The women’s soccer team enjoy hours of wine and roses after the days of fury lived in recent times. The world champion title seems to have appeased the civil war atmosphere that existed within the team when it embarked for New Zealand 40 days ago. The victories have served as a sedative for a group in which the positions between Jorge Vilda and the players have temperedalthough there are cases in which the distancing is still in force.
Winner with six ‘rebels’
The inclusion in the final list of six of the 18 rebels (Jenni Hermoso, Irene Paredes, Alexia Putellas, Aitana Bonmatí, Ona Batlle and Mariona Caldentey) was decisive in obtaining the historic achievement, and the coach has opted to keep a low profile and approach these players, trying to slam the happened previously. At least with them. Jorge Vilda, whose value was questioned by the players, leaves winner of this stake after making relevant decisions during the tournament that have been fundamental for the achievement of the World Cup. And right now neither players nor press question their hierarchy after submitting in the final even an England led by the brilliant coach Sarina Weigman.
In this context, the unknown about the future of Vildawho renewed his contract with the Federation until 2024 before the Eurocup in 2022. The intention of Luis Rubiales, who has always supported the man from Madrid, even more so during the crisis due to the mutiny of the players, continues to be keep him in charge of selector. Especially now after being singled out as one of the World Cup winners for his management of the crisis and of the group in recent months. “I am very happy for Jorge because we have gone through very difficult times and they have known how to recover from them. Our coach has done a spectacular job in this World Cup. He is one of the great architects of this together with the players. A 10 for everyone”, he warned a euphoric Rubiales hours after Spain won the World Cup.
The idea of the Federation is renew Vilda’s contract for another four years when they can sit down to sign the agreement. However, the man from Madrid has preferred to park that issue every time it has been brought up and focus on the present. He has a contract for one more year and in no rush to renew. Vilda is the selector and technical director of women’s soccer, a double condition that allows her to capitalize on the design of the growth of federative women’s soccer in Spain, with the national teams and the promotion of this sport among girls in schools and clubs.
Restlessness in the Federation
In the Federation there is a certain concern about Vilda’s laid-back attitude, which has the upper hand. There are voices in very relevant offices that warn that Vilda could be thinking of giving one step to the side to leave the selection at the top after the achievement of this title in the World Cup. Jorge was named women’s national coach in 2015, replacing Ignacio Quereda, who resigned after 27 years in office. And now, after eight years, he could conclude his term in 2024 with the peace of mind of having led a historic feat in Spanish football.
Those same voices point out that the selector could maintain his status as technical director of the Federation’s women’s football, to continue being the strong man of Luis Rubiales in this area, but he could leave the bench of the selection to another person that he himself would designate. Someone he trusts who could even belong to the federative structure that Vilda himself already governs. With this he could dedicate himself to working to guide the growth of women’s football in Spain after this World Cup achieved with him on the bench, also betting on someone like-minded to replace him.
Vilda has abandoned the serious and defiant gesture of the first months of the locker room crisis to offer a friendlier face in recent times. She has not made statements out of tune, despite being harshly attacked by the media and journalists in this war with the players, and at the parties to win the title she has even remained in a discreet backgroundas in the convertible bus that toured the streets of Madrid in which he preferred to stay downstairs and give all the prominence to the soccer players.
Attitude that ended with a conciliatory speech before the fans, which his detractors see as part of a strategy, in which he made the players who stayed on the ground participate in the title, which was also understood as a gesture to bury the ax of war: “I want to remember all the players who have not been able to be in this World Cup. Players who started, who have sacrificed and have helped us. It goes for them too. All the staff, the coaching staff, the delegation… The president, who has been like one more. He’s going for all of you, but without all these players, these stars, we wouldn’t be world champions.”
Palmares or legacy, the dilemma
Vilda’s future is known only to him. Jorge will decide if he remains on the bench to grow the national team’s record or takes refuge in the offices to try to create a legacy in national women’s football. No one contemplates an exit to try their luck in a club, either feminine or masculine. Not even Rubiales knows what the coach has in mind. But today in the Federation the only certainty that exists is that, this time, Jorge Vilda has the upper hand.