Cecilia Lagos - the story of the first Chilean female football TV presenter!


Cecilia Lagos - the story of the first Chilean female football TV presenter!

From ESPN to the Guardian, from legendary football magazine El Gráfico to the BBC; Cecilia Lagos - known as a female football correspondent - has an impressive track record. Driven by her dreams, she pushed boundaries in a male-dominated sports world to get where she is right now. An example of Energy and Power, Nightwatch is more than glad to welcome amongst its fans! In this blog, she tells her story.

From father to daughter


I was born in Chile and football came into my life in 1982, during the World Cup in Spain. A Chilean player missed a penalty, and all I could hear everywhere was exactly that word: “penalty”. I was only 5 years old, and that made me really curious. What was a penalty? I started watching the World Cup games with my dad and, after noticing a pattern, I kind of came up with my own answer. “Dad, a penalty is when a ‘gentleman’ falls close to the goal?” “Yes, daughter, something like that.” And that was it. At such a short age, I got reaffirmation that I could understand the game and I grew really interested in it at a time when it was absolutely unthinkable that a girl could like football or even know what football was, because it was simply not something for women. Especially in a country like Chile, where male chauvinism and discrimination are so deeply rooted until today.

Pursuing the dream to become a soccer player


Fast forwarding, in 1988, I already knew and decided that I wanted to be a sports journalist and a football pundit, just like the ones I listened to on the radio every day. But I also wanted to play football. I dreamed of becoming a player for my favorite club, playing with the first team, scoring goals and celebrating with the fans in the stands. I had zero limiting thoughts and I have to acknowledge my parents for that, because they never ever engrained any prejudice or limitation in me. They always supported me and told me I could do and become whatever I wanted to pursue. So I actually believed that if I wanted to join in my club’s youth academy with the boys, I’d be accepted. But when my mom took me to the club to actually register me, the guy behind the desk basically laughed at us and said it was only for boys, but that he would ask the director and call us back. Of course, he never did. Only because I was a girl.

A girl standing firm in a male world


Still, my greatest dream was to become a sports journalist, even though I had never seen a woman doing the job. But that never stopped me from following that path. If anything, it fueled me more to do it. I never needed “to see one to become one”. That’s how, at 14 I was given the opportunity to write my own football column in a national newspaper and that was the beginning of my dream. But after I started college, and became already qualified to find a job in media, the doors started closing. It was the mid-90s and women were still nowhere to be seen in the media talking about football. And sometimes life also takes its turns: I moved to Argentina, I became a mother, then I moved to New York and studied English and Journalism there too. I also experienced and covered 9/11 as a correspondent for Chilean media. In 5 years abroad, I had disconnected from football.

 

When I returned to Chile in 2003, the reconnection wasn’t easy or quick. I left the country in a reality that didn’t exist anymore and, upon my return, I couldn’t recognize the football I had fallen in love with when I was young. My idols were all retired. It was difficult. It took me a couple of years, until I was offered to write a Sunday newspaper sports column again, and that’s how I slowly reinserted myself into football. In 2010, I was offered to join the all-female panel of a national radio football show. For the first time four women would analyze football seriously. In that era this was a small revolution because until then, sadly, the role of women in any football show was just ornamental, either to sexualize them as an object or to have them only speaking about the appearance of footballers. But we created a wonderful buzz that lasted a year and a half and opened great opportunities for all of us. That’s how in 2012, I got the call from TVN, the most important TV network in the country, to host their brand-new cable network sports show.

The Big Break


That year, I became the first female ever to present a sports segment on their national prime-time news show, commenting on football highlights on my own. Certainly, being the first was nice but it brought along the vilest abuse on social media, not only from fans but also from colleagues who, by doing that, would also drag their followers to send me their abuse. It was definitely tough because no one is ever prepared nor ever should receive abuse only for doing their job. In time, I learned to ignore it. Whether colleagues or fans, whatever they said about me was on them, and it only spoke about who they were. It didn’t define me.

 

Still, even though I shattered several levels, the glass ceiling in Chile was extremely low for me. And no matter how good I did my job, I never got the opportunities I deserved to keep growing the way I wanted to, according to my capabilities, experience, and talents. That’s why almost four years ago -also because my husband is Dutch- I decided to leave for the Netherlands. Pandemic aside, here I have found the fertile soil I wanted for my dreams to grow, bloom and expand. That’s how I’ve been able to work for FIFA at the Women’s World Cup in France, I’ve covered the Champions League for an American network, I’ve interviewed male and female world football stars, and the opportunities keep expanding. It bears the cost of not living close to my family -worsened by the pandemic-, but I know I can also inspire them, and anyone else, to fight for their dreams, no matter what. Because achieving my dreams is what truly defines me.

How I got to be a Nightwatch fan?


Nightwatch

It was exactly football what made me come across Nightwatch. Last summer, I worked for ESPN in America, during the Euro 2020 as a European-based football pundit. For a whole month I was part of their expert panel, and it was a dream job, but the 6-hour difference across continents meant that I should wake up at 3.30 am, to be ready and connected in my home-studio at 4:15 am, and do the show from 5 to 6 am. You can imagine: as a football analyst, one must always be sharp, concise, and articulate. Time on live TV is very tight. I knew that, with a broken biorhythm, that was going to be really hard for me, so I needed to plan accordingly to support my body and brain. The only logical solution for me was to use energy drinks.

 

On a trip to the supermarket, my idea was fixed on grabbing some cans of the only energy drink I knew until then… Yes, that one. But then I saw Nightwatch. I loved the Latin American design with the Quetzalcoatl, however what attracted me the most was the “Focus & Power'' claim right below it. That was exactly what I needed! So I decided to grab a couple of cans to give it a try and compare it with the other energy drink.

Bad encounters with first generation energy drinks


The first effects with “that” brand were disappointing. I got jitters, heart palpitations, it didn’t help me at all with concentration, focus or speech, my mind was racing, and then it was impossible to go back to sleep when I tried to, around 7 am. I couldn’t suppress the restless feeling. That, besides the fact that my body is super sensitive, and it tasted too chemical and sweet. Yuck! It really made me feel unhealthy

Focus & Power instead!


Nightwatch

Then, the next night, I decided to try Nightwatch. I didn’t imagine that opening that can, would also open a whole new experience and a path that has me now writing this blog for you.

 

I instantly loved its balanced natural taste, without added sugar. In the middle of the summer, right out of the fridge, it was refreshing. Then, I noticed a remarkable positive difference in my performance during the show: I was definitely more focused, more articulate, sharper and after the show ended I could easily fall asleep again. No jitters, no heart palpitations, no overstimulation. The effect that Nightwatch had on me was tremendously efficient, yet smooth. And God, I was thankful for that. Then, just to confirm, I alternated a couple more days with both drinks, and the experience was the same, so I ditched the ‘winged’ brand and Nightwatch became my best friend during that wonderful and challenging month of football and work. It’s funny that soon after, my husband also started drinking Nightwatch during his hard-working days, and he’s become a regular now too.

The perfect match


Besides all the benefits in my body, I also learned about all the other values that Nightwatch stands for as a company. They’re totally aligned with my own quest for healthier, more sustainable and cleaner choices, so it was the perfect match. I could never support or promote a product if I don’t use it and believe in it myself. That’s why ever since Nightwatch and I crossed paths, I couldn’t help becoming not only a loyal customer, but above all… a Nightwatch Fan!

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