When I grow up I want to be like you!

The history of the Spanish women’s soccer team at the World Cup finals has been remarkable. On September 13, 2014, with a 0-2 victory over Romania, the national team sealed the direct pass to the first World Cup in its history, which is scheduled to be held in Canada in 2015. The choice actually came with the slogan (which would end up being his predecessor) #SoñarEnGrande, used at UEFA Euro 2013. The result of their participation in the first World Cup was the loss of two matches (against Brazil and South Korea) and a 1-1 draw with Costa Rica. In the next World Cup, at the 2019 World Cup in France, they won their first World Cup match 3-1 against South Africa, and finally fell in the Round of 16 against the United States 1-2. In the present world, from Australia and New Zealand, she has already reached the final and may be the champion this afternoon.

Thus, the popularity of women’s football has not stopped growing in recent years. In this World Cup, for the first time, all players also receive a salary (thirty thousand dollars), and despite the problems that existed almost two months before the start of the tournament due to the award of broadcasting rights (and That forced joint action According to the Ministers of Sport of Spain, Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom), audience records are being broken: the semi-final against Sweden was watched on La 1 de Televisión Española by nearly four million people. In addition, the World Cup is narrated, for the first time, by a woman: Alicia Arevalo. Tickets to watch matches in stadiums broke records (the total figure is expected to reach two million tickets sold, with an average of 36,000 spectators per match).

It wasn’t always this way

It was precisely at the World Cup in Canada, in 2015, when journalist Mamen Hidalgo realized “how much women are undervalued in the media.” “I was very surprised that it was the first World Cup in Spain and it didn’t get as much attention as it deserved,” he tells us over the phone. And there, then, at that moment, when the journalist’s mentality changes a little and she begins to carry out reports on the players and pioneers of Spanish football, in the newspaper for 20 minutes. “I started presenting content that I had seen that wasn’t happening until then, and above all, I use social networks, which I have done for many years, to give this vision to women’s football,” says Hidalgo. Over time things have changed (especially in the last five years), and already at the 2019 World Cup she appeared on the spot with El Periódico de Catalunya to cover it and “in the last four years at Newtral we have created a section called ‘Women in Sport Tell Us’ to give them the place they weren’t they have.”

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From this same need to feature women’s soccer champions, from a cultural point of view, the book emerged three years ago. Share the glory (Base, 2020), the inspiring testimonies of seven female soccer players (Vicky Losada, Ferro Boquete, Irene Ferreras, Alba Melado, Laura del Rio, Aetana Bonmatti and Alba Palacios). In it, Hidalgo intends to carry out a historical arc in which he begins with the pioneers, the players who had many difficulties to play football in Spain in decent conditions, with respectable salaries (such as Losada and Boquete) and who had the departure abroad, even reaching the youngest, Aitana Bonmati , and Alba Palacios, the first mobile soccer player in Spain. At that moment, Hidalgo thought there was a need for a book about the path of pioneers, Not to lose consciousness as to where they came from, considering there was an entire effort to fill stadiums or have a chance at winning the big tournaments.

Mamen Hidalgo book cover Share the glory.

It is highlighted in the introduction Share the glory Olympic medalist and world’s best water polo player Jennifer Pareja called “When I grow up I want to be like you”, saying that sport needs role models, more women who are mirrors for new generations. This is so that society can look at itself and identify with the values ​​of sport. Thus, Pareja understands that each story included in the book is a lesson in life, which should serve to “build bridges that can help improve society, make it more just and equal.” Precisely those values ​​associated with the sport are now very visible in women’s football, and players are constantly calling for them in their public statements. In Mamen Hidalgo’s opinion “I’m not surprised that it’s a recurring message, because it’s very important not to get lost, and it’s true that when something grows so fast, something gets lost along the way and there’s that risk.” It happened a few days ago, after the defeat in Sweden, when Aitana Bonmatti and Fridolina Rulfo exchanged shirts, joked and took pictures. “That in men’s football is still frowned upon, because if you lose you have to be sad, be more competitive, show the goat herder, whatever you want, but be angry at your opponent. Fortunately, women’s football, on the contrary By doing so, you preserve these values ​​of the sport,” comments Mamín Hidalgo. As happened with player Ana Maria Krnogorcevic and Matteo, son of Irene Paredes, and their warm greetings after Switzerland’s defeat against Spain. An example of camaraderie and positive values.

