Spain is undoubtedly a reference in men’s football. Yes, these days we now have to put the gender before the sport as women’s football is slowly but surely stealing the limelight from the burly, brawny males. And Jorge Vilda’s squad, despite its defeat on Monday last against the three time world champions United States, won a bitter battle in the war women have been fighting in Spain to gain the same recognition as their male counterparts.
The Spanish team gave the US a very tough time on the pitch and only thanks to two penalties, the second more than polemic, were the US players able to get through to the quarter finals.
Yet, we must analyse the circumstances surrounding both teams. As it is well known, the US places more emphasis on sports than it does on academic subjects. Those who shine on the pitch or the track, are automatically adopted by universities. This is not so in Spain. The US can boast a total of one million licenced female footballers, while Spain barely reaches sixty thousand, all fending for themselves, combining studying and in some cases working, with their training sessions.
The forceful females on the Spanish squad played surprisingly well, exhibiting tremendous strength and dexterity stringing passes together against their very talented rivals. It was a shame that the Reds (as the Spanish national team is known) lost due to a controversial penalty.
It was a bitter defeat, but by no means a shameful one. Perhaps losing can be a way of winning, as the spectacular Spanish squad certainly made their presence felt on that pitch in Reims last Monday.