During the course of her long career, Guevara has represented her country, finished a runner-up in the Copa Libertadores and won the national amateur league with her club. And in that time, she has played in virtually every position. “I’m a very versatile player,” she said with a laugh. So versatile is she, in fact, that she began her career in goal, where she showcased reflexes honed on the volleyball court. “I remember one game when I was flying all over the place saving shots, just like in volleyball. I saved a fair few goals too.”
Venezuela’s Superliga Femenina: facts and figures
- The competition is the country’s new top flight, replacing what was previously known as the Liga Nacional. An amateur league founded in 2004, the Liga Nacional has now been renamed the Liga de Desarrollo.
- The new league comprises 14 clubs with 25 players per squad, no more than four of whom can be foreigners.
- In the first phase of the competition, teams are split into two geographical groups (Central-Eastern and Western) and play each other home and away in a league format.
- The top two in each group go through to the semi-finals, with the winners advancing to the final, also played over two legs.
- Estudiantes de Guarico, Flor de Patria FC, Deportivo La Guaira and Caracas FC are the leading contenders for the title.
That support is essential to a future that the Caracas FC captain sees as very bright: “There are some girls with a huge amount of skill, the kind of skill I’ve rarely seen in boys. These are girls with a huge amount of talent.” Such is the talent around her that the beaming Guevara was moved to make the following prediction: “We’re closer than ever to seeing Venezuela at the senior Women’s World Cup. If we carry on like this, the women’s team are going to make history before the men’s.”
For the time being, however, Guevara – the only player in the country’s history to play a part in the opening season of the two national league championships Venezuela has staged to date – is happy to enjoy the present. Her day-to-day routine involves training with her team-mates, teaching coaches and doing a little coaching herself, with her club’s U-12 boys team: “I teach them about tactics, technique and the physical side of things. When I go out with them on to the pitch, it takes me back to when I was their age.”
Asked if she is thinking about retiring for good, she laughed and said: “I find it hard to contemplate. I don’t see myself there yet because my feet and head tell me I can still play.” Venezuelan football’s grand old lady has one challenge left to fulfil while her body holds out, and that is to end the season lifting a trophy that she has fought to make a reality for so many years.