Aitana Bonmatí, the character of Spain | Women’s World Cup 2023

Although with a calm and structured speech, the words of someone who has football in his veins and in his head, the demons carried him away after having lost to Japan in a match in which Spain was crushed by the rival contras: four contras, four goals. But, just as she had shown her face in the matches in which the team swept Costa Rica or Zambia, Aitana Bonmatí (Vilanova i la Geltrú, Barcelona; 25 years old) came back to the fore to show her face. The gesture of rage, of bad mood, was evidenced on the pitch, when after conceding the third goal he went to look for the ball at the goal to take it to the center circle. And he roused his companions with shouts. “It is innate. Even if I don’t wear a bracelet, I like to talk, communicate and transfer character to the team. I always try to help, whether it goes well or badly”, the midfielder resolves. She knows that she is facing the opportunity of her life, that after being the best player in the last Champions League, won with Barça, the World Cup is coming to her at her best moment, after once again being designated as eligible after months of absence due to her differences with the federation, as did 14 other players.

She is always one of the first to go to the training field and, they say, also one of the last to leave the gym. “I don’t know if there are any that are so hardworking,” praises Cata Coll. She lives for and for football when she plays, although she has also learned to disconnect during free hours because for a while she was overwhelmed by anxiety, the monotheme of the ball. It happens that in the World Cup, between trips – they have already taken 13 planes -, hotels and transfers, she does not have the routine that she would like and the moments of disconnection are fewer. She devours books and has seen documentaries about The Last Dance, by Michael Jordan, and Break Point. Sometimes, to reduce stress or tension, she also meditates thanks to an application that was downloaded to her mobile and that guides her, always in the good company of her psychologist. On days off, she gets together with her agents to visit an island or go to see the seals on the coast; She was also seen, along with her family and her partner, in the Sweden-United States.

She also makes friends with her colleagues, especially those from Barça, although she has also made good friends with Athenea, Enith Salón and Alba Redondo, with whom she shares laughs, confidences and devotion to pasta. It was precisely in an Italian restaurant in Wellington, where she had to serve a couple of fans who asked her for a selfie.

Aitana is the image and football of Spain. Also the character.

“She is small but tough. She has a bad attitude in a positive sense and she infects the team because with and without the ball she makes all of us around her better”, admits Alba Redondo.

That was done when the match against Switzerland began in the round of 16, the border never crossed because Spain had always lost in the knockout rounds of a major tournament. Cut and shot with his left foot, goal at 4m28s, the earliest for Spain in a World Cup, surpassing Abelleira’s precedent against Zambia (8m42s). Then he scored another and gave two more. MVP, as against Costa Rica. Matches in which the team stretched out and had wingers to give depth, not as crowded in the interior zones as when Mariona and Salma participated on the inside against Japan. This is corroborated by Esther, who made an effort to create spaces: “I think Aitana felt liberated because she stretched the team,” says the scorer; and she jokes: “I think she wants to play forward with me because she doesn’t stop scoring…”. Bonmatí adds three, all with the left. And she’s not left-handed.

It happens that at the end of each season he meets with his agents to show him his statistics and point out the weak points to improve. One course was where to position yourself at arrivals; another, how to improve transitions; last year, influence the hits and, three years ago, improve the left foot. He took a test and got a five; It was demanded to improve, up to a seven or eight. There were many hours and kicks to the ball. With reward: in this World Cup he has eight shots and seven are with his left. His versatility does not go unnoticed: “Not only does he interpret the game like almost none, but he is capable of hitting it with both legs,” Athenea points out. Everything is a consequence of her work. “As on the field, he likes to control what happens. He likes to have information and minimize surprises, that’s how he calms down, ”they say from the footballer’s environment. That is why she is already receiving reports from her agency about the Netherlands. How the team changes if Demaris or Pelova plays, where they can receive more comfortable, how to attack or what weaknesses the opposing team has, if the referee is more or less permissive… “You learn a lot from her, it’s a luxury to have her as a partner”, says Tere Abelleira. “She is getting closer to the best version of her at the key moment”, praised her from the technical staff, happy because they had doubts about how her body would respond after having played so many games during the season.

Aitana is in the World Cup to fight until the end. “I don’t set limits, you have to be ambitious”, she reflects, concentrating on what she plays. As after the duel against Zambia, she when she attended the press with her thigh marked by the heels of a rival. “Oh! Well, I didn’t even realize…” She is on her own.

Subscribe to continue reading

Read without limits

Source link

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.