Jorge Vilda

Or The Miracle Of The Spain Women’s National Football Team

06/14/2019 · By Mariano Lumbier
Jorge Vilda
38-year-old Jorge Vilda is responsible for the dedication and commitment of Spain’s Women’s National Football Team. © Carmelo Rubio - RFEF

There is a lot of Jorge Vilda in the Spain Women's National Football Team’s spirit. Their coach is a prudent and consistent man with a strong vision—to turn our girls into one of the best football teams in the world. When he took on the task four years ago, he couldn’t imagine how far they would go because, clearly, women’s football is neither a fad nor the consequence of some quota. It’s an unstoppable trend.

“I’ve been playing football since I was little, first in the lower categories at Barcelona, ​​then at Rayo Vallecano and then Real Madrid, but two knee injuries forced me to retire because everything indicated that they were not going to evolve well. So I studied sports at university, got my football coaching degrees and started training a local neighbourhood team, CD Canillas,” Vidal (Madrid, 1981) summarises at supersonic speed. He doesn’t like to talk about himself – he prefers to talk about his girls, about The Dreamers, as they’re also called. After seven years of coaching in all the lower categories, he joined the Royal Spanish Football Federation, where he shared his experience and methodologies. “In 2010, they assigned me to the women’s national under-17 team; in 2014, to under-19; and in 2015, to national team.” In other words: progression and victories.

How is the current selection different from the one that debuted in Canada 2015 and was eliminated after the first round?

When I started with the women’s team, my first goal was to restore the team’s confidence so that they would once again believe in their extraordinary potential. The team has evolved a lot, some players have left, others have joined. We have a much more mature team, with a positive and winning mentality. That’s the main difference.

What is Jorge Vilda’s game philosophy?

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. What is really important is that each player knows and feels that she has a role within the team. If they win, all 23 of them win, and if they lose, all 23 of them, and the whole coaching staff, lose. The selection consists of the best players of the best teams, all of them indisputable. But only 11 will play, 14, if you include the substitutes, and it is essential that each has a clear role within the team, because the only thing that matters is the whole. The second most important thing is to play an attractive, convincing game, which, of course, we do. My mission is to transmit the necessary confidence so that they can fight and offer the best version of themselves. The other decisive point is to give them the best possible analysis of their rivals.

How is this selection, physically?

Beyond the morphology, the force of players from other countries because of genetic issues, the Spanish team is extremely talented. Talent is the main characteristic of our country. That is our bet. That said, at a physical and athletic level, they are increasingly prepared. But, I insist, more than their physique, what stands out is their talent.

Fame can be as positive as it can be negative. What matters most is values ​​and companionship

Are we seeing the turning point in women’s football, will there be a before and an after?

Women are getting their place in society and in sports. Women’s football is a young sport, the men have a 70-year advantage, but over the past five years, there’s been an exponential growth, no doubt. It’s the result of the girls’ hard work. The institutions have been doing their bit, but it’s mostly the girls. The players on the national team are aware of their responsibility, they know that if things don’t pan out, there will be negative repercussions. But if it does, ever more women will be encouraged to play football from an early age. This responsibility is clear to each and every one of them, and to myself as a manager. So we’re going to do it right.

Sergio Ramos has 32 million followers on Instagram. Marta Torrejón, captain of the women’s team, close to 30,000. Will the tables turn one day?

I think so, clearly. In the United States, for example, players like Alex Morgan or Megan Rapinoe are real media stars. As we know that it’s something that can happen, we make an effort to prepare the girls, because fame can be as positive as it can be negative. What matters most is values ​​and companionship.

Is the idea of ​​a mixed selection viable?

Time will tell. So far, in the children’s categories girls and boys can play together. The other day I heard that in Valencia there is a women’s football club that has a male section, I loved hearing that. Women’s football in Spain can still grow a lot in terms of membership. We have around 60,000, which, compared to the one million in men’s football, may not seem much, but it is not like that. Returning to the question: why not?

What is Jorge Vilda most proud of?

To be on the right path. We just need a little more time to enter the top ten. We’ll get there.