Spain's biggest World Cup star sends message to England ahead of final showdown

Salma Paralluelo insists she wouldn’t think twice about swapping her star señorita status for team glory against England on Sunday morning.

‌The Barcelona ace has been Spain’s standout performer at the Women’s World Cup finals in Australia. Which is no mean feat given she made her international debut less than a year ago.

‌Her performances and goals in the last two rounds have endeared her to supporters cheering the Spaniards on both Down Under and at home. But she is adamant she’d trade in all the personal props if it meant her team being crowned world champions.

‌Paralluelo said: “Now I would change my MVP status for the title. For a friend to score the decisive goal and for Spain to be champions… this is a team sport and it does not depend only on individual actions. This is my dream.

‌“We know England are a hard rival and, while people have spoken about Brazil and France, Spain and England have shown that we are the best and most consistent teams at this tournament. This is a worthy final.

‌“And while it is true that English women’s football is more professional than it is in Spain, that won’t decide the final. It will be 11 versus 11 and a match that is very open in all aspects.”

HAVE YOUR SAY! What’s your score prediction for the Women’s World Cup final? Comment below.

spain's biggest world cup star sends message to england ahead of final showdown

Olga Carmona of Spain celebrates with teammates after scoring her team’s second goal during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Semi Final match against Sweden

‌Paralluelo is under no illusions about how good England are technically but, while she is expecting a battle on the ball, the most important aspect for both teams, she says, will be coping with the pressure of such an important fixture. She added: “The key to the game will be avoiding nerves.

‌“We must also forget that England are our rivals and just focus on the same style that we have shown in this whole World Cup. “We have been doing our analysis, looking at videos and PCs.

‌“Never would I have believed that we’d know so much about how the English play. Defensively, this team will be in the match of our lives and we don’t want to fail. I am expecting a very tactical final without too many goals.”

‌Keeper Cata Coll, Paralluelo’s team-mate for club and country, agrees. She said: “Our challenge is to win the title and after suffering a lot we are now within touching distance of such joy. There are no favourites for this match, it is 50/50.

‌“Any little detail could decide the game and while people believe England are more experienced, our morale is at 200 percent for this unique moment. England has a team that is very dangerous in attack and this is our target: a perfect defensive display so that our rivals cannot generate many attacks.

‌“Perhaps after the defeat by Japan in the group stage people had doubts about us but the squad rested and now we are finalists. Spain deserve to reach the final because of the way we have developed through the tournament.

‌”This is the moment I have dreamed of most in my sporting career. To play in a World Cup final against England, the country which invented football, is incredible but it is happening and we will fight so this team is legendary in Spanish sport.”

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