Irene Paredes, after winning the Nations League: “A year ago no one gave a damn for us and look what six months we've had” | Soccer | Sports

An impassive, calm Montse Tomé, she says, was asked minutes after winning the Nations League for advice to all those girls who were in the stands of La Cartuja. There were many. And Tomé advised them to enjoy what they like. If what they like is soccer, she pointed out, they should know that it is “a magnificent socializing element.” That's what this Spain is about. To find happiness with the ball. That women can also make a living from it. From breaking barriers with balls. And make the spectator enjoy the best football. And the national team coach draws on that.

That and being able to direct a project that has a lot of history left to write. All you have to do is look at Vicky López, bubbling talent in a small body. “We have a very good present and future. We had never managed to beat France; We knew what he could do to us in terms of transitions. She has very good players and a lot of potential. And we didn't let him shoot on goal. That is a credit to our footballers. In Spain there are players who have the knowledge and experience. Others with youth. And that generates a very good mix of ambition and winning mentality,” said Tomé, who rubs his hands to see that he can get “their maximum potential.”

“A year ago no one gave a dime for us and look what six months we've been here. It's brutal,” declared Irene Paredes, captain, the woman who raised the glass to her teammates. “There was a desire to celebrate. We are very hungry and want to continue winning,” she added. “I am proud that Spain is winning again, playing well, we have made history again. Very few bet on us before, but there are others who are clear that we have come to stay and that we work to ensure that women's soccer continues to grow,” added Jenni Hermoso, happy to share that success with her friends Paredes and Putellas. “Today we are going to enjoy a lot after everything we have accumulated. The three of us deserved to win a title very close. That means that we have done things well, because we continue to defend this shirt and win titles,” she assumed.

The discreet coach, for her part, claimed nothing more than her happiness and that of her team, that of her family, if anything, the one that suffers when things get cloudy. How they became cloudy in the summer, after the World Cup and when she arrived in office, as Jorge Vilda's replacement. “I have never focused on what could be said. I was always calm. In September things were strange, we faced it and tried to resolve it to think about football as soon as possible. I am a very calm person, I trust a lot at work, it is what gives me confidence. That, together with the great talent we can handle, makes this a happy day. We have to enjoy,” she repeated to herself.

Because September, he said, is very far away. “I like to focus on the good, I am a positive person. This coaching staff and this team have given me a lot. Nobody wanted what happened in September, but it was a learning experience, it made us the strong team we are now. “I am left with the magnificent game that this team plays and that all the spectators can continue enjoying us.”

Almost no one forgets those days. Not even Markel Zubizarreta, who had not yet taken over as the national team's football director when he attended the concentration in Oliva from which the first agreement to return to filming came. “That this human group has gone from that, from that context, to what has been achieved, honestly, is beastly. Although I was not in the World Cup nor do I want to say that this is more than winning a World Cup, the personal growth as a group that this title entails is incredible.”

It was done by the 32,657 fans who did not stop cheering for even a minute. And the team felt that. “The atmosphere today has been spectacular. Goosebumps. Having that feeling of connection at home is very nice. We are very happy to be able to celebrate it with them and with our families,” declared Laia Codina, who is looking towards next summer: “I don't know where the ceiling is, we will see in the Olympic Games and if we make three out of three. This team can do it.”

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