It has been an exciting four weeks here in Australia with the FIFA World Cup held all over Australia and NZ and it certainly lived up to its tagline of Beyond Greatness bringing Australia to a standstill as women footballers inspired people all over the world. Congratulations to Spain on their big win last night and to all the teams that competed, but especially to our Matildas who did us all proud and won the heart of all Australians and inspired the generations to come with your incredible effort, strength, leadership and teamwork.
Credit goes to the Spanish team for not only winning the World Cup, but they also had to play amidst battles with their coach and the Spanish Football Federation. No players have spoken on the record about their gripes with their coach Vilda and they refused to discuss the mutiny during the World Cup. Not that they needed to; their body language says more than any words could and the crowds backed them up with their booing. The mental strength of this group of players to put it all behind them was amazing and not having some of their best team members even make the trip down under, due to disputes, makes their win even more remarkable. Congratulations Spain.
The Matildas captivated the country and women’s sport will never be the same. They went further than an Australian team has ever gone before. But on Wednesday night, the Matildas’ historic run at the World Cup came to an end as European champions England proved too strong in the semi-final in Sydney.
“We’re all just really proud of each other and just wish we could’ve got over the line.“But no matter what happens I wouldn’t want to be on any other team. This is my team, my mates, my best mates, I love them all to death.”
Sam Kerr, Captain of Matildas
“I think we can be very proud of ourselves – only doesn’t feel that way at this moment. That takes a little bit of time. But everything we’ve done, how we have grown into the tournament … we have given everything we could in this tournament and also in this game. When you give you everything, sometimes [the other] team wins.”
Sarina Wiegman – England Coach
Olga Carmona who scored Spain’s only goal and put in a star performance in the final received the most heartbreaking news that her her Dad had died. She later posted on Twitter. And without knowing it, I had my Star before the game started. I know that you had given me the strength to achieve something unique. I know that you had been watching for me tonight and that you are proud of me. Rest In Peace Dad.
Olga Carmona – Spain Captain
As the great Lionel Messi said, It You have to fight to reach your dream, You have to sacrifice and work hard for it….I start early, and I stay late, day after day, year after year. It took me 17 years to become an overnight success.
All the athletes have sacrificed so much to just make it to this level. Less than 20 years ago, the Matildas had to produce and hand out flyers to try to attract people to watch their games, or phone television stations and beg them to broadcast matches. When the team travelled to the 2003 world cup, not a single journalist turned up to their press conference. Now they have become the hottest property in the Country with record crowds and inspiring millions. Thanks to all for the fantastic memories and inspiring girls and women to chase their dreams and reach beyond greatness.
Ann Quinn, PhD
Peak Performance Specialist