Upon arriving in Avilés to play a friendly against Panama, a season prior to the World Cup in which Spain was crowned, the reception from the fans was massive and a little overwhelming for Alexia Putellas, the double Ballon d’Or winner, the face and left foot of Spain . “He stood up, signed, did all the selfies with a good face… But it was all very intense and at times we worried,” explains a person who experienced it up close and who reveals that if a security person was placed with the team at the time it was, above all, because of the pull that Alexia has it for the fans, who recognize her even if she puts on the hoodie and headphones in any airport in the world. “Maybe we need someone more security,” they suggested from the expedition to the federation, which took note and now has the same person in Córdoba. bodyguard, in addition to the head of the organization who helps with the task. The same thing happens with the men’s team. Another change – such as the resignation of former president Rubiales, or the dismissal of coach Vilda in addition to general secretary Camps – in a federation that has been upside down since former president Rubiales kissed Jenni Hermoso without consent, in an entity that by hard means has had to listen to the protest cry of the players. In front, Alexia, leader on and off the field of play.
He missed his posture during the World Cup, as he did not stop in front of the media, perhaps to offer a laconic greeting and continue forward. This was what happened from start to finish, although after lifting the World Cup he stopped to congratulate the team and send a message to the world of football. “It makes me angry because there are many countries that have been fighting for improvements in women’s football for a long time. FIFA has to take notice. This is an overexertion for the players. But I want to tell them to keep fighting. When you believe, with one step, with basics, you can achieve it,” she resolved. And, since then, enraged after finding out about Rubiales’ kiss with Jenni, she has not kept quiet, raising the flag of the team and of the rights, also of football. “We are here to stay and help those who will come. We have seen it with the serious situation that we are experiencing with the RFEF and the changes that we are requesting so that no woman, both inside and outside of football, ever again has to experience situations such as lack of respect or abuse,” she exclaimed with reverberation in the Parliament of Catalonia when the women’s Barça received the Medal of Honor; “We will not stop here.” No sooner said than done.
If Alexia did not speak during the World Cup it is because she preferred to focus on football and her preparation because she had not played for a year due to a broken knee, because she knew in advance that her role – as she had agreed with Vilda – would be secondary. . The spotlights, he understood, for others. But in his locker room he made himself heard. “She is a leader, a person who when she speaks, adds up. She says the right thing at the right time,” notes Tere Abelleira. She has explained that since the World Cup ended and the events took place.
Alexia led, along with others, the most nonconformist and vindictive position of the group, knowing that it was now or never, that the ball had given them the power that others denied them by flag. “For decades there was systemic discrimination against women. We had to fight a lot to be heard,” she said from the Gamla Ullevi stadium in Gothenburg. “She has that role as a born leader in her blood. She has exemplary behavior, her group trusts her to death. She shows us the youngest ones the path to follow. I will always trust her judgment and her choices,” says Cata Coll. She is a voice that can be heard, even by Athenea who put the shirt before the fight by not giving up on the team like the rest because she understood that the changes would be better made from within. “Alexia is an example and a mirror to look at yourself. For what she has achieved and for what she means. Look more for the group than for herself. “She is a true leader,” she explains.
Alexia, like the rest, was moved by Rubiales’s kiss and was angered by the subsequent assembly, in which she refused to resign. The motto #SeAcabó It made an impact in the locker room and in the world, as Sweden demonstrated in the first match of the Nations League (2-3) when they all posed together with the banner before the match. “Zero tolerance. First for her, also for us and so that it wouldn’t happen again. We believe the system failed. The Federation failed and the country failed,” he added this Sunday from Seville, a stopover to reach Córdoba, where Switzerland will be measured today (9:00 p.m., La 2 and RTVE Play).
Although he left details of his football in the World Cup, especially against Zambia, he lacked rhythm and had plenty of touches, still looking for his cooking point. Against Sweden, however, he was the best, again a virguera with the ball between his boots, pipe here and hat there, passes between the lines, a game that uncorks admiration. But not only did he command with the ball but he also did so without it. An example is that the locker room, invited by Tomé, voted to elect the captains in these two matches, a provisional measure due to the exceptional nature of the situation. Alexia was the most voted followed by Paredes – to whom she gave the bracelet because she considers that the position is tailored to her, in addition to the fact that she already was one in the past -, Aitana and Mariona. “It is a gesture that demonstrates the camaraderie of the group,” said Tomé.
Although Alexia had more, as she was the first to congratulate Athenea on her goal against Sweden as she claimed the scrum of everyone in the goals. And in the last minute, with a tie at two and with a penalty to be taken, he went to Mariona and, aware that he wanted to shoot it because it is also his specialty, ignoring the stripes — he is the one with the most international caps, 110 ahead of Paredes (98)—, he said to her: “You are ready, right?” She didn’t need anything else. “I have seen a different Alexia, enjoying herself. Glad to hear it; She has been one of the players who has been most active with everything that has happened. She is a 10″ soccer player, Tomé acknowledged. She also a leader of 10.
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