Upon seeing the cover of today's Life supplement in the Sunday Independent, I couldn't help but wonder would the same kind of photo shoot (four pages worth) accompany a Robbie Keane interview, if he was the one who had been nominated for a Puskas Award.
Granted, Barry Egan's chat with Stephanie Roche was never going to be centered on much in the way of hard football analysis but that doesn't mean it warrants the sexualised photos that accompany it.
Maybe I'm being a bit too pedantic - there are a fair share of magazines with a topless David Beckham adorning the front page. However, in my opinion, between these photos of Roche and the 'OMG, look at Ronaldo and Messi checking her out' pic from the award ceremony itself, it misses the point of how phenomenal her achievement was, both at a personal level and for women's football in general.
The piece itself actually does have a couple of nice anecdotes from her life in football; including a story about how a young Stephanie was so good when playing with the lads on the street that a neighbour nicknamed her 'Baggio,' but it also has the 'Stephanie has just told me that Ronaldo has been texting her now that he's single' kind of nonsense that I doubt you'd get if it was a man being interviewed.
Again, perhaps I'm wrong. Roche does make the argument, in relation to the aforementioned criticism of the photo with Messi and Ronaldo, that 'I think that's stupid. I think people are happy to see an Irish girl being looked up to by superstars.' I just don't see why you need to sexualise a story that is well able to engross people on its own merits.