For the first time in history, Spain are in a Women’s World Cup semi-final. Hopes against Sweden also rest on the shoulders of the world’s female footballer.
Last year, the relationship between Spain’s national coach Jorge Vilda and his players was considered to be in tatters, with several of the active players announcing their temporary resignation. The success at the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand has now finally filled the rifts: “I don’t want to remember anything that happened in the past,” said Jennifer “Jenni” Hermosi at the press conference before Tuesday’s semi-final against Sweden. “I just want to enjoy this sport, to inspire our country with this team.”
Never before has Spain been in a World Cup semi-final. Only once before have the Iberians reached the last four at a major tournament: in 1997, they lost 2-1 to Italy at the European Championships. Now they are aiming to reach a major final for the first time.
Hopes are increasingly resting on the shoulders of Alexia Putellas. The current world footballer suffered a torn cruciate ligament in the summer of 2022 and was only fit again shortly before the start of the World Cup. Although she has played in all five of Spain’s games so far, she has not played the full distance in any of them. She has played a total of 155 minutes and has yet to score a personal success. But she is getting closer and closer to her old form. “We are all very happy with the level Alexia has reached,” said Vilda. “Alexia is ready for anything. “
Jenni: “We know they are fast, strong and penetrating “
The Spaniards’ confidence is certainly high, having allowed their opponents only two goals from play in their five matches. “We will put everything on the line,” Jenni announced. The Barcelona player, who knows some of the Swedes well from her club career, sees a tough task ahead for Spain: “We know they are fast, strong and powerful,” said the 33-year-old. “We have to be able to counter that. “