Spain starlets Amanda Sampedro and Alexia Putellas first appeared in the international arena in 2010. In 2010 UEFA Women’s U17 Euro, two wingers took the team to their first title ever, with the help of some other notable talents such as Raquel Pinel and Sara Merida.
The same year, they went to Trinidad&Tobago and created an even better performance in FIFA Women’s U17 World Cup. Spain won all its games except the semi final against the world champions South Korea, they even beat the powerhouse North Korea in the 3rd place game. And in the only game they lost, Putellas & Sampedro scored this astonishing goal:
OK, we have seen talents before in U17 category, both in men’s and women’s. Most did not excel as expected for various reasons, but some (like Alexandra Popp or Xavi Hernandez) made history. So, it was important to take a look at the U19 Euros in Antalya, Turkey to see how Putellas and Sampedro dealt with it.
In the semi final against Portugal, they created this goal for another U17 graduate, Raquel Pinel.
It’s obvious these girls got talent, loads of it. And it’s quite clear that Spanish football system knows how to treat it. Up to recent years, Spain was not qualified as a women’s football fortress, rather a slightly over-par nation, but they proved they could produce some international stars, such as Vero Boquete. Now, they prove their great youth football system works for girls too, just like France did. What I understand from what I see is; Spain is gonna be around for a long long time. And, I hope, so are Amanda and Alexia. It’s certain that excellence is in the making, maybe an Olympic medal in 2016 too. Good luck for Spain about it.
Sport sociology lecturer with a PhD degree in sport and social issues, and a women’s football commentator in Turkey.