Spain Coach Recalls Some Players for Women’s World Cup
The Spanish national women football team has been in the news recently as coach Jorge Vilda recalls some of the players he had previously frozen out from the squad. The decision to recall Barcelona’s Mariona Caldentey, Aitana Bonmati and Manchester United’s Ona Batlle comes after a protest last September that involved 15 players.
Vilda who is preparing his team for this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup said that “If these three players are here it is because they are committed to the national team and by extension they can play in the World Cup”. He added that he believed Spain would be forming a united group ahead of their first match against Costa Rica on July 21st.
Alexia Putellas Is Back In The Squad
In addition to these three, Ballon d’Or holder Alexia Putellas who has been injured since last summer was also recalled to the squad. It will be interesting to see how much of an impact she’ll make at this year’s tournament which starts on June 11th.
Growing Concerns Over Training Methods And Game Preparation
Last September, there was growing concern over training methods and inadequate game preparation with reports suggesting that fifteen members of its national team were threatening resignations if Vilda didn’t step down. While those claims were denied by some of the players involved, it did lead to a stand-off between them and their coach.
Spanish newspaper Marca reported last week that twelve out of fifteen originally involved came forward asking to be considered again for selection when agreements with RFEF (Royal Spanish Football Federation) were reached. However, four Barcelona players Patri Guijarro (midfielder), Mapi Leon (defender), Claudia Pina (forward) and goalkeeper Sandra Panos are still missing from the provisional 30 player squad.
Positive Signs Ahead of World Cup
The return of Alexia Putellas, Mariona Caldentey, Aitana Bonmati, and Ona Batlle is a positive step for Spain ahead of this summer’s tournament. However, there are concerns that some players may not feel in a position to make themselves available for selection after last year’s feud between them and their coach.
It will be interesting to see how well the team comes together at the FIFA Women’s World Cup which starts on June 11th as they look to go one better than their previous best performance which saw them reach the quarter-finals four years ago.