Spain beat England in a perfect game to become the Women’s World Cup champions and lift the trophy for the first time in history.
With a ruthless left foot Olga Carmona In the 33rd minute of the first half, the team led by Jorge Verda defeated the European champion “Las Leonas” in Australia.
A missed second-half penalty by Jeanne Hermoso could have widened the gap, but a brilliant cover from Briton Mary Earps (voted the World Cup’s best goalkeeper) only added a little suspense to a thrilling game until last minute..
It was the end of Spain’s road to shine, especially in the knockout stages, where they managed to beat favorites such as the Netherlands and Sweden thanks to their persistence and disciplined play.
But most importantly, England eliminated “la Roja” in the quarter-finals of Euro 2022.
As with so many times in football, this result was no accident: in addition to taking home the senior trophy for the first time, the Spanish women’s team also achieved another great feat.
This is the first time in history that the same country has won the Under-17, Under-20 and Senior World Championships at the same time.
Spain were last year’s winners of the Under-20 Championship in Costa Rica and the Under-17 Championship in India.
Salma Paraluloselected the best young players in the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, thus becoming the First footballer to win all three competitions.
Only one other country has ever won the title at the same level, but not twice in a row: Japan.
In addition to this, other milestones have been added such as those achieved by midfielders Alexia PutrasHe was voted the best player in the world twice in a row.
In an analysis by Kenio Gonzalo, coach of the U-17s’ world champions, these successes reflect Spain’s already achieved “This is a very important job, especially in two aspects: strengthening the local league organization and doing a good job in the special work of the quarry”,
Gonzalo added in an interview with the Hindustan Times: “Not only is this a very significant gift, but generations will cement what has been achieved so far.”
less than ten years
Despite the victories that come with Spain, the truth is that less than a decade ago this team wasn’t even one of the continent’s best.
They first qualified for the World Cup in Canada eight years ago in 2015, when they only reached the first round.
At the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France four years ago, they reached the round of 16, but were eliminated by women’s strong teams like the United States.
At that point, things seem to have changed: Spain begins to emerge as a world football powerhouse, especially in men’s football.
As Gonzalo pointed out, two aspects were fundamental: the development of local alliances and the work of the basic forces or quarries.
For example, the fully professional F-League, Spain’s women’s league, which just started this year, has become the strongest league in the world in recent years.
Earlier this year, the Institute of Football History and Statistics (IHHFS) declared them the best team in the world, ahead of England and France.
Furthermore, it is the third most invested country in Europe, according to FIFA.
And for UEFA, the best team in Europe is the team from the F-League: FC Barcelona.
The Catalan club, who recently won the Women’s Champions League, have been the flagship of this revolution.
“Barca have developed key players throughout the Spanish squad, especially golden globe winner alexia putrasalthough he has yet to make a significant impact in the game during his return to form,” reporter Emma Smith said. bbc Women’s Soccer Specialist.
In addition to Putras, there are eight other Barca players on the official list who have traveled to Australia and New Zealand.
Regarding the youth training work, this is a long-term development work: Spain began to emerge in the 2014 Youth World Cup, and won the world runner-up at that time, only surpassed by Japan.
They haven’t stopped since then. They have won the Under-17 World Championship twice, the Under-20 World Championship once and the European Under-21 Championship twice.
Some 6,000 girls are currently enrolled in football training at 12 levels, according to the Royal Spanish Football Federation.
Champions Spain: Overcoming the pitfalls
But football is well known that youth team success is not always replicated in senior teams (and vice versa).
However, Spain has managed to reverse these trends. To do this, he had to overcome some obstacles.
Perhaps the most serious case occurred less than a year ago.
After several times, on September 22, 2022, the Spanish Football Association stated that 15 players had sent letters announcing that they would not return to the national team if they did not make changes in their technical direction.
The players claimed that the situation with the coach at the time “affected their spirits”.
The federation backed coach Jorge Vilda, with 15 players no longer involved in the appeal.
However, Verda began to look for ways to persuade three of them to return to the team: Mariona Cardenti, Aitana Bommati and Ona Butler.
All three played an important role in the movement. What’s more, at the end of the final with England, Bomati won the “Golden Ball” for the best player in the World Cup (the “Golden Boot” for the top scorer in this World Cup was awarded to the Japanese Miyazawa Hinata ).
After it all, the Spanish team found their feet on the field and became track champions, as was the case with the South African men’s team in 2010.
“My family has suffered a lot from this. The first thing that comes to your mind after winning is thinking about your loved ones and everything that happened this year,” Verda told reporters bbc After their team beat Sweden in the semi-final
But perhaps overcoming such a big hurdle as half the team exiting a few months before the World Cup can point to the underpinnings of this colossal victory: the quality of the players.
Even those who give up.
Journalist Rafa Cabeleira wrote: “Spain has one of the best teams in the World Cup, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best Spain, it’s a team built on the presence of unlimited players. A team above ambition, but above all players who were absent.”.
“We also know the difficulties they faced in building the road, some of which are as serious and unfortunate as sponsoring the hunt for those who dare to claim professionalism, respect and dignity.”
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