Saturday, September 30, 2023

The 1×1 of the Champions

Spain is world champion. A historic success after a struggle of many years. A triumph for those who started, for those who stayed on the road, for those who will come. But also for the twenty-three soccer players who participated in the tournament.

These are the notes of the champions in the World Cup total:


1. Misa Rodríguez (6.5) – Changed

After a good performance in the group stage -with two clean sheets and without being guilty of the four goals conceded against Japan, as it was sold-, Vilda made a change under the sticks and did not play again.

13. Enith Hall (sc) – Partner

The only one of the twenty-three who has not played any minute of the tournament, but who has been a participant in the success achieved. He returns to Valencia with a master’s degree that will surely serve him well for what is to come. They have all hallucinated with her in training.

23. Cata Coll (8.5) – Revelation

The surprise of Spain in the World Cup. With only 196 minutes played this season, and after 13 months out due to injury, her pulse did not shake and she became the owner of the goal. She was decisive in the quarterfinals, ‘semis’ and final.


4. Irene Paredes (8.5) – Leader

They took her bracelet off and, even so, she has served as captain, on and off the field. The only one that he has played every minute. He has led the defense and has worked hard for his team.

5. Ivana Andrés (6.5) – Intermittent

He started as a starter until he was injured, with irregular performances in the group stage. Codina advanced her in her absence and took the position. He saved a clear goal against the Netherlands that could have changed everything.

14. Laia Codina (8.0) – Grown Up

She knew that this World Cup was the opportunity of her life, after a season without prominence at Barça, and she has made the most of it. She patiently waited for her moment and won the title from the round of 16. Great game in the final.

20. Rocío Gálvez (4.5) – Punished

The opportunity came to him in the worst game that Spain played, against Japan. She did not take advantage of it and she was singled out. She was very unsuccessful and was in the photo of three of the four goals. She didn’t play anymore.

2. Ona Batlle (8.5) – Tireless

From less to more, the jump from the round of 16 was superlative. His invisible work has been key. Very safe and elegant in defense, a dagger in attack. One of the great underrated.

12. Oihane Hernandez (8.0) – Tank

Another of the surprises. We already knew the quality of her, but she was calm and confident with the title against Switzerland and the Netherlands despite her inexperience. She missed the ‘semis’ due to suspension and was key when she entered the final.

19. Olga Carmona (8.5) – Heroine

It was another one of those indicated after Japan. However, she faced the semifinals and the final with the utmost confidence and desire to demonstrate. Two brilliant performances and two goals, one in each game, to go down in history.


3. Tere Abelleira (9.5) – Brilliant

Revelation, too. And one of the best in Spain in the World Cup after a difficult year. Almost always excellent, she took on the difficult task of replacing Patri Guijarro and more than fulfilled to make herself known globally.

6. Aitana Bonmatí (9.5) – Star

It had to be his World Cup and it has been. There is no one who has been as key to her selection as her and she has deservedly won the ‘MVP’. Hunger to win, competitive mindset and raw talent. She can go looking for tickets to Paris, because the next Ballon d’Or is named after her.

7. Irene Guerrero (6.0) – Correct

He has had little prominence, despite having been a key player for Vilda throughout this year. It is difficult to have him with the high level in the center of the field. When she has entered she has been correct.

10. Jenni Hermoso (8.5) – Historical.

She has once again shown that age is just a number and why she is one of the best Spanish footballers in history. Her tournament has been outstanding.

11. Alexia Putellas (7.0) – Humble

It is not easy to come back from a serious injury, being the best on the planet, in a World Cup. She accused the lack of rhythm (normal), but perfectly assumed a more humble role and left quality details. When she entered, she imposed the rivals and took the ovation of the entire crowd.

16. Maria Pérez (sc) – Newcomer

After being League champion with Barça B and combining it with the first team, she was able to debut in the World Cup against Switzerland. Another one that takes a master’s degree from this experience, many more will come. She has a bright future.

21. Claudia Zornoza (sc) – Achiever

He has not had a leading role either, he only played 33 minutes in total, divided between the games against Costa Rica and Japan. When he has entered he has complied and has understood his role.


8. Mariona Caldentey (8.5) – Omnipresent

Also from less to more, he played a key role from the round of 16 and scored a decisive goal in the quarterfinals. Tireless, she has been everywhere when the team has needed her.

9. Esther González (7.5) – Tip

He alternated ownership and substitutions, always accepting his role. He was key in several games to fix center-backs and clear the way for the wingers, which is expected from a ‘9’. Good version of the Andalusian.

15. Eva Navarro (7.0) – Revulsive

He played a few minutes but almost all the games (he only missed the first and the last). He brought freshness and overflow to the band when he entered the second half, ahead of Athenea.

17. Alba Redondo (8.0) – Superior

He started the World Cup as a substitute and ended up starting in the final phase. Beyond the three goals, which could have been more, he showed a great connection with Aitana and Ona Batlle on the wing.

18. Salma Paralluelo (9.0) – Prodigy

The best youngster of the tournament, according to FIFA. She is only nineteen years old and is the world champion under-17, under-20 and now with the absolute. Her goals in the quarterfinals and ‘semis’ were key to the title.

22. Athenea del Castillo (6.5) – Forgotten

From more to less prominence. He started the debut against Costa Rica, was injured against Zambia and played 7 minutes against Switzerland. Nothing else. Always, yes, he brought that unique electricity and joy.

Jorge Vilda (6.5) – Reinforced

The game against Switzerland changed everything. A debacle loomed and the team managed to turn it around and end with a happy ending. He failed in some decisions but was right in others, in key matches. The ‘feeling’ with the group, a pending issue.


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