We interviewed our Colombian model Helena Reyes, a 20 year old International Relations student at IE University, Spain. She is an extremely passionate football fan and fashion lover. Helena talked to us about what made her uncommon passion flourish and why Team XI is letting her express herself unlike any other brand has.
Q: What is football for you?
A: I love football, it's a sport that brings people together without discrimination. What is there not to love? It is the world's most beautiful sport.
Q: In what way do you think your background influenced your love for the sport?
A: In Colombia, football is life. Everyone is passionate about football, especially when our national team is playing. When Colombia played the World Cup last year, the entire country was on pause during the games, the streets were empty, people would be excused from their jobs, matches were watched in offices, no one missed a game. I feel like Colombia has a strong football culture and it has made me even more passionate about the sport.
Q: Growing up, did you feel that there were challenges in belonging to football teams?
A: When I was a little girl, my dream was to be a football player. My parents would always tell me that football is too rough for girls to play, so eventually I gave up and became my brother's biggest fan. I feel like football is a sport that is dominated by men, and that women football is not there yet, especially because the girls have a much smaller fandom and the sport is much is less popular among us.
Q: What memories does the sport bring you?
A: The best memory I have is definitely the 2014 World Cup. I have to admit it was probably the best month of my life. (laughs) I had never experienced anything like it. Colombia was playing their best tournament up to date, and I got to experience how that moved an entire country. People were going crazy with the World Cup, I remember watching the matches with 400+ people screaming around me. I will never forget that feeling.
Q: Which team do you support?
A: Obviously, Colombia is my favorite national team, but aside from that, I'd have to say AC Milan. I remember the first time I saw a Champions League final, Milan vs. Liverpool in 2007. I remember getting super excited as I watched Milan dominate the game, and from that day, I consider myself a football fan and consequently a Milan fan, because it was the first team that moved me and got me excited about football.
Q: Who are your favorite players and why?
A: This is a tricky question! There are so many…
I'd have to say my all time favorite is Andrea Pirlo. He makes football elegant, he plays like a gentleman, I love how calm he is and how he thinks his moves. It is a beautiful thing to watch.
Q: What is your favourite Team XI T-Shirt, why?
A: My favorite shirt is the "Why always me?" because I remember seeing the historical 6 - 1 Manchester City against M.United and watching Mario Balotelli celebrate his goal with a "why always me" t-shirt. He looked like a boss. He is so cool.
Q: What's your favorite aspect of this project?
A: I love everything about this project, what is there not to like? It is about football and it gives us the chance to express our passion through our style, on a daily-basis, and in most circumstances.
Interview and Pictures: Guy de Bordas, João Góis, Esáu Gozalo