MADRID: Spain emerged from months of turmoil and divisions to secure their first title at the Women's World Cup on Sunday. In doing so, they overcame a player revolt that saw La Roja lose some of their best talent before the tournament even started.
One of the strongest and most exciting teams in the world arrived without a few key players, but a talented group of young players showed the courage and skill needed to put all problems aside and lifted Spain's first major trophy.
But as the winners celebrated after their 1-0 win over England in Sydney amidst interviews with media around the world, there was no mention of which team-mates stayed at home.
Twelve of the 15 players involved in the mutiny that ultimately didn't make it into the Spain World Cup squad decided to remain silent, not give interviews and not mention the Women's World Cup on their personal social media accounts.
There were also no expressions of support, sympathy or recognition for the players who told the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) last September that they were leaving the team while long-time coach Jorge Vilda was in charge, causing unrest in the dressing room.
The 15 emails sent by 15 players to RFEF President Luis Rubiales called for radical changes in team structure.
There was never a hint of inappropriate behavior and the campaign was undermined as neither player publicly spelled out their exact demands, merely denying that they had called for Vilda's sacking.
The RFEF supported Vilda in the darkest hours of the revolt and he dropped the players involved in the dispute from his roster.
Eight of the 15 withdrew months later and applied for reinstatement, but Vilda only found room for three in his World Cup squad – Ona Battle, Mariona Caldentey and Aitana Bonmati, who was voted the tournament's best player.
Prominent names such as Sandra Panos, Patri Guijarro, Mapi Leon and Claudia Pina, key players in Barcelona's glittering Champions League title fight, were among the 12 players who were left out.
Reuters tried to contact the players through their agents, but they said they were silent.
However, Spanish agent Carlota Planas, who represents world champions Mariona Caldentey, Cata Coll and four of the laggards – Pina, Guijarro, Lola Gallardo and Leila Aouhabi – told Reuters that the revolt played an important role in Spain's success at the World Cup have played.
“Without them and their courage, the RFEF would certainly not have even considered making any improvements,” said Planas.
“Their demands were for better working conditions and some of those demands were answered, such as improvements in the rehabilitation department and better travel conditions for them and their families.”
According to Planas, some players were satisfied with the fulfillment of part of the demands and made amends with the RFEF, but others believed that this was not enough and did not change their position.
“They're happy with their decision because they think it was the right thing to do,” Planas said of her client sentiment after watching Spain's title win from afar.
“Certainly everyone wants to be world champion, but he is aware of the importance of his fight.”
BePlayer agency's Marta Diaz, representing Manchester City's Laia Aleixandri and Manchester United's Lucia Garcia, also amplified the impact of the mutiny and led to positive changes in the Spanish Football Federation.
“The changes and successes speak for themselves. The new measures coupled with the players' talent have made the results we are seeing possible,” Diaz told Reuters.
“We have had some of the best players in the world on our team for many years, but the RFEF will never admit that they woke up and started to really care and invest in women's football after the last fall in the caused a stir in the media.” year.
“The players face a losing battle against a giant.
“There are still many sections of society that attack, insult and taunt the players who sacrificed everything for something they believed in and are unwilling to continue fanning the fire of such an unbalanced battle.”