Last updated: 5 December 2023
4 min read

In Partnership with Rebel Girls

Marie-Antoinette Katoto

Born in the heart of Paris, Marie-Antoinette Katoto was made for football. Read how she evolved from no-nonsense defender to free-scoring forward for PSG and France.

Marie-Antoinette Katoto. Striker, French. Born: 1 November, 1998.

Marie-Antoinette grew up in a suburb of Paris right near the iconic Yves-du-Manoir stadium. The best footballers in the world had played there—running, leaping, tackling, and scoring on the bright green grass. Marie-Antoinette vowed to play there one day. And there was one position she had in mind for herself: striker.

When she was seven years old, she joined a football academy in her neighbourhood and quickly became a top student. She started as a defender. Her job was to protect her team’s goal. Marie-Antoinette was as fast and swift as a jaguar and could easily predict her opponents’ next moves. But she longed to be scoring goals as a striker.

“I don’t set myself a lot of limits in life, nor objectives. I always go as far as possible.”

Football Stories: Marie-Antoinette Katoto

Then, when she was 16, Marie-Antoinette was invited to join the Paris Saint-Germain Football Club. At first, she was intimidated to be playing alongside some of the best players in the country. But soon she got her chance to prove herself as a star striker.

It was May 2015, and Paris Saint-Germain was up against a skilled rival. At a pivotal moment, one of Marie-Antoinette’s teammates kicked a swift shot at the goal, but the keeper blocked it, sending the ball soaring back through the air.

Football Stories: Marie-Antoinette Katoto

Everyone in the stadium seemed to be holding their breath, waiting to see what would happen next. Marie-Antoinette didn’t hesitate. Her long braids trailed behind her as she bounded forward and headed the ball back towards the other team’s goal.

POW! It passed the goalkeeper and hit the net with a soft swish.

That turned out to be the first goal of many. Marie-Antoinette is now the top scorer on Paris Saint-Germain. And she’s just getting started.

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Illustration by Taina Cunion

Originally published: 28 September 2023