Aitana Bonmati: “Ambition is good, but behind it is suffering”

Aitana, during the friendly match against Denmark before traveling to New Zealand.DeFodi images (DeFodi images via Getty Images)

She was one of 15 players who decided in her day to be declared ineligible for the national team because she realized the federation was not doing enough to professionalize women’s football. But time and talks, as well as his desire to play in the World Cup, made him return to La Roja. In Las Rozas, days before he left for New Zealand, Aitana Bonmati (Villanova e la Geltro, Barcelona, ​​25 years old) She clears her throat because she talks so much and so well, and also because she has a cold from the air conditioner. At first she was shy, but the ticking of the clock eased her and she stretched out on the sofa, judging the situation as it would on a carpet.

ask. You are joined by several Barcelona players in the Group of 15 who have decided not to be called up with Spain. Was it difficult to return?

Answer. I won’t say much because it is a topic that has always been internal. We haven’t made any public appearances and that’s the professional way of doing it. Nobody cares what you discussed or not with the federation. But on a personal level, it’s been a tough year, yes, although the decision to come back is being considered; The two sides approached and talked and expressed their opinion that we want to move in the same direction. It is still missing, but the preparation is there and we want to take the Spanish team to the top. With the exchange of words, people understand each other. But I do not want it to be public, I insist, there has been a lot of manipulation by the press, which has sought to disease rather than focus on what is important. It doesn’t surprise me because he also spent these last few years in men’s football and it took him so long to get to women’s football.

s. Did not eat pride to return?

R was found. Now it’s the World Cup, but in a few months it’s the League of Nations, and then the Games… So it wasn’t like that. We can’t be separated like this for so long. It didn’t do anyone any good, and it didn’t help much speculation. The best thing is to talk about it face to face, exchange opinions and look for the same path.

s. Was there friction between you two because of your return?

R was found. No, we were honest, we talked face to face and everyone made up their minds.

s. What real options do they have at the World Cup?

R was found. We have a great team, with experienced players, Maturity, