How Afghanistan women’s football teammade it to Australia’s finals series
Ladli was born in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, in December 2000. In 2006 she became the youngest ever captain-player in the Asian Football Confederation and earned the Silver Boot for the Asian Women’s Championship. In 2010 she was made captain before resigning a year later.
“Some have told me not to come here because I am a woman and I am not going to change the team.
“Of course it is easy for them to say that, in the first place they don’t know me.”
With a career spanning more than a decade, she has only just begun to be recognised.
“I would say I am lucky and blessed and I am thankful to God,” she said.
Ladli was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in December 2000 to a poor family. Her family was forced to move to Pakistan when war broke out.
Her mother, who worked at a private school, was forced to move and eventually settle in Jalalabad, also in Pakistan.
The family had a lot of problems and Sonia grew up having to help provide for her three younger sisters. “It would be difficult to talk about my parents but I am glad they are no longer alive.”
Ladli, who played football at school when her mother worked as a teacher, did not enjoy sport growing up.
“I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the field or the stadium and the crowd. I like to watch TV,” she said.
“I am not a very sporty person, I don’t like games and all that.
“But I am a very determined person and I always knew I had to follow my dreams.”
“I would play football but my mother would beat me up and say I would die.”
“I have been able to become a very