Aitana Bonmatí, during the last European Championship with Spain.Jose Breton (NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Playing in a World Cup is the ultimate for any footballer. Therefore, after several individual meetings with the Spanish federation and a collective of the Barcelona players with coach Jorge Vilda, several of the 15 who at the time decided to declare themselves ineligible for the national team want to return. They would do so after days of negotiations in high places, with the president of the Federation, Luis Rubiales, and his cabinet, in addition to the general secretariat. They would do so by swallowing their pride, too.
Required by the federation, those players who wish to wear the zamarra of La Roja again will have to send an email to declare themselves eligible again. "They sent one saying they couldn't go, so now they should do the same to come back. We understand that it is the way to go, "say sources of the RFEF. A guirigay that, as Cadena Ser advanced and confirmed by EL PAÍS, seems to be approaching its final point after nine months of tension.
After the last European Championship, 15 players exploded before what they considered a notorious lack of professionalism, even if they did not give many details. Although in the documentary by Alexia Putellas – Labor Omnia Vincit – some reason was hinted at. "It cannot be worth going in any condition to play the European Championship. We want to win it, not play it." And he explained, for example, that against England they traveled by bus while the rivals did it by plane. In the background, among the bosom of the players to disgust, there were also complaints about training, conditions ... "The latest events in the selection and the situation generated are significantly affecting my emotional state and therefore my health. Currently, I do not see myself in a position to be a selectable player for our national team and for this reason I request not to be summoned until this situation is reversed, "they all expressed in an email sent to the federation.
Now some will send another, even though Vilda is still on the bench – ratified by Rubiales – and that there is no consensus among the 15 (Patri Guijarro, Mapi León, Sandra Paños, Lola Gallardo, Moraza, Aitana Bonmatí, Leila Ouahabi, Lucía García, Ona Batlle, Laia Alexandri, Claudia Pina, Andrea Pereira, Mariona Caldentey, Nerea Eizaguirre and Amaiur Sarriegi). A separate case was that of Jenni Hermoso, who, although she approved the letter but not the forms, disassociated herself from the movement.
The situation was unraveled by the captain, Irene Paredes, who always supported the complaint of the 15 and did not feel in the mood to return until she resolved her situation last March. An act that Alexia Putellas, Golden Ball in the last two editions, approved through social networks. "With you," he wrote. Barça's 11 was not among the 15 either, even though he aligned himself with them but did not make it public because he was recovering from a rupture of the cruciate ligament of the left knee. Now he has returned to the mat and his return would be another step towards peace.
It happens that not all players are on the same page. Like Mapi León, Barça centre-back. "There are some things that have to change and if they are not changed, it will not go away. Yes, I want to go to the World Cup. I'm going to fuck up a lot to miss it, but I have some values and beliefs," he reflected a couple of months ago in Mundo Deportivo. It seems that he will not change his mind, like some others, but there are, like Aitana Bonmatí, who do not want to miss such an important appointment. Because they are part of the golden generation of Spanish players and because their competitive gene makes them want to fight against the best. Whatever one or the other decides, among the 15 it has been decided that the decision of each one will be respected.
Several of the Barça players will send the email after playing the Champions League final this Saturday against Wolfsburg. It remains to be seen how many. But for Vilda, who always said the door is open, it's May water. Not so much for those responsible for communication of the RFEF, who still can not close acts or prepare the dossier for the World Cup – it begins on July 20 – until it is known who are again callable. The list will be known on the 12th. The rivals in the first phase: Costa Rica, Zambia and Japan. The players, to know.
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