The captain of l ‘Spar Girona, Laia Palau, an absolute international for 19 years, will receive the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Sporting Merit after the Council of Ministers, at the proposal of the Minister of Culture and Sport, Miquel Iceta, approved its concession on Tuesday. Palau (Barcelona, 1979) will be awarded the highest recognition of theState in which sport is referred to as a reward for his career and for having been a “distinguished figure in the practice of sport.” The former captain of the Spanish team, who currently plays in the ranks of the Spar Girona, announced last November his retirement from the Spanish basketball team, which he captained for seven years (2014-2021).
The Catalan played her last game with the national team last August, in the quarterfinal match of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in which Spain lost in front France (67-64), and was fired as the player with the most games wearing the national shirt – a total of 314 – and as the one who has most often climbed a basketball podium. In addition, he has accumulated a rich record of twelve medals with the selection consisting of three gold medals, one silver and four bronze in the European Championship Women’s Basketball; a silver and two bronzes al world; and a silver medal at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. In the field of clubs, the 42-year-old athlete, winner of six Spanish leagues and two Eurolligues, has defended the colors of the CBF University of Barcelona, Bourges Basket (France), Ros Casares Valencia, CCC Polkowice (Poland), ZVVZ USK Prague (Czech Republic) and the Spar Girona. Palau will collect the testimony of Pau Gasol, the last athlete recognized with this award, and joins other big names in national sport such as Reef Nadal, Arantxa Sánchez Vicario The Xavi Hernandez.