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>>>> Women’s Team Spain futsal player Berta Velasco: “High level women’s futsal is a great mirror to show the solid values our sport has”
11/03/2019
Recently Spain won the first ever European women futsal nations’ championship. Before the final tournament, one of the Spanish key players, Berta Velasco, talked about the effort required to compete in this sport at the very top level.

 

Is this first ever European futsal nations’ championship a historical event for women’s sports? 

Yes, it is. Many of us have fought for a long time for it. I think women’s futsal being finally recognized by UEFA is a huge achievement. Personally I feel proud of being part of it. Obviously, this means responsibility, but we hope we can go all the way and win it.

How do you see the tournament? Spain is the favorite to face host Portugal in the championship contest…

I think we should not take the semifinal game against Russia lightly. They have a solid squad and defend very well. We have prepared hard for this first contest and we should win it, but we will need to show it on the court.

Playing at home, is Portugal the main favorite?

We have played Portugal many times. We know them well. It will be a very evenly matched duel. A championship game against them would be the dream contest for the tournament. It would be a very open game with both teams playing offensive futsal and generating goal situations.

Do you think this European tournament will mark a turning point in women’s futsal? How do you see the sport in the near future? 

This shows that women’s futsal is walking a path to professionalism, something we could not dream about a couple years ago. In fact, there are already professional players in our country. They key is to keep moving forward having as our goal where men’s futsal or women’s regular soccer are at this point.

Full professionalism is not here yet. In fact, you have to work every day in a company besides playing futsal at the top level. Is it hard to do both?

Having a fulltime job and also playing futsal in Division 1 and with the Spanish National Team is tough and requires many sacrifices. I finished work physically and mentally tired and I need to head to the practice court. Sometimes for playing with Team Spain I need to ask for free days at my regular work. On holidays I focus on futsal… Well, it is tough, but it is worth it.

Competing on its first ever official tournament, Team Spain has become a referent for all the girls that are starting playing futsal. Do you agree?

I have never seen myself as a referent. I play because I like it. But it is true Spain’s Division 1 is becoming more and more a great mirror to show the solid values our sport has.

Which three values would you highlight in futsal?

I would say compromise, respect and teamwork.

And talking about a referent, who has been one in your career?

I would not talk about only one. There have been many. I have had great teammates in my clubs and in the national team as well. I have learnt a lot from several great players.

What moment would you highlight in your career?

I would say the moment I am living right now, and I also think better moments will come in the future.

 

Rafa Cervera

Profile

Berta Velasco has one of the finest left legs in the world of women’s futsal. Excellent facing opponents on one-to-one situations, the Catalan player has been at the top level of this sport during many years. A member of several Spanish First Division squads, including Gironella and Penya Esplugues, where she currently plays, at the age of 31 she has participated in more than 30 international games with Team Spain. Berta holds a degree in finance and economics and also has a master diploma in sports management. Besides futsal, she is the chief financial officer of a travel agency in Barcelona.

 

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