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Vero Boquete and Vicky Losada: "We have lost entire generations of soccer players"

2022-05-19T03:53:43.620Z

Winners of the Champions League and symbols of an era, the Fiorentina and City players talk to EL PAÍS before this Saturday's final between Barcelona and Lyon



Vero Boquete (Santiago, 35 years old) has played for 18 different teams, in eight different countries.

She was one of the pioneers to emigrate, a symbol of a generation and of professionalism.

In 2015, she became the first Spanish soccer player to win the Champions League, wearing the Frankfurt shirt.

Six years later, Vicky Losada (Barcelona, ​​31 years old) lifted the European Cup with the club of her life, Barcelona.

The Catalan, who went through Espanyol and the Western New York Flash before returning to England to play for City (she had already gone through Arsenal), has just published her biography

De ella Capitana

(Oberon), written by the journalist Andrés Corpas.

Boquete and Losada connect via Zoom to talk about the soccer they grew up with and the one they are still trying to help evolve.

And, of course, they talk about the Champions League final this Saturday at 7:00 p.m. between Lyon and Barça.

More information

Barcelona, ​​finalist of the Women's Champions League

Vicky Losada

.

I tried to make a positive book.

And I think the result is very honest, it reflects the reality we've been through.

Perhaps before, people were more afraid to talk and, sometimes, I have the feeling that they want to talk about everything beautiful.

But I think it's important to talk about the things that have been a little more difficult.

That has also been our reality: insults, difficulties and few opportunities.

And this has not happened for a long time.

Vero Boquete.

I, for example, ate a federal rule in which girls could not play with boys.

I spent a year without being able to play a game because it was not legal.

VL

That's lack of opportunities.

It is the lack of equality that we players often demand.

VB

Both of us have grown up in a context in which we were the only girls, or one of the few, who played football.

And we've had to listen to a lot of things that didn't make you happy.

But if I am positive, I can think that this has also hardened us and has forged our character.

VL

I was the only girl who played.

I always went with children.

VB

My real support was from my house.

My father gave us a rule: if they didn't let me play, my brother couldn't play either.

Sometimes he had to punch each other;

other times we had to carry the ball ourselves.

And that added to the comments… like the tomboyish ones, which I have heard on the street, on campus and my family has had to put up with in the stands.

But, in the end, football made up for you.

VL

And we were good at it.

VB

As is.

If we hadn't been very good at soccer, we would surely have left it, as other girls of our generation have done who moved on to other sports.

VL

Soccer is a more masculinized world, but all those comments and attitudes were everywhere.

VB

I, in Galicia, didn't even know there was women's football until I was 15 years old.

In Catalonia, at that time, there were already teams in the First Division.

And it is true that, I don't know how you have experienced them, that when I began to travel and play in countries like the United States and Sweden, where women's play is much more popular, I began to realize that what was happening in Spain was not normal.

The difference between one place and the other was very big... how they trained, what opportunities they had to compete at the highest level...

VL

Now that you say this, I remember the World Cup in Canada.

I was one of the youngest and I think you were the only one who played away.

And I always remember what you demanded of us.

Later, when I went to play outside, I understood you.

You were the only one who had seen the other world and who knew that what we had was not right.

On the left, Vicky Losada;

on the right, Veronica Boquete.Getty

VB

I've been thinking for years that we've lost generations of high-level footballers, who surely could have earned more than they do now.

What was happening?

They weren't professionals.

They trained at nine at night, they had no gyms or where to prepare.

Many had to work.

All those players have not had the opportunity to shine.

I have seen players who stopped going to the national team because it did not compensate them financially.

VL

I never had to work because I played for Barça and got paid.

But I have seen everything that has happened.

That's why, when I talk to young players like Claudia Pina or Aitana, who play in the best team in Spain, or even in the world, I try to let them know everything that happened before.

There are very nice things that the street gives you, like that mischievousness that is now being lost, and it was an interesting part of football.

Then, also, another thing that perhaps is being lost is the closeness with the fans.

The players are becoming more and more famous and are more publicly exposed.

When I was at Barça I tried not to lose that closeness.

VB

In that sense, the clubs do not help.

They are making the same mistakes that were made in the men's.

That is to say, deified soccer players, whom you cannot greet or touch.

But it's not their fault, it's the fault of the people who put them in that bubble.

Because when you talk to them, you realize that you can have a completely normal relationship.

That normality is broken by the environments.

And that is beginning to happen in the female.

The closeness, especially with the fans, was one of the things that defined women's football.

VL

Look, just now that we are talking about the fans and closeness, I have had a farewell to Barcelona, ​​with the people, with my family and with my teammates at Johan Cruyff, which was incredible.

VB

In that sense, the clubs are growing and giving value to their players.

At the time, Espanyol organized a very emotional farewell for me at the Cornellà stadium.

Until that moment, I think that no player had given a press conference to say goodbye.

Vicky, I don't think anyone has ever had a farewell like yours.

Also, you quit after winning the Champions League.

VL

Now, Lyon wants to win again in Europe.

But Barça wants revenge for the 2019 final. Lyon have recovered their great leader: Hegerberg, who is going to give them a plus.

They are two completely different styles, with different player profiles.

It will be very interesting.

VB

It will be a very different final from the one in 2019. Barça arrives in Turin like Lyon arrived in Budapest.

Now Barça is the Lyon of before.

And that will be the war.

If the total control belongs to Barça or Lyon, there is one last dance.

I am very curious to see Olympique's approach.

Wolfsburg in the second leg of the semi-final [2-0, Barça's first loss of the season] showed a little how to play them.

VL

Barça within the 4-3-3 has many variants and has players with different roles that can give them different options.

Who do you want to win?

You go with Barça, right?

VB

Yes, of course.

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Source: elparis

All sports articles on 2022-05-19

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