Irene Guerrero and Olga Carmona

A shared dream

07/20/2023 · By Redacción TAB
Irene Guerrero and Olga Carmona, players of the spanish women national football team

The Spanish women's football team dreamed of winning the World Cup and they have ended up making a whole country dream. Olga Carmona and Irene Guerrero were aware of the difficulty, but they finally bring the Cup home. An image that serves as inspiration for the thousands of girls who every day train passes, dribbles and shots to become the next stars.

On the 21st of July, the ball will start rolling for Spain at the Women’s World Cup. That day, playing against Costa Rica, will be the start of a dream that will hopefully culminate in these Spanish female players lifting the most sought-after trophy by any professional football player. Irene Guerrero (Seville, 1996) prefers to take it step by step, but that doesn’t keep her imagination from setting flight: “We’re aware that we have to take it match by match, that to reach the final, first we have to go through a series of phases. But I’m not going to lie, winning a World Cup would be a dream come true and I obviously picture myself doing it.” For Olga Carmona (Seville, 2000), this dream comes with a commitment: “When you defend your country, you feel a responsibility to give your all to win.”

Jorge Vilda’s Spain attends the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 as one of the contenders to the title. Led by Alexia Putellas, two-time winner of the Ballon d’Or Féminin, all eyes are set on the Spanish team. “Female football is growing a lot and we, as elite athletes, must get used to that pressure —declares Olga—. We must adapt to that and focus on what really matters: taking Spain to the top.” Chatting with Irene and Olga, the excitement they feel for this tournament is contagious. “When we’re with the Spanish team, we’re always united by a single goal, the same passion. In the end, that’s what prevails,” Irene explains. Olga adds: “The National team gives you the chance to play alongside the best.”

“Female football is growing a lot and we must get used to that pressure to taking Spain to the top” – Olga Carmona

When Olga talks about the best, she refers to a wonderful generation of players who have put Spain on the map of football through hard work, effort and sacrifice but, above all, talent. “Talent is something everyone has and it’s what makes us special, what helps each of us make a difference in our fields —Irene reflects—. We do it with football. I believe it’s something innate, but also requires hard work because, as you grow and get closer to the elite, it is the small differences that mean you are there or not.” The Spanish team is the place where talent connects, as Olga admits: “When you play with top teammates, whether in the Spanish national team or in your own team, this makes you better. You kind of make the most of the talent around you because it ends up encouraging your own.” Irene confirms this: “We make each other better in many ways. If a teammate stands out physically or technically, you want to live up to them and you push yourself. We feed into each other.”

New role models
The boom of female football has had a big impact, not only related to collective professionalisation, but also to the fact that now girls who dream of scoring in the upper corner now have a mirror in which to look at themselves. “When I started, I only had male role models —Olga remembers—, now, however, upcoming generations have female role models. This is a clear example of how we’re moving forward, but there’s still a long way to go.” Irene, who is six years older than Olga, has experienced this evolution first-hand, but agrees that there’s still room to grow. “Since the day I started to today, there have been a lot of changes. Steady steps are being taken, but that doesn’t mean there’s no work left to be done. The greatest thing about having experienced this growth is that now, little girls have women to look up to and it’s easier for them to do what they love.”

“Talent is something innate, but also requires hard work because it is the small differences that mean you are there or not” — Irene Guerrero

Football professionalisation has affected training sessions, nutrition and, also, rest time. “All these things —Irene admits—, have made us improve and have allowed us to be where we are now, but I still think there’s a lot of room for improvement and upcoming generations are making quite an impression.” What better gift for those new generations than to see these two Sevillians —of Real Betis F.C. and Sevilla F.C., by the way—, conquering the World Cup alongside the rest of their teammates. Save the date, the 20th of August, because that day the dream could come true.