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Soccer is an exact science for Celia Jimenez

Photo Copyright Lewis Gettier for The Equalizer

ALCAUDETE, Spain – In the extremely specialized life of a 21st-century professional athlete, the training pitch and the gym seem to be everything. This is the comfort zone, a result of days, weeks and years living in an almost airtight environment.

Not for Celia Jiménez, defender for the National Women’s Soccer League’s Reign FC and Spain’s national team. After taking part in a thrilling record-breaking Women’s World Cup, the 24-year-old is now happily relaxed as she talks to The Equalizer in the quiet atmosphere of her home town’s public library.

She’s certainly at home right here – not just because she was enjoying a week off in the little Andalusian spot where she was born, but also because she has probably spent just as much time in libraries, surrounded by books, as she has on the soccer pitch. Celia, as she goes by on her jersey, is a professional soccer player – and she’s also an aerospace engineer.

“I always knew what I wanted,” she says. “I really liked science and maths because they’re exact. I’m someone who tries to be guided by facts and reality. So when I have to take an important choice, I try to let the emotions aside. Studying an engineer degree let me develop a scientific approach, based on exact numbers, and that makes me think about soccer from this unique perspective.”

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