Women’s World Cup: ‘Great day’ as Spain reach first semi-final
Spain has a reputation for being dysfunctional and prone to controversy off the field during this Women’s World Cup.
Nevertheless, there are few players who possess such impressive talent and have produced such impressive performances.
With an extra-time winner from Salma Paralluelo, Spain defeated the Netherlands 2-1 in Wellington to reach their first Women’s World Cup semi-final.
There has been a great deal of criticism of Jorge Vilda’s coaching abilities and relationships with his best players.
In spite of the early morning kickoff times for Spanish audiences, he was able to take a celebratory tone as he led Spain to their best Women’s World Cup performance on record.
First of all, the semi-finals begin at 10am – the fans don’t have to get up early!” he stated.
The spectators are happy, we have made them happy. This is a great day for Spanish women’s football.”
A number of members of the Spanish football national team have expressed their desire to resign if Vilda does not step down, which has put his position under intense scrutiny for some time.
There was a standoff over training methods and inadequate game preparation, which was denied by the players.
‘We continue to make the people happy who want the team to be happy’
Mariona Caldentey, who scored the first goal of the last-eight tie with a penalty in the 81st minute, is one of the three players who returned and made the World Cup squad.
The Champions League winners Barcelona have not returned several star players, including midfielder Patri Guijarro, defender Mapi Leon, forward Claudia Pina, and goalkeeper Sandra Panos.
Luis Rubiales, RFEF president, has always been Vilda’s supporter, and Vilda thanked him by name after the quarterfinal – while appearing to reference the scandal.
He said that the president and the federation had always supported him from the beginning. Women’s football employees are completely supported.
The President Rubiales has been with me from the very first day, and over the course of this year, which has been a very special year.
In this moment, I am happy, because I think about all the management we have had to do, and we are still working hard to keep everyone happy, so that everyone is happy that the team is successful.”
Spain is experiencing unprecedented success on the pitch despite their off-field problems.
In addition to qualifying for the first time in 2015, this is a country without a Women’s World Cup pedigree, and which had never won a knockout match before beating Switzerland in the last 16.