Spain recovers to reach the World Cup final: “The soul of this team is brutal” | Women’s Soccer World Cup 2023

Tuesday, August 15. Spain, partying. And the selection, too. During the meal, a few players led by Eva Navarro, including Rocío Gálvez, Claudia Zornoza and Irene Guerrero, decided to turn the loudspeaker on full so that in the end they all came together, few as dancers as Jennifer Hermoso. There were more serious ones, like Irene Paredes or Alexia, but they all released their adrenaline before playing the final as they did on the way to the stadium, because they played the song Is coming, of Elena Farga, and they hooted to later hit the windows of the bus and cheer up. He played a game and it was not just any one. Hours later, they were jumping, crying, hugging, laughing and congratulating each other, having beaten Sweden to reach the World Cup final. “We have put a country on its feet and now what we have to do is get them all out on the streets. To the finaaaaal, oe!”, the coach, Jorge Vilda, started in a huddle in which no one was missing, in the center of the stadium. Along the way were the problems experienced in the last year, also the different wrongs that rivals have raised. Sweden was no less. But she was left down like the others.



Cata Coll, Laia Codina, Irene Paredes, Olga Carmona, Ona Batlle, Alexia Putellas, Teresa Abelleira, Aitana Bonmatí, Jenni Hermoso, Mariona Caldentey and Alba Redondo



Zecira Musovic, Magdalena Eriksson, Amanda Ilestedt, Jonna Andersson, Nathalie Björn, Filippa Angeldahl, Elin Rubensson, Johanna Rytting Kaneryd, Kosovare Asllani, Fridolina Rolfö and Stina Blackstenius

goals 1-0 min. 80: Salma Parallel life. 1-1 min. 87: Rebecca Blomqvist. 2-1 min. 89: Olga Carmona.

Referee Edina Alves Batista

Not so long ago, last September, 15 players wrote an email to the federation to say that they were not well, that they wanted to stop being summoned. Without saying it in public, they hissed that the federation was not professional enough, that with the coach, Vilda, they would not go anywhere. But President Luis Rubiales decided that he would not touch him, that he would not give in to pressure, no matter how much the team divided. “We stood firm in what we believed in,” says Rubiales. And he believed that defending Vilda was a priority. Also to those players who wanted to wear the Spain shirt. With those wickets, with a few who retracted and returned to the national team, and with other newer faces, they traveled to Australia and New Zealand, where they reached the World Cup final for the first time.

“We don’t know what the environment will be like,” they said in June from the offices of the sports city of Las Rozas, concerned about the return of some soccer players such as Aitana Bonmatí, Mariona Caldentey or Ona Batlle, in addition to Irene Paredes, Alexia Putellas and even Jenni Hermoso, three of which did not send any email, but did position themselves in favor of the dissidents. And although, they say from the locker room, there are things that are not forgotten, they have been put in a corner for the benefit of football, for the common goal of competing for a World Cup. The goals and the wins, in any case, have acted as the best possible glue.

“The milk how this locker room is united. The players are happy, content, they have created a family”, explains Rubiales after the match, with red eyes because tears had escaped. “We’re having a great time, we have a great group and right now is when we show that we’re strong and that we can recover from any adversity,” says Olga Carmona, the final scorer of the night. “We are uniting a lot, what we are experiencing from within is very beautiful. Now we can talk about the soul of the brutal team”, emphasizes Tere Abelleira. Behind the Galician, at that moment, Jenni walks by and says out loud: “Come on! That we are in the final of the fucking World Cup! For that, they have had a hard time in some match, even though they only lost to Japan in the group stage; They were superior to the rest, also in the qualifying rounds, rounds that they had never surpassed before.

Switzerland equalized after an own goal by Laia Codina. The Netherlands did it in added time. And they both gave a good account, as also this Tuesday against Sweden, which put the tables with two minutes to go and lost on the horn with a goal from Olga Carmona. “Once again, this team has shown that it is mentally prepared. The players carry it inside, in their DNA. It is their merit, even though I told them not to stop believing”, says Vilda. “This team has become very strong. What we have now and not before is the winning mentality, of believing, of not giving up anything, of not giving up and, above all, of knowing how to suffer”, adds Aitana, who did not even remember having caught the ball after the rival goal to plant it in the center of the field; as a gesture of anger and leadership. “Have I done that? I have no idea, no idea… I know that I have shit on everything and I have applauded to encourage. And we have all responded,” she admits. “After our first goal, we said that this was not something that escaped us,” adds Mariona, who jokes; “But on the next play they go and score a goal for us. Wow, suckers…”. Although Codina takes over: “After that, we told ourselves that nothing was wrong. And maintaining the feeling of going for the game is what makes us great”.

From the box something similar happened. Vice President Rafa del Amo released after the Swedish goal: “It can’t be!” Rubiales turned around and replied: “Don’t worry, we’re going to win.” And they did. “We are characterized by the mental strength of the team and the World Cups and great championships are won with that,” Codina slides. “Could it be that we have some balls That fat and that we always believe until the end”, Alba Redondo intervenes. “We played with our soul, with everything. They put us in and we don’t collapse, but rather we want more”, Cata Coll elaborates. “We never give up,” adds Olga. Although Rubiales elaborates: “They are the 23 best soccer players I have ever met, 23 sisters. It’s a group that has rebuilt itself on a lot of critical and resentful interests in record time.”

Although, in that time, few had it worse than Vilda. “I have called my wife and my children, also my father, my mother and my brother. We are a small family and this is something for everyone, because they have suffered this year. Although we have pushed forward in hard times, we must leave it on file ”, she resolves. “This victory is also due to the coaching staff, who have recovered from a very difficult time and year, with work, humility, courage and without getting into the rag of that 0.0001% of those who have wanted to hurt us,” Rubiales says. . Vilda, the coaching staff and the players are in the World Cup final. Five days and three nights remain. Today’s doesn’t count. There will be a party at the Hilton hotel, where the selection is concentrated. In fact, for the first time in the entire concentration, they will let the families of the players enter. The next day they will go to Sydney, the last stop of the World Cup. And if there are problems, the team is willing to face them. It will be for callus.

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