Jorge Vilda and the captains of the Spanish team value the leap in human resources, sports equipment and facilities that places them at the level of men at the gates of the great continental tournament
One day after the Spanish Football Federation (FEF) announced a substantial improvement in the economic and working conditions of the women's team, Jorge Vilda and his captains, Irene Paredes, Alexia Putellas and Patricia Guijarro, took stock of this jump of quality and of his sensations in the weeks prior to the start of the European Championship, a tournament that Spain faces for the first time with great aspirations.
"We know how important the dissemination of women's football is. We have been preparing for the European Championship for three days. It is true that things have changed a lot since the World Cup, to which we arrived better than ever and from which we got the feeling that we could now look any team in the face. We won our first game in a World Cup and made it very difficult for the United States, who later became champions. A penalty took us out of being in the quarterfinals, "recalled the Spanish coach about the comparison with the 2019 World Cup in France, the last major tournament for the team and marked as a turning point for women's football in Spain.
And it is that the step forward at the sporting level that that tournament entailed has followed its corresponding development in the economic and organizational aspect, which is now deepened with a review of income from sponsorships, image rights or travel, to place the team Spanish at the level of the best. “Since then, a lot of very good news has arrived, in terms of the individual but above all in the collective. The increase in the level of the players, a Federation committed to women's football, not only in terms of conditions and image rights, but in everything we have within our reach in terms of human resources, sports equipment, facilities... exactly the same as the men's team and in the end all that has its result. Together with the professionalization of all the players, the result of all that sum is the great level that we have right now, "added the Madrid coach, at an informative breakfast organized by Europa Press.
«We can focus on what is important and in the end we have to thank the effort of the Federation. It is a historic agreement and not only because of the quantities, which we want to be better, but because of everything that involves equalizing the distribution with respect to the male and creating that precedent. There have been many months of very tough negotiations, in the end each one has their interests and what we wanted was to reach an agreement that encompasses many things, "said Irene Paredes, first Spanish captain.
Although it was the day of the players and the coach, the intervention of Luis Rubiales, president of the FEF, present among the public attending the event, was requested. «The conversations have been carried out in a friendly tone, very cordial. The Federation wanted a long-term agreement and the issue of travel has been very present, especially as a result of one in which things were not done as they had to be done...”, acknowledged the federative president.
«There was a tremendous deficit when we arrived at the Federation four years ago, mainly in terms of image rights. I think it's a good agreement, in a cordial climate, although there have been tough negotiations because difficult concepts to achieve were requested. That is why we did a comparative study of the five or six best teams in Europe, ”explained the president of the FEF.
The step forward fills with hope a group that continues to take steps forward towards the elite of world football. «You arrive on the first day and they show you all the tools that we are going to have, the improvements in terms of work and staff, and if you come already motivated, then much more. There are two or three very exciting years ahead for the national team and it is a matter of working day by day, "said Alexia Putellas, the best player in the world today, as evidenced by her historic Ballon d'Or.