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Canadian soccer star Josée Bélanger guest hosts Global News Morning

Canadian soccer star Josée Bélanger co-hosted Global News Morning with host Laura Casella to talk about her experience as an Olympic bronze medal winner in Rio and what it’s like to be an icon throughout the country.

“I think for the past two years with the [women’s] world cup and the Olympics we got more visibility,” Bélanger said.
“[Kids and teenagers] were able to follow us, I think they see us as a model, something that they want to achieve.”

Bélanger typically plays the position of Right Back, and when she is not with the national team or with her club, the Orlando Pride, she spends a lot of time speaking to youth soccer clubs and in schools.

“It’s crazy, sometimes I am supposed to [give a talk] for only an hour, but I have to extend because everyone is so pumped to meet me and see the medal, ask questions, take pictures,” Bélanger said.

“It’s great to be in that position and having the privilege to inspire those kids.”

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Soccer has seen a rise in popularity in Montreal with the recent Impact playoff run.

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With momentum on its side, Bélanger thinks the best way to grow the game in the city and in Canada, is to bring professional women’s teams to cities throughout the country.

“The interest is there, so it’s finding those willing to invest the money, it takes a lot to invest in something new,” Bélanger said.

“But if you look at the pro league in the U.S. the women’s teams are usually affiliated to the men’s so it helps to share the infrastructure. [But] I think it’s about having the courage to believe that soccer is growing up.”
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