Al Jazeera Close Up

The Women of Football: Italy’s Unbreakable Goalkeeper | Close Up

A goalkeeper defies expectations by starting her football career at 48 in Naples, the city of the legendary Maradona.

“I’ve heard stories of people worried about getting older. I think it’s the wrong word: I call it growing up”, says Dora, also known as Doris Castro, 51, Napoli United’s goalkeeper.

Doris started her football career at 48. It was then that she finally achieved her childhood dream – a dream that was put on hold for more than 30 years. She was forced to give up her passion for football at a young age and start working to provide for her family in her home country, El Salvador.

Her life’s journey brought her to Italy as an economic migrant. It was in Naples, a city that breathes football, that Doris finally got an opportunity to prove herself on the pitch when she was signed by Napoli United. Now, everyone in her team has become her second family, including Diego Maradona Jr, son of Napoli’s greatest hero, the late Diego Maradona.

Age discrimination plays a big role in sport but, for Doris, growing up never meant giving up.

“I’ve been waiting for so many years to play the way I am doing it now. As long as my heart beats, I will be out on the pitch”.

Our film follows Napoli United kicking off their season and Doris’s efforts to establish her place in the team.



A film by Flavia Cappellini

Cinematography: Flavia Cappellini, Emiliano Carrillo and Vito Montesano

Drone: Emiliano Carrillo

Editors: Catherine Hallinan

Producers: Flavia Cappellini, Tierney Bonini

EP: Tierney Bonini