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junior team

Journalist Mamen Hidalgo tells us that of the current squad of Spain national team players, only six have participated in the World Cup. Thus, we have 17 players making their debut in this competition. “It’s crazy, not to win the World Cup anymore, but to be in the final with a junior team at my age level, it’s brutal,” says Hidalgo. And he adds, “That generation, from 1998/2002, has all the experience, self-confidence, and personality that gave it the best in the lower categories. In recent years, we have seen the sub-17 and sub-19 teams, in the European Cup and the World Cup, become winners, finalists or stay at the gates of the final. This new generation has something that the previous generations did not have: they believe they are going to win and that is very important. “The previous generations had a mental brake, a barrier, because first they said let’s see how much will fall, and then they already said we will fight, but I think we will lose,” Mamen Hidalgo tells us. A new generation has exploded since the previous World Cup, and the team is full of talent, and has lost the fear it once had. “From now on I think she is unstoppable, of course there will be better and worse times within the women’s team, but I believe That it is a team that can be dominant in the upcoming tournaments, and that the role they play in the coming years can be very important. I really think that this World Cup is similar to the European Championship that Spain won in 2008. A new and exciting cycle is opening up, ”says Mamen Hidalgo.

Vicky Losada: The first Spanish player to score in a World Cup

It was on June 9, 2015, at the Montreal Olympic Stadium. The Spanish women’s soccer team played its first match in this competition against Costa Rica. In the 12th minute of the match, Vicki Losada, then twenty-four years old and an Arsenal player, scored after a play that came from a corner kick and from the area, confusing the opposition defense, Spain’s first goal in the World Cup.

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He just went down in history.

“I am very happy to be the first Spanish player to score a goal in the World Cup. But I leave with a bittersweet aftertaste because we didn’t manage to win. We’ve had many occasions and we have to get better at finishing plays,” he told the press after the game.

Andres Korbas book cover Vicky Losada.

Sports journalist Andres Korbas, currently working on the 6Pointer communication agenda, was clear that Vicky Losada’s story deserved to be told and from there the book was born. Vicky Losada. Captain (Oberon, 2022). “I think that His story had all the ingredients to serve as an example: self-improvement, effort, resilience, courage, optimism, illusion… It was an interesting story too.. It is a book of which I am proud as the author because it is the first published biography of a Barcelona player. Korbas tells us:

For Andrés Corpas, if an iconic image of Vicky Losada’s career has to be salvaged, it is the image of the World Cup in France in 2019, in the match against the United States, the great champion, “with a black eye, after getting a blow. She wanted to continue, but she doesn’t You see through that eye. She cried in pain but didn’t give up. The same thing happened with these players now at the World Cup: they didn’t fall apart, they didn’t get bullied. They kept improving, growing and fighting until they got here. They have no limits and take it upon themselves to prove it. Both the players of the lower teams. He has a lot of advantages. This courage is precisely the most remarkable aspect the reader will find in it Vicky Losada. CaptainStop being afraid. It’s the key to her career and it’s the quality I love the most. She wasn’t afraid to go to the USA when no one was going there, moreover alone and without knowing anyone, nor when she signed for Arsenal and became a benchmark, nor When she is asked to be the captain of Barcelona and lead Barcelona change, or when she decides in the book open your heart and tell your personal story. It’s a great lesson: In this life, the loss of fear brings many joys. Do Courage rewardSentence Andres Korbas. The bravery is that the current members of the women’s first team also have plenty who walked away from the pain and defeat of that agonizing black eye from Vicki Losada four years ago to play in a World Cup final.

Amber Cross

"Music buff. Unapologetic problem solver. Organizer. Social media maven. Web nerd. Incurable reader."

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