Announced as the 23 who will “play, fight and dream” of winning the continental prize, Jorge Vilda has revealed the squad that will travel to Holland next month to contest Euro 2017 for Spain.
With two Euro appearances under previous manager Ignacio Quereda, under their belt, Spain have healthy experience going into the tournament although the squad has had a new breath of life since Vilda took over after a disappointing World Cup in 2015.
Though very similar to recent squads there are two notable absences for La Roja, previous captain and vice-captains; Verónica Boquete and Sonia Bermúdez. With the pair goes a great amount of experience, notably Boquete’s big game experience playing across the continent, her absence one that will be felt in the changing room as a calm voice, Marta Torrejón poised to fill the PSG woman’s boots.
Boquete’s omission sparked an immediate debate and on the face of it, the team could be weaker for it but on the pitch they’ve come together as a more cohesive organism without the 30-year-old, the team able to call upon their natural game. Bermúdez, though not a guaranteed starter is routinely a source of goals although at 32 would have been noticeably older than the rest of a youthful side.
Performances the telling factor
Talking in the press conference for the announcement, Vilda spoke of the “confidence” and “enthusiasm” within the team, recent results positive ones and the coach hopes the team can “continue to evolve” on the way to Holland and take to the pitch in Doetinchem against Portugal “in the best way.”
With a nod to those missed out, Vilda was quick to justify his selection, players picked “exclusively for performance”, the players called up the best 23 to lead the side “to victory”, the young side brimming with talent and players that can add to the team.
Unsurprisingly the side is predominantly made up of Atlético Madrid and Barcelona players, the teams top two in the Liga Iberdrola this season, Irene Paredes and Virginia Torrecilla the only two capped who play professionally outside of Spain with Celia Jiménez a collegiate footballer in America. Paula Nicart and Maripaz Vilas both ply their trade at third placed Valencia and Sociedad’s number one, Mariasun Quiñones the third choice goalkeeper who rounds out the non Barca/Atleti contingent.
Goalkeepers: Lola Gallardo (Atlético Madrid), Sandra Paños (FC Barcelona), Mariasun Quiñones (Real Sociedad).
Defenders: Marta Torrejón (FC Barcelona), Irene Paredes (Paris Saint Germain), Andrea Pereira (Atlético Madrid), Mapi León (Atlético Madrid), Leila Ouahabi (FC Barcelona), Celia Jiménez (Alabama Crimson Tide), Paula Nicart (Valencia), Alexandra López (Atlético Madrid).
Midfielders: Silvia Meseguer (Atlético Madrid), Virginia Torrecilla (Montpellier HSC), Amanda Sampedro (Atlético Madrid), Mariona Caldentey (FC Barcelona), Vicky Losada (FC Barcelona), Alexia Putellas (FC Barcelona).
Attackers: Jenni Hermoso (FC Barcelona), Olga García (FC Barcelona), Bárbara Latorre (FC Barcelona), Maripaz Vilas (Valencia), Marta Corredera (Atlético Madrid), Esther González (Atlético Madrid).