During the national team’s pre-game meetings at Mediterranean Sport Village to get ready for the World Beach Games Qatar, she has told us how she received the nomination and how she is getting ready for the Games.
How do you balance 11-a-side football with beach soccer at a professional level?
Eleven-a-side football and beach soccer are two different sports. The fact that they are played on different fields, different surfaces, is what makes the way of playing different. I balance both sports disciplines because, in Spain, women beach soccer is only played during summer. So, during summer I play beach soccer and in August, when we start the 11-a-side football pre-season, beach soccer takes second place until May- June of the following year, although there might be some exceptional competition like the World Beach Games.
How did beach soccer arrive to your life?
I started playing beach soccer because I received a call from the Catalonia national team to train, to try, to see if I liked it and if I wanted to join them. And that is how I started training… I liked it, I was good at it, I wanted to go back and year after year training and taking part in different competitions, until now.
You have been nominated for the best goal of the year award for the Beach Soccer Worldwide. How did you receive the nomination?
The truth is that I didn’t expect it! I did remember that goal, but I didn’t think that it could be among the best goals. They sent me the video with the selected goals, and it is obvious that it is one of the 10 best goals, but the other 9 were also incredible!! I was thrilled to be among the selected ones.
Do you think that it is a good idea that the Best goal award mixes women and men categories?
Well, in the end, a goal is a goal. It doesn’t matter where you play or what category you play at… You are playing in your category, and if you can score a top-corner scissor kick, it doesn’t matter if it is a man playing against men or a woman playing against women. It would be different if we were talking about the Best Player of the Year, in that case I think you must differentiate the categories.
Do you see yourself going on the stage to receive the award?
I wish, but it is very difficult… If you watch the video of the 10 goals, pfff, you watch one and you say, “what a great goal!”, you watch another one and you say, “This one is also a great goal!” If in the end I can’t go, being among the best ones, it is already a great prize.
What is the state of health of the women’s beach soccer national team?
One or two months ago we achieved the first position in Europe jointly with Russia and England that are the two other best national teams in Europe.
Regarding the World Cup… In the group we are Mexico, Brazil and Cape Verde. The main objective is to win a medal, but I think we can aspire to get to the final and play it.
It is a complicated group, but I think that we also have a good level. We have a great group; this is the third pre-game meeting of the summer and the team is ready for it.
Is there a specific group you are willing to play against?
Russia! Because for two years we are getting to the final at the European tournament and we lose against them. But I also want to play against teams we haven’t played with like Brazil and Cape Verde… But if now you ask me who I want to defeat, it’s Russia.
What is the main strength of the Spain women’s national beach soccer team?
I think that as a team, as a whole, we work well together. When one makes a move, both the teammate behind and the teammate next to her already know what to do. Besides, during substitutions, the 10 players are ready to play at any time. In other national teams, they have 5 o 6 good players, but when they make a substitution, it is noticeable. Whereas we can make any substitution and the level is always the same. No matter who is on the pitch you know that she will do her best and will do so until the end.
Tell us a moment that you have lived with the national team that it has been unforgettable.
One of the moments I remember with great affection, and that I will remember all my life, has been this year, when we qualified for the World Beach Games here, at Complex Esportiu Futbol Salou. It was a very difficult tournament…. The first matches were really, really hard and we pictured us out of the Beach Games.
In the end, we won the last two games, so we got the points we needed. What I remember the most is the last games, the result was 2-1 and if we even the score, we weren’t going to attend the Games. I was on the field and I heard the commentator counting down and I was like please I want this to be over! When we heard the final whistle, it was a strange feeling “we made it”.
This year records of audience and spectators have been broken in women’s football. Do you think that something is changing?
The change has been noticeable, specially this year that the Women’s World Cup has taken place and the Spain team has taken part in. This is like a wheel, the more people following women’s football more attention from media is attracted and more sponsors are interested in it who invest more money. Then, clubs, since they have more money for the women’s teams, they can improve the conditions. Before it was unthinkable for a woman to live on football, now there are women that can live on it and they can even make a living out of it.
We have also notice it in the national team. The conditions we had at the beginning and the ones we currently have are not the same. We are really happy for that, there are more and more interviews, press conference, interest… So, let’s keep growing.
What do you think about Mediterranean Sport Village facilities for your preparation?
The facilities are amazing. Here we are at ease, we have everything we need in the buffet and the fields, both the 11-a-side, that when I see I want to play on, and the beach soccer fields, are well prepared. Really comfortable, to be honest.