Jorge Vilda after the victory of Spain: “The earthquake has been the selection” | Women’s Soccer World Cup 2023

Jorge Vilda celebrates Spain's first goal, Mariona's, during the game against the Netherlands.
Jorge Vilda celebrates Spain’s first goal, Mariona’s, during the game against the Netherlands.AMANDA PEROBELLI (REUTERS)

Before the duel began, after the protocol photos of the eleven, the Dutch team scrummed near the center circle to cheer themselves up. Spain chose another place, as they all approached the technical area and also joined the substitutes, at which time Esther —who wore the bracelet to the detriment of an Ivana who did not start the game— gave a vitamizing speech. It is also a sign that although there were fissures in the past, although 15 players chose to distance themselves from the team for a few months because they understood that the federation lacked professionalism, Spain is only one. A connection that 120 minutes later, after extra time, grew stronger: inconsolable tears of happiness from Alexia and Paredes, also from Jenni Hermoso. “We have shed some tears, yes,” accepted Alba Redondo. The contained euphoria was also uncorked. Like the one expressed by coach Jorge Vilda when asked if he had noticed the brief earthquake that shook the foundations of the stadium. “Well no, we were very focused on the duel,” he reflected: “but the earthquake was in Spain.”



Cata Coll, Irene Paredes, Ona Batlle, Oihane Hernández, Laia Codina, Jenni Hermoso, Teresa Abelleira, Aitana Bonmatí, Mariona Caldentey, Esther González and Alba Redondo


Países Bajos

Daphne van Domselaar, Sherida Spitse, Dominique Janssen, Stefanie van der Gragt, Esmee Brugts, Damaris Egurrola, Victoria Pelova, Jill Roord, Jackie Groenen, Lineth Beerensteyn y Lieke Martens

goals 1-0 min. 80: Mariona Caldentey. 1-1 min. 91: Stefanie van der Gragt. 2-1 min. 111: Salma Paralluelo.

Referee Stephanie Frappart

Yellow cards Oihane Hernández (min. 35) and Damaris Egurrola (min. 60)

After the duel was over, all the La Roja players met again on the pitch, hugging, gestures of affection and shouts of delight, and even more because, for example, Paredes and Laia Codina covered themselves on the mat. Celebration to which President Luis Rubiales joined, who approached one by one to congratulate them on the feat. There were also those who came up to the stands, those who fed on the hubbub of the fans, such as Alba Redondo, Ivana, Salma, Cata Coll… “There have been footsteps and everything. But it does not matter. I, for example, have no idea what I said at the celebration. In those moments you don’t even think, ”Oihane acknowledged, who was left with the penalty that he will not be able to play the semifinals due to the accumulation of cards. “Even though we knew we could do great things, we are still assimilating it,” revealed Olga Carmona. “Of course I have shed tears!” Paredes acknowledged; “But we have been fighting for this for many years and that is why we know how difficult it is.” The same was the opinion of Jenni Hermoso, who still appeared in the mixed zone with goosebumps: “We have worked hard to get here, we have worked it out”. Something in which Vilda agreed. “To date it is the most important victory of my career because we had never reached the semifinals of a World Cup,” she stressed; “And it means a lot because since I took the national team I always dreamed of a moment like this.” Although the match against the Netherlands was not easy.

“The key has been the battle in the center of the field”, resolved the Dutch Dámaris Egurrola, accepting the victory of Spain, a team that she discarded – her father is from Bilbao – because she did not understand Vilda in her day. And in that, in kneading the ball and in conjugating it, Spain took the cake, as it connected 679 passes (538 well; 79.2%) to the 433 of the Netherlands (63.9%). Although after the goal, La Roja backed down a hair — “We lost control, the second plays, and they created danger for us with the counters,” said Vilda — and conceded the tie. “We thought it was offside and when the VAR said it was valid it gave us a downturn. But we have known how to recover because in soccer, as in life, you have to get up when you get hit,” agreed Hermoso.

That was said to each other on the bench during extra time: “When they missed an opportunity -Beeresnteyn, who crossed it too much-, we told ourselves that we would win this”, revealed Oihane. “And we played extra time as we should, with more heart than head,” Alba Redondo intervened. “We have left our hearts, souls and claws”, added Ivana. “And since Salma’s goal, I already wanted to cry,” added Olga Carmona. “When he touched the stick and the net, I wondered if it was real or not, if it was really happening,” Hermoso added. “Yes, we have won because the players have not stopped believing”, Vilda clarified. And Paredes finished off: “We have taken a step forward as a team, knowing how to play this type of match, that is clear.”

Historic victory for the team, also a reward for Vilda, who has been criticized by definition. “Rubiales has been with me since day one and he has always supported me. Right now, I am very happy because you think about the management that we have carried out. This is not over and I am still looking forward to making happy the people who are happy about the successes of the national team”. History remains to be written.

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