Women in Football: The story of RCD Espanyol scout Andrea Orts

Known for her expertise in South American football, Orts became LaLiga Santander’s only female scout when she was hired in 2017

Women in Football: The story of RCD Espanyol scout Andrea Orts
Andrea Orts - RCD Espanyol (Author - ABC)

Scouts are among the most important professionals at a football club, yet it’s a role that is still tremendously male dominated. There are just a handful of women working as scouts at professional clubs and one of them is Andrea Orts, who became the only female scout in LaLiga Santander when she was hired by RCD Espanyol in 2017.

At that time, the Catalan club were looking for an expert in South American football and the job went to Orts. She has since explained that she was excited just be considered, but RCD Espanyol’s general sporting director Óscar Perarnau knew of Orts’ dedication and expertise and selected her for the role. Making this historic hire all the more special is the fact that she is a fan of the Pericos.

Before earning this role, Orts had studied journalism at the Universitat Ramon Llull. She specialised in sports journalism and completed an internship at TV3, before working with the football website of the radio program Marcador Internacional and with radio station Cadena SER.

In all this time, her speciality was South American football, a passion she developed during late nights of studying while at university. One of the channels on her TV carried the Argentine league and Orts fell in love with the look, the feel and the passion of Argentine football. Before long, she knew everything about it.

This knowledge is what RCD Espanyol were looking for when Orts was brought in to the club’s team of seven scouts in 2017. Her focus is on Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, three markets she has been following for years, while her work also requires her to keep an eye on players Colombia and Ecuador, although to a lesser degree.

Even though Orts deals with the South American market, she is based in Barcelona. When not travelling to South America or to other European countries, she works out of the club’s Ciudad Deportiva Dani Jarque. As she explained in an interview with ABC: “From Monday to Friday, I work around eight hours a day in the office, but then after going home you end up watching another match. You can’t disconnect from it, as it’s your work but also a passion. You have football in your head 24 hours a day.”

Orts is keenly aware of the fact that she stands out in this profession and feels like she can pave the way for other female football experts to enter this world too. “I feel responsibility because this is my job and, if I do it well, then it could help other women to have the opportunity that I’ve had to work with big clubs,” she said.

Despite the fact that she is one of the very few female scouts working in professional football, 25-year-old Orts has explained that she has come across more problems because of her age than because of her sex. At one tournament, she was asked if she was the daughter of a colleague, an anecdote she still finds amusing.

Despite her youth, Orts has already seen more football matches than many people will watch in their entire lives. As she explained in an interview with AS: “How many matches do I watch? That’s an impossible question. But, a lot.”