This is how the Spanish women’s football team faces Euro 2022

Both Jenni and Irene were Ballon d'Or finalists in 2021. A symptom of the good form that Spanish football enjoys today. A fact: of the five offic

Both Jenni and Irene were Ballon d’Or finalists in 2021. A symptom of the good form that Spanish football enjoys today. A fact: of the five official nominees for the award, four were Spanish (Sandra Cloths and Alexia Putellas They accompanied them on the podium together with the Dutch Lieke Martens). The trophy was finally raised by Putellas, a Barça midfielder and captain of the national team whose name is, without a doubt, one of the most notorious on the current football scene. “The important thing is that with all this Ballon d’Or, but also with the Champions League that we won with Barça -becoming the first Spanish team to win the competition- we have experienced some seasons in which very, very important successes have been achieved for our ”, explains Alexia. “Now, what it takes is years. This is an issue that has to do with the fact that, historically, Until relatively recently, women were not considered professional athletes.. It takes time for us to work: the better preparation, more studies and improvements we have around us, the better Show we will give and we will be better prepared. Logically, here the bet or the investment of institutions that believe in this and that they take it as something professional, as was done with the boys, is key”, he summarizes.

With the ball at her feet, Putellas is concise and tempered. Outside the field, she points with the same precision: staring at the ground, serious gesture and clear speech. The Barça player sells twice as many shirts with her number as any player on the men’s team. In fact, during the match held at the Camp Nou between Barça and Real Madrid – which, by the way, broke the attendance record for a women’s football match with 91,553 spectators – he sold 50 shirts, twice as many as Pedri, the most profitable during Barça men’s matches. To this must be added the advertising contracts of him or his covers in magazines. Alexia is the new goose that lays the golden eggs in football and, even so, her salary is 200 times less than that of the winner of the men’s Ballon d’Or, Leo Messi. “I don’t think the terms used in men’s football will ever be reached because for me it is a bubble that is going to burst. But we have been hearing for many years that it was not generated and now, that it is generated, it is another argument that we have knocked down”, she points out in this regard.

“We have suffered much less than previous generations. The veterans have FIGHTED for us to be here”, says Amaiur Sarriegi.

The inequalities faced by the world of women’s football are no secret and its protagonists are the first who do not hesitate to denounce that good results do not always accompany good rewards. But this is not the only taboo that hovers over stadiums. Mapi Leondefender and fundamental piece of the national team since 2017, has turned his status as a public figure into the best tool to make visible and normalize the presence of members of the LGTBI+ collective on the sport. “Obviously, we must not lose focus: we are going to play football in England but, on the other hand, it is always a good time to take small steps to normalize and raise awareness because, speaking clearly, there is still a lot Cro-Magnon”, he says between laughs. “In sport there are still many referents. I think it may have to do with the fear of being singled out, the fear of receiving criticism or simply the fear of not accepting oneself. It is also true that, in our case, at the media level we have never had that repercussion that the boys experience, so I have never worried about what they are going to say or if I could lose campaigns or sponsorships. That works in our favor: Since we’ve never had anything, we have nothing to lose”, he jokes.