Laura (guingel) wrote in ontd_football,

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Hat trick-scoring, MVP-winning Spanish #9 talks women's football in Spain. And the US. And Russia.

So everyone should , because Vero was an absolute goddess for the Philadelphia Independence in the WPS this season, and no one knows her cos friggin Spain doesn't support their women's team at all so they never qualify for the major international competitions.

She's one of the absolute best players out there, and has an incredibly great attitude, and adorable bromances with her Philly teammates, who call her the Little Prince cos she was reading it as English practice. Plus she's always really articulate about women's football and has said she'd rather play in front of smaller crowds than try to attract fans by wearing tighter shirts and is just all around awesome.

Verónica Boquete: "We still don't have the recognition or respect we deserve"

She is one of the best Spanish players of today. Veronica expresses to VAVEL her feelings about women's football in our country.

It is nearly impossible to find pics of Vero in Spain gear - PROBABLY COS THEY DIDN'T PLAY FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR. And I had to crop random dudes walking across the background of this one. Yeeeeeeeesh RFEF, get your shit together. We've got pics of Bojan frolicking on the beach but I can't find Vero playing freaking soccer?

It is the men who hog the spotlight in large stadiums, covers, television, media and the widespread coverage of football society but the effort of the women is, if anything, even more arduous. The female soccer players must fight not only against their rivals in the field, but also against the endless obstacles and difficulties in their path, and the lack of recognition and attention in the difficult fight for the conquest of their dreams.

Verónica Boquete knows perfectly this situation. At 24 years, she is one of our best players. Winner of 2 Copas de la Reina, MVP of the WPS in the U.S. and European Champion with the Under-19 selection in 2004 (at the age of 16). A background all done quietly but that seems to be even enough to get a reaction in Spain and to begin give our players the place they deserve that in no way should be relegated to a secondary position.

Veronica was born on April 9, 1987 in Santiago de Compostela. After her beginnings in the ranks of Xuventú Aguiño Riveira (La Coruña), she debuted in the Super League with Prainsa Zaragoza. From there she came to RCD Espanyol Women, a club that ensures the "captivation". She returned to the Catalan team after her first adventure in America, where she traveled to again a year later in the summer of 2011, to be named MVP of the regular season. Now she starts a new challenge in the ranks of FC Energiya Voronezh in the Top Division of Russia, with the grand dream of playing, finally, in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

Veronica saw fit to discuss her new destinations with, her challenges ahead with the Voronezh and with the Spanish National team who are competing qualifying matches for the European Championship in Sweden 2013.

Question: For those who do not know so how do you define yourself as a player?

Answer: It is difficult to define oneself, so I'll use the last sentence that my teammate has used to describe me, "An exceptionally talented player that lives for football and that has developed a unique footballing intelligence. She's skilful, fast and gets goals."

Q: Do you think there remains a perception that football is a sport for men or is that decreasing?

A: Yes, and in Spain it is still more pronounced. It is true that our situation is improving but we still find too many barriers.

Q: Do you feel that you are not given the recognition they deserve or that people do value the achievements of girls in soccer?

A: Not yet, we have no recognition or respect we deserve for the many sacrifices and sacrifices we make to practice our sport, and the higher effort level involved.

Q: Do you think women's football someday acquire the same role as the male?

A: We do not aim to achieve this, our goals are different. We do not generate or mobilize the same as men but that does not mean we can not be professional, have a decent wage and that people support and respect us. Yet many people still think that we are a group of friends who gather on Sundays to play a game, they do not understand that football is our life and we can do very well.

Q: There is a lot of talk about the current situation in the men's game whose economy does not enjoy good health, repercussions also in a loss of competitiveness and excitement in the league championship, which in recent years has become a thing for only the two big teams. For those who do not follow women's football so how would you describe your situation in Spain?

A: We have the same economic problem, of course to our level and scale, even worse because you can not find sponsors, clubs male reduced budgets for their women’s divisions, the institutions do not help us ... And there are two trends: one of previous years, similar to the male where 2 teams were clear favorites; and one is prevalent now, where the level of teams is more even, more teams are options to fight for the title and that makes the league more competitive.

