From almost playing for Nigeria to winning the World Cup with Spain – Vicky Lopez’s story

From almost playing for Nigeria to winning the World Cup with Spain - Vicky Lopez's story

When Spain beat Colombia to win the 2022 FIFA U-17 Girls’s World Cup at DY Batel Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Sunday, they turned the primary nation to efficiently defend the title.

Not like her earlier spell in 2018, La Furia Roja It was a unique type of journey in India, the place he scored half of the (6) objectives I scored 4 years in the past. However one of many gamers who was the attacking architect of the group was a 16-year-old from Barcelona – Vicky Lopez.

“Profitable the World Cup was certainly one of my desires,” she stated after the match.

“The great factor is that that is the bottom class within the Spanish group. So, I hope to have the ability to proceed to develop, develop and play within the larger classes, the elite and the nationwide groups.

Now, I play in FC Barcelona. I simply need to be taught from the opposite gamers and hopefully I can win a title with my group.”

Born to a Nigerian mom and Spanish father, Lopez was eligible to play for Nigeria forward of the FIFA U-17 Girls’s World Cup.

Her father, Jesus Lopez Serrano Perez, stated: “Nigeria continues to be an choice however nobody from the union has contacted us.” In June final 12 months, “it might make Vicky very excited if she have been to obtain a call-up to play in Nigeria, however it is rather probably that she will likely be known as up in September for the UEFA Girls’s Below-17 Championship qualifiers”.

Flamingoes’ call-up by no means arrived and ended up taking part in for Spain on the European Below-17 Girls’s Championship, the place she not solely turned an attacking engine but in addition scored on her European debut.

Spain completed second within the European Championship, however on the day Lopez lifted the World Cup, Nigeria additionally pulled off a large 3-2 victory over Germany within the bronze medal match. .

“After I realized that Nigeria gained after I went into the match in a penalty shootout, that was very encouraging for me. It helped me in my finals,” she stated.

Lopez attracted consideration whereas taking part in soccer on the seashores of Benidorm – a metropolis the place Alfredo Ulloa, president of Madrid Soccer Membership, additionally spent the summer season. Alfredo signed the teen into the youth group and the remaining is historical past.

Within the 2019-20 season, with 60 objectives in 17 matches, Lopez turned the promised teen in Spanish soccer – the ‘chosen one’ scored seven objectives, together with a hat-trick within the remaining as Madrid Soccer Membership gained the La Liga title.

The Barcelona participant had 4 main contributions (two objectives, one go and one go) to Spain’s seven objectives within the match, together with two essential objectives towards Japan within the quarter-finals.

Spain coach Quinho Gonzalo spoke of her presence on the pitch: “We’re very lucky that Vicki adapts nicely to many positions.”

“I’ve talked to her about this for a very long time. She’s working onerous and she or he is aware of she wants to search out conditions the place she will harm the opponent. She’s a type of gamers who can take a deep breath, have a look at what is going on on, after which be capable to produce a ball. Unbelievable toes.”

Spain witnessed a star-studded Claudio Pena debut on the newest version of the FIFA U-17 Girls’s World Cup, when the striker gained the Golden Ball and led her group to their first World Cup title.

4 years later, when La Furia Roja Defending the title, Lopez rose to the event – profitable the World Cup in addition to the Golden Ball.

“I’m very pleased with the work they did. Via coaching with my fellow gamers, I realized lots,” Lopez says, “I attempt to get their recommendation. They assist me and I’m all the time so excited to return to the U-17 nationwide group and provides the whole lot I’ve.”

The baton from Pena to Lopez occurred at membership degree as nicely.

At 16 years, 1 month and 19 days outdated, she has surpassed Claudia Pena because the youngest participant to formally debut with the Barcelona first group.

The slogan for the FIFA U-17 Girls’s World Cup was “The Dream Begins”.

Lopez, who starred with Barcelona and gained the World Cup with Spain, has made herself her preferrred emissary – settling nicely right into a world championship removed from residence, fulfilling her “dream” because the cherry on prime.

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