also like to be an example of this. I am a professional athlete, but at the same time I am also studying and preparing for the future. Everyone knows that an athlete’s career is short and that in the future we will have to work and make ourselves a living. On the other hand, I am an ambitious and curious person and I like to learn new things, to get more information and also to use my experience for future projects,” explained Aitana during her visit to our international headquarters in Barcelona.
“Sport management motivates me and I like it a lot. Also the fact that there are more women in the world of football, not only in the women’s game but also in the men’s game, with important roles” – Aitana Bonmatí (FC Barcelona player)
Making it clear beforehand that she hopes to have “many years of football left in me”, the Barça player points the way forward when she visualizes where she could focus all her energy and experience when the time comes for her to retire. “Sport management motivates me and I like it a lot. Also the fact that there are more women in the world of football, not only in the women’s game but also in the men’s game, with important roles. This is one of my goals,” she says emphatically.
Apart from being encouraged by her parents—both teachers by profession—to dedicate part of her time to her studies, Aitana also has the support of the agency that represents her. The CEO of B-Engaged, Cristian Martín, believes that “when you are a reference, as may be the case of Aitana or other athletes we work with, you have to be able to speak well in public and behave in a certain way both on and off the pitch, and everything that is nurtured in universities and business schools, as in this case at Johan Cruyff Institute, provides them with that training and information that can help them when it comes to expressing themselves, speaking in public and interacting.”
“I always thought that athletes should start studying during their sporting careers because that is just when they are seeing from the inside what is happening in clubs, national teams, in the media, with sponsors, etc” – Cristian Martín (CEO at B-Engaged)
Cristian Martín also believes that “it is often thought that when athletes finish their sporting careers is when they should start studying, but I have always thought that it should be before, because that is just when they are seeing from the inside what is happening in clubs, national teams, in the media, with sponsors, etc. So, for us it is important that they have this training and that they can apply it in the field that interests them in the future.”
“Seeing Aitana studying with us makes us especially excited. We have been working for years to get more women into our classrooms so that in the near future we will see more women in management positions” – Cristina Palés, markting manager at Johan Cruyff Institute
In this sense, the marketing manager of Johan Cruyff Institute, Cristina Palés, points out that “it is a great success that it is the athletes themselves and those around them who are proactively committed to their development through training. Seeing Aitana studying with us also makes us especially excited. We have been working for years to get more women into our classrooms so that in the near future we will see more women in management positions in the football industry.”