Q: Focusing a little more on your career, you recently signed with Energiya Voronezh, one of the best teams in the Russian league. Do you go there because in Spain it costs more to open doors for women's football, for a personal challenge or a little of both?

A: I'm going for sporting ambition, in Spain women's football is not professional and to go to a team where it is, where I can think and spend 24 hours a day at this, it gives me the opportunity to compete at the highest European level, in other words, playing the Champions League and gives me all the options to keep growing. It is certainly a challenge and a very different experience and it gave me all the facilities and accept all my conditions.

Q: How do you rate your first days in Russia? Is it hard to adapt to?

A: Russia is very different from anything I knew before, as a country, such as culture, way of being of the people .. Also the way of working is different, but I appreciate everything I have here and try to enjoy doing what I like, I am aware that I am privileged.

Q: Did you have trouble making the decision?

A: A lot. In Spain, RCD Espanyol, I had my life and it would have been easier to stay there after coming from USA and to return there when they ended the Spanish league, but I felt and knew it was time to go another way. The best thing is that I went with the love and support of people, when I have to re-open doors I am convinced they will.

Q: This is the first time you play the Champions League. What are your expectations in the top contintental competition?

A: I have spent many years waiting for this opportunity, I wanted to play with the best in Europe and now I will. I enjoy every game and every minute, both on and off the field, that feeling of "playing a game of champions". I do not know where we will arrive but the desire and enthusiasm is huge.

Q: You've always shown great affection for the RCD. Espanyol, would you like to play in Spain? Do you believe it possible?

A: Espanyol has captivated me, it’s a club with special affection, I lived great moments there and always will be my team. In my farewell I was convinced that the future would bring me back and I believe, I know I'll go back to Spain and Espanyol, later, soon. Or maybe more soon!

Q: Who is your idol in football?

A: With age you stop idolizing people, but if you admire and respect .. At the moment my reference player is Leo Messi, I've never seen anything like it and I have no words to describe it is unbelievable.

Q: Your best sports moment?

A: Whenever you win a title is the best time, and each is different and special, I've won things as leagues in Galicia, Copas de la Reina with Espanyol, a European Championship with Spain, MVP in the USA .. But I value all the way, I've been around other titles (Super League, WPS ...), its loss were the worst moments of my career, but the road to them was fantastic. I hope my best is yet to come.

Q: Now go to the women's national team. You are contesting the qualifiers for the European Championship in Sweden 2013. Spain has started by beating Turkey 1-10. What feelings do you have?

A: We really want to be in this European Championship, we've been too many times outside of the major events and our level is to be on them. We need a little more and I think now is the time to give, it's time for Spain to demonstrate their level, and that matter. We learned from mistakes and we all will defend our choices to the end.

Q: The first victory you contributed, in addition to your game, with a hat-trick.

A: Always a pleasure to wear la roja, to play and help the team is all we want .. and if it is with goals the better! I hope to continue.

Q: Of the group of Spain, a priori, it seems that the toughest opponent may be Germany. How do you see the possibilities of 'la roja'?

A: We are aware that we are in a difficult group, Germany is always a favorite for everything but we thought it would be wrong not only in them, we have to go game by game, adding 3 by 3 and we will see that we can draw against Germany. Football gives you all the possibilities, you always have 90 minutes to play, and in this there are aliens, there is much difference that will allow you trust, you must play.

Q: The awards have come to you individually, does that push you, somehow, to lead the group with more responsibility in the dressing room?

A: I am aware of the weight that I have directly or indirectly and if I have more responsibility on the team, I assume it with no problem! But that's not going to change anything, I've always tried to give the maximum to the group and that is what I will continue doing.

Q: On the national team ... The hearings and monitoring of the Women's World Cup final, where Japan won the title, show a great interest in this sport, also in Spain, with important follow-up and audience figures. However, there are a couple of facts, the least flashy:
  - Laura del Rio, was not in the decisive tie with England, because he does not want to pay the ticket. [Not sure what this refers to exactly but I've heard Laura doesn't get called up b/c of tension with the coach.]
  -More than a year passed where the senior team did not play any games, the last was against Malta 24/6/10
Do you think that much of the blame for the situation being experienced by the women's game in Spain with responsible institutions and the neglect that these undergo this sport?

