• Spain's news in English

Spain's women strive for glory in World Cup debut

Jessica Jones · 5 Jun 2015, 11:56

Published: 05 Jun 2015 11:56 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Spain’s women’s football team will make history this week by taking part in their first ever World Cup, which kicks off in Canada on June 6th and runs until July 5th.

Perhaps surprisingly in a country known for its passion for the beautiful game, women’s football has been much slower to take off in Spain than in other countries.

While just the word Spain is often synonymous with football champions, Spain’s captain Veronica Boquete has played down the team’s chances:

"You could say they are zero," she told news agency Reuters. "It’s the first time we are playing in a World Cup and there is still a big gulf between us and the main powers due to conditions in the professional game but not due to quality."

Currently ranked 14th in the world, the Spanish team, coached by Ignacio Quereda, will make its World Cup debut against Costa Rica in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on June 9th, a match they are widely expected to win.

Trouble lies ahead however, with the other two teams that make up Group E - Brazil and South Korea, ranked seventh and 18th in the world, respectively.

"The players are enormously motivated and committed," Quereda said in a May 11th press conference announcing his squad.

"Costa Rica is an opponent at our level, the most beatable. Brazil is an established side and will make it hard for us and Korea is a very physical and well-organised team," added the 64-year-old.

Spain’s team is hoping to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero; to do so they have to come among the top three European teams in the World Cup.

The team’s historic participation in this year’s Women’s World Cup will bring visibility to a sport that ironically, is often ignored in Spain, home of the world’s greatest (male) football teams.

According to Spanish daily, El País, there has been a vicious circle when it comes to women’s football in Spain, "… small audiences, lack of media coverage, lack of sponsors and lack of investors."

Spanish captain Veronica Boquete. Photo: Anders Henrikson/Wikimedia

For Spain’s captain, Veronica Boquete (pictured above), it comes down to a lack of practical equality in Spain that is ingrained in other countries, especially those in Scandinavia:

Story continues below…

"In the nordic countries, in Sweden, the society is more equal. Equality is not just theoretic, but practical. There, there is a respect and admiration for women footballers, for sportswomen. In Spain, it’s different," Boquete told El País in 2014.

In Spain, women footballers play alongside their jobs or studies, making a career out of the sport often involves emigrating. Boquete, currently plays for FFC Frankfurt, in Germany and has just signed for the female Bundesliga champions, Bayern Munich.

Not being able to play football full-time is one of the reasons that Spain’s adult teams do not tend to fulfill the promise of the country’s flourishing women’s youth teams:

"When you get to a certain age you have to decide how much time you are going to dedicate to sport and how much to your studies or your work," said Boquete.

Now with its first appearance on the World Cup stage and the visibility it brings, Spain’s women footballers are hoping that the country with the world’s most passionate footie fans will put gender aside and support their sportswomen this June. 

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Jessica Jones (jessica.jones@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Southern Spain will become a desert with global warming
Photo: Steven Stralton / Flickr

Southern Spain will become a desert if global warning continues, scientists have warned.

Eight Spanish films to truely terrify you this Halloween
Photo: Corie Howell / Flickr Creative Commons.

Looking for something to give you goosebumps this Halloween? The Local looks at eight Spanish films that are sure to have you cowering beneath the covers.

Spain's Socialists refuse to go easy on Rajoy once in power
Photo: AFP

Spain's Socialists may have reluctantly decided to let Mariano Rajoy govern again but they will not go easy on the acting conservative premier once he re-takes power, they warned on Thursday.

Spain's Podemos sees golden opportunity in Socialist woes
Pablo Iglesias is ready to step up in opposition. Photo: AFP

As Spain's conservatives prepare to re-take power after 10 months of political limbo, anti-austerity party Podemos has set its sights on replacing the divided Socialists as the main opposition force.

Wildlife ranger accused over decapitated bison in Valencia
The headless corpse of Sauro was found last month. Photo: Carlos Alamo / Reserva de Valdeserrillas

The case of the beheaded bison at a wildlife reserve in Valencia just got a whole lot weirder.

Spain jobless drops below 20% for first time in six years
The unemployed queuing up outside a Madrid job centre. Photo: AFP

Spain's unemployment fell below 20 percent for the first time in six years, official figures showed on Thursday.

'Saints not ghouls' insists Spanish church for Halloween
Suggested outfits from the Bishopric of Cadiz and Ceuta. Photo: Shower of Roses

Spanish bishops are urging good Christian children to forgo zombie, ghost and devil outfits and instead dress up as "saints, virgins and apostles".

Tough road ahead, Spain PM warns before return to power
Rajoy will try and form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned on Wednesday of a tough road ahead as he prepares to take power again at the head of a minority government with little support.

Russia withdraws request to refuel warships in Ceuta
The aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was due to dock in Ceuta

Russia has withdrawn a request for its aircraft carrier group to be refuelled at the Spanish port of Ceuta, authorities confirmed.

Bulls replace guard dogs at scrap yard in Valencia
Two bulls will be patrolling the scrap yard in eastern Spain. Archive photo: AFP

Guard dogs were not proving enough of a deterrent to thieves at a car breakers yard in eastern Spain so the owner has brought in a pair of fighting bulls.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available