Spanish adventure is part of Santander Universities' Women in Football programme
Football fanatic Kayleigh McNeill enjoyed the trip of a lifetime to Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium as part of an initiative to support female talent in both their sporting and professional lives.
The Edinburgh Napier team captain joined a programme of events, tours and training, and took in the home side’s 5-1 demolition of Lyon in the Champions League Round of 16.
As well as seeing Lionel Messi in the flesh, she was coached by former Barcelona and Chelsea defender Chapi Ferrer and participated in a panel event on women’s leadership with Barcelona officials and Santander banking executives.
Kayleigh, 24, a former pupil at Tynecastle High, travelled to Spain with a select group of players from UK universities as part of a Women in Football programme organised by Santander Universities.
She said: “To get the chance to network with some of the top people in the banking world is an opportunity not many Business Management students get, and to couple that with seeing one of the greatest footballers of all time in action was a dream come true.
“I also got the chance to ask ex-Barcelona goalkeeper and captain Laura Rafols if she thought she could save one of Messi’s free kicks. She replied: ‘It would probably break my wrist – but I’d definitely try’.”
Matt Hutnell, Director of Santander Universities, said. “We hope the trip will motivate and support female talent with their career ambitions – whether in the world of sport, finance or beyond.”
Santander Universities was launched as a vehicle for business investment into communities, and the programme now has more than 1200 university partners across 20 countries.