A: I do not like to avoid questions, so I’ll be honest, the reasons why Laura did not come to England only those they know, and she and the coach is something that we do not enter. Not having any concentrations for a year is certainly not something that benefits us and is a difficulty which we have to overcome, I always say we do not compete on equal terms against other teams that have all the support and facilities, I hope there will not be that lack of caring on the part of associations, institutions, clubs, media, society .. But we can only keep working and giving our best, is the only way we can change our present and future, claim to work, effort, images, achievements ...

A red Espanyol kit is like a picture of her playing for Spain, right? sigh. And also, swoon.

Q: Ten years, 6 World Cups, no participation of La Roja. In European, 25 years, one spot (Semifinalist in 1997). With the quality of the women's game in Spain, this is something that seems out of the question, how do you explain that? How about the numbers?

A: It's a shame, and these numbers tell us that something is not done well (something that covers a lot of things). But everything has explanation and I can only give mine. In lower grades, sub-17 and U-19 not only are almost always in the big races if titles are achieved and Spain is always a reference and a favorite, especially in recent years. Why years later we can not compete on the same level? In other countries the players are professionals, put their preparation, their profession of players to studies or other work, also get help to make it compatible with the family. In Spain there comes a time when the players have to think about all this (studies, work, family ..) they do not have help, options .. and thus can not reach the same level.

Q: Besides football, women's sports in general, has always had to overcome a number of barriers to subsites. One is the withdrawal of scholarships, grants and general support when athletes become pregnant, something that athletes Natalia Rodriguez and Marta Dominguez experienced and denounced at the time. What are your thoughts on this?

A: I think the word is OUTRAGEOUS, and this is an example of the little help and support that we have for the women athletes. The funny thing is that in other countries nothing happens and they include more help with family issues, for me it seems admirable that female athletes like them that even will all the difficulties, they're still competing and not only that, if not winning!

Q: In women's football there is also the helplessness?

A: Of course, there are hardly any scholarships, and those there are do not contribute much, at work they do not understand that you have go to play for la seleccion, or play in the First Division, and if you get injured you're still professional and can't stop because you can lose your job, have trouble with your studies and your life in general.

Q: What are your immediate goals?

A: To continue growing as a player, enjoy as much as possible of the Champions League, to come back to win the WPS and to qualify for the Eurocopa in Sweden.

Q: Any message for the fans?

A: To understand the difficulties and all the obstacles we have to endure, that this will make them appreciate our work and encourage them to see and follow the women's game.

Convinced that there is still a long way to go, the santiaguesa hopes that one day the girls can take their rightful place in the game. Meanwhile, continue carving a path marked by a still largely unsung success.

<---Getting hugses from Natasha Kai! Amazing footballer, amazing person, PLUS she's pocket-sized for your travel convenience. :333

Source, in Spanish. I ran it through google translate and then I cleaned it up even though I don't speak Spanish, and then the delightful hobophobicx checked over the weirdest parts, but there might still be translation errors in the bits I didn't show her. Pictures are from just all over the internet.

The MVP thing created this strange little buzz around Vero in Spain and she even managed to get the WPS written about in AS and Marca. And Emilio Butragueno sent her a congratulatory fax on behalf of Real Madrid and it's just this odd phenomenon where she's getting these little bursts of recognition but the women's Primera Division and the national team get so little support. Hopefully that will change, though. and I'm sorry I babble so much every time I post about women's football, I just feel compelled to give context!

Here is video about how much more epic she is than Cron and Messi (and how much more amazing and sexy her voice is):

And now you're all ready to cheer for her in Energiya's Women's Champions League match against Bristol on Thursday! :D
Tags: epic, i think i like girls now, i would hit that so hard, it's a fucking disgrace!, nt: spain, women's professional soccer
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