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Spain Win Their First Women’s World Cup, but At What Cost?

Spain win their first Women’s World Cup in what has been an upstanding tournament for La Roja. Coming into the World Cup as the fourth favorite, they outlasted their opponents to be the last team standing. However, the unfortunate turn of events following the win has led to more controversy than celebration.  

The statistics Spain had put up in each match has been imparable. They outscored their opponents 18-7, averaged about 23 shots per game and held on to an average of 69% of possession, limiting their opponents to just 31% with just six shots per match. All of this without a fit 2x Ballon D’or winner Alexis Putellas, who did not start every game following her comeback from an ACL tear.  

Spain brought possession based style of play into women’s football. No other team came close to their level of play, something that only the USWNT were able to do in the past. Every player in Spain besides Jennifer Hermoso play in the domestic league. Out of those players, 10 play for Barcelona, who have dominated club football in recent years. 

With all this hype around the new queens of women’s football, there have been some disappointing events following. One was the passing of Olga Carmona’s father just days before the final. The Real Madrid defender scored against England that won them their first star. After, she found out that her father passed away following a battle with a long-term illness.  She took to social media follow the final to than her father for the opportunity he has given her to win at the biggest stage. 

And without knowing it, I had my Star before the game started. I know that you have given me the strength to achieve something unique. I know that you have been watching me tonight and that you are proud of me. Rest in peace dad

However, the biggest news that came from the World Cup final was the behavior from Spanish Football Chief Luis Rubiales. During the medal ceremony, Rubiales was seen embracing Jennifer Hermoso and giving her a kiss on the lips. This immediately sparked controversy, especially after Rubiales stated that he will not resign after the “mutual” kiss.  

Hermoso immediately came out with a statement, clarifying that the incident was not mutual and she felt “vulnerable and a victim of an impulse-driven, sexist, out of place act without any consent.”  

Not only have her teammates and other female players, including USWNT captain Alex Morgan, spoken out in her support, but the Spanish players will refuse to play for the national team as long as Rubiales is in charge. Some of the male players are also deciding not to play under the federation, including Real Betis striker Borja Iglesias.  

With the World Champions jumping to second place in FIFA’s latest rankings, the future of the team could be different. It has also not been forgotten that 15 players did not want to play under head coach Jorge Vilda last year amid mental scrutiny under his authority. Not to mention that he was seen touching a female staffer inappropriately during their celebrations during the final. 

This news has put a huge damper in the Spain celebrations. Nevertheless, they have won the World Cup. They are also the second nation to win the World Cup for both the men and female, next to Germany.  

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