The return of Irene Paredes to the national team is the highlight of the list offered this Friday by Jorge Vidal. A call for the friendlies against Norway and China that will be the last international window before the World Cup that will be held in Australia and New Zealand in the summer and, as planned, none of the 15 rebels are present. The return of the Barça captain and footballer, who had not sent the resignation email to the Spanish Football Federation (FEF) but gave her support to the signatories, opens the door for others to relax their position and return to a national team in which for now there are no pardoned. The young Asun Martínez and Jana Fernández are the other novelties on the list.
“The first requirement is that she is a player who can be called up, and we all know what a good player she is and what she can contribute to the group,” said the Spanish coach about the return of Irene Paredes, who warned the press that she would only talk about players who can be called up. , “not of the players who have excluded themselves.” Vilda said of the Catalan that she is committed to the national team and “will bring experience.” “She is a player who will strengthen the defense,” added the coach, referring to the Catalan.
The Madrid coach is not forgetting Alexia Putellas, whom he is waiting for at the World Cup. The two-time Ballon d’Or, who is in the final stretch of his recovery, has a guaranteed place with Spain: «It is great news to see her smile. We are waiting for you.” As for the controversy with the self-excluded, Vilda did not want to enter into “private conversations”, or anything that happened in the La Roja locker room. “The atmosphere is extraordinary, of performance, of ambition, of constant improvement of both the soccer players and the coaching staff,” she concluded.
The conflict has been entrenched in time since last September 22, when the 15 rebels, most of them Barcelona players such as Mariona Caldentey, Patri Guijarro, Sandra Paños or Aitana Bonmatí, team stars like Lola Gallardo and Mapi León or young talents like Ona Batlle and Laia Aleixandri, among others, informed the FEF of their resignation from the national team due to the organization’s refusal to remove Vilda from her post. They alleged physical and psychological reasons for this. Far from paying attention to this group of footballers, the FEF published a statement recalling that “according to current Spanish legislation, not attending a call from the national team is classified as a very serious offense and can lead to sanctions of between two and five years of disqualification. It is worth noting the absence of the three captains: Irene Paredes, who is now returning, Alexia Putellas -current Ballon d’Or and FIFA The Best- and Jenni Hermoso, who did not participate either.
Since the beginning of this ‘storm’, there have been continuous conversations through the FutPro union with its president, Amanda Gutiérrez, as spokesperson. The union was the only authorized voice to discuss the crisis with the FEF, and the players decided not to speak publicly in order not to hinder a possible agreement. However, no imminent agreement is in sight and everything goes through an intermediate solution. Some are willing to return and others are aware that they may have lost their place in the team. Meanwhile, the Federation is still waiting for an apology from the mutineers so that they can be summoned again, something that has not happened. The situation could be unblocked, but the FEF insists on the public change of position of those affected and it seems difficult for Jorge Vilda to change his mind and stop trusting a block in which he places his full trust.
Mapi León does not give in
In recent weeks, voices like that of Aitana Bonmatí have been heard, in an interview with the newspaper Ara, in which she appealed for dialogue: “We have to fix things for the good of women’s football.” Or that of Mapi León, who assured that his values go before the World Cup, and that he does not intend to give in: “It will piss me off not going to the World Cup, but if some things are not changed, he will not leave.” The players understand that they are being criticized for trying to improve their work and refer to the recent cases of Canada or France to argue that it is a general demand. “The problem in women’s football does not only affect Spain,” Alexia Putellas recently said in an interview with beIN Sports. “It’s exhausting having to constantly demand improvements to be able to perform better,” said the Barcelona captain.
🙌 THIS IS THE DAY!
😍 These are the internationals selected for the April matches.
✈️ We are going to 𝗜𝗯𝗶𝘇𝗮 to play the duels against Norway and China.#FIFAWWC I #PlayFightAndWin pic.twitter.com/gY1IN5MmBz
— Spanish Women’s Soccer Team (@SEFutbolFem) March 31, 2023
Spain will play against Norway and China in Ibiza, on April 6 and 11, respectively, which will be the last stop before preparing for the World Cup, in which the team is drawn in group C along with Costa Rica, Zambia and Japan. Spain qualified with eight wins, with 53 goals for and none against.