Aitana Bonmatí and Salma Paralluelo, the two footballers who led Spain’s last victory before the World Cup debut, are very optimistic about the participation of the Spanish team in the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand that will begin this Thursday.
“I think we are here to go as far as possible, we have a great team but I don’t want to belittle any other team either. It is a World Cup, I think there are great teams and this is about details,” said Aitana, MVP of the last Champions League, at a press conference with his partner, another of Barcelona’s attackers who has the team he leads Jorge Vilda.
Bonmatí asserted that, in a competition of this level, he does not like to “talk about minimums” but rather “maximums”, noting that the team’s focus should always be “as high as possible”. The midfielder – one of the three players from the group of 15 rebels who returned to the Spanish team after the tensions that have hit the Spanish Federation in recent months – indicated that she is focused on contributing the “best version” of herself to the group.
The Catalan midfielder, who has completed her best year in sports and usually acts as an activist for mental health as well as for the professionalization of women’s football, also spoke about psychological preparation. She, who has said on many occasions that she has been going to therapy for years, detailed how she works on this aspect. «I have not brought homework, they have not sent me homework. When you have been going to the psychologist for a long time, you know things to do when you have a bad time or a bad day. Meditate or write. It’s one of the things I’ve learned by going to therapy. It seems typical, but it helps you,” she recounted.
For her part, Salma Paralluelo, one of the most promising players in national women’s soccer, recalled where she was when Spain was playing the last World Cup in France. «She would be 15 years old and would be playing my U-17 World Cup, the one we won in Uruguay. And dreaming of being here. This means that it has gone well, that the path has led me to level up. Today I am really enjoying being here. This is a source of pride,” she said. “At the decision-making level. It’s my first year and I know where I’m coming from. An advice? If I have a dream, you have to be constant and be patient, but if you work and trust, things end up coming out,” she said.
Asked about the condition of Alexia Putellas, a key figure of La Roja and who has carried out some practices away from the group due to some discomfort, Paralluelo assured that “Alexia is fine and is with the group”, acknowledging that the current Ballon d’Or “is super important” for the whole.
Spain, which makes up group C, will debut in the World Cup next Friday against Costa Rica at the Regional Stadium in Wellington. In the second game they will face Zambia on July 26 at Eden Park in Auckland. They will finally return to Wellington for their third and final group stage match, this time against Japan, on July 31.
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