Iris Rabot: Get to know the Lyon-born midfielder competing in Serie A

Iris Rabot

Iris Rabot was born and raised in Lyon, France, with a twin brother and an older sister. In the garden outside her home, Rabot first started playing soccer. At five years old, Rabot recalls the day her father asked if her brother wanted to play soccer with him.

“As I was always doing things with my twin brother, I asked my dad if I could also play with them. Since that day, I fell in love with soccer. A few weeks after that, my parents took me to my town’s soccer club,” Rabot said, recalling her introduction to the game she loved and now plays professionally for Pomigliano in Italy’s Serie A.

Her journey from Lyon to Pomigliano d’Arco has been an interesting one that saw her stop at the University of Northwestern Ohio, and James Madison University playing in the US collegiate game while continuing her studies. Rabot saw the opportunity to attend college in the United States as the perfect opportunity. She could continue her studies while playing soccer at a high level, which was very important to her and her family.

“I could have finished high school in France and gone to play pro directly in France and try to study next to it. But in France, it’s very complicated to do both. In addition, after playing nine years in Olympique Lyonnais, I wanted a new challenge, and the project of going to the USA was perfect for me,” said Rabot.

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US college days

A midfielder by trade, Rabot made a name for herself playing for James Madison University from 2019 to 2021 after playing a single season at Northwestern Ohio. In the summer, Rabot would play in United Women’s Soccer (UWS) for Santa Clarita Blue Heat to continue her development and stay fit. Rabot attributed one of her favorite career moments to her time in UWS, when she won the National Championship with her team.

After her final season at James Madison and her last summer playing for Santa Clarita, Rabot returned home to France. Soon after, the opportunity to play for Pomigliano arose.

“I immediately took this opportunity because I knew that the Serie A was a rising league and a quality league, and that was the perfect choice for my first European pro club.”

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In her first season of Serie A, Rabot and Pomigliano finished in seventh place in the first phase of the season. This placed Pomigliano in the relegation round, where they finished in fourth place, requiring them to win a relegation play-off match against Lazio. Over a two-leg affair, Pomigliano was victorious 2-1 on aggregate and ensured their return to Serie A for the upcoming season.

Rabot’s football inspiration

As a strong midfield player, Rabot has several influential figures in her sporting life who have inspired her to continue to grow as a player.

“My favorite player of all time is Iniesta. I’ve always loved watching him, and I still sometimes watch videos of him on YouTube when he was playing for Barça. I also love N’Golo Kanté and Kevin De Bruyne. In women’s soccer, I love watching Amandine Henry and Rose Lavelle,” said Rabot.

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At James Madison, Rabot earned a degree in Sports and Recreation Management with a minor in business. Now 22 years old — with one year of professional soccer completed — Rabot has the world ahead of her. While a long professional career is expected, her education in the United States has set her up for life after her playing days are over.

With an interest in sports marketing and coaching, Rabot has set herself up well for the future due to her hard work ethic and drive.

“I would say that I’m someone very determined and a hard-working person, but I also love laughing and joking around,” Rabot shared.

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