Women’s football across the European continent will usher into a new era as the newly-launched UEFA Women’s Nations League kicks off this week.
While there might have been some reluctance, especially from the top-ranked nations, towards the introduction of this competition, the Nations League has already become an important fixture in the men’s calendar.
High-profile nations like Portugal, France, and Spain – winners of the first three editions – have all eyed this silverware as an important addition to their trophy cabinet.
On the other hand, for low-ranked nations like Malta, the Nations League offers the opportunity to vie for a potential promotion while facing par-level teams.
Positive results in such competition mean more ranking points while it injects boosts in small nations to keep investing in their respective national teams.
Investment is the right word especially when it comes to the women’s side.
The introduction of such competition will allow smaller nations to challenge each other and try to clinch promotion which eventually will help to generate more interest to their movement.
Although the women’s game has grown massively across the Old Continent, there are member associations that need to invest more in their product and positive results in the Nations League can be the key to that.
Moldova, ranked 114th, is one of the low-ranked teams that is eyeing a solid Nations League campaign.
Besides Malta, whom they face on Tuesday, they will face Latvia and Andorra in their group as they eye a League B promotion.
“I think that this kind of competition is really important for our country because it will help us to improve and show our abilities in football,” Moldova international Anastasia Sivolobova told the Times of Malta.
“Moldova is a small country and women’s football started to develop not so long ago, so the Nations League games are a good chance to promote this movement in our country.”
For Sivolobova, Tuesday’s encounter against Malta will pit her against her new team-mate at Mġarr United, Brenda Borg – captain of the Greens.
The Moldova international joined the Greens during the summer transfer window after her spell in Kazakhstan at Tomiris Turan.
The 25-year-old, a key fixture for her national team, has also played in Cyprus (Aris Limassol), Portugal (A-dos-Francos) and Ukraine (Yatran Bazis).
She has already faced Malta back in 2021 when the two nations crossed swords during the Visit Malta Women’s Trophy.
Her international experience for club and country is a valuable addition to both Mġarr and the women’s game in Malta, and Sivolobova herself admits that every league she played in has helped her improve in some way or another.
“All the leagues in which I have played had something to learn from and that has helped me to grow as a player,” she explained.
Asked about what type of encounter she is expecting against Malta, Sivolobova is upbeat about her team’s chances of winning the game while at the same time hoping that the two teams can put up a good show for the public.
At Mġarr, Sivolobova has played in every game as the Greens – led by coach Michael Mangion – are sharing the top spot with Hibernians after four outings, with 10 points.
In their most recent match, the Greens eased past Mtarfa 8-0 with Sivolobova opening her Mġarr account in the process.
“First of all, I would like to say that I am excited to be part of this team and I received a warm welcome from both the players and the staff,” she said.
“We registered three wins and one draw so far, which I think is a very strong start for us. Of course, we would like to continue to improve and that will be our mentality for the rest of the season.”
World Cup News
/ 2 weeks ago
A set of six jerseys that Lionel Messi wore during Argentina’s victorious 2022 World...
Saudi Arabia is prepared to host the 2034 World Cup in summer or winter,...
Saudi Arabia is in line to host the 2034 World Cup after FIFA announced...
Rights groups called for “binding commitments” from World Cup host nations after Australia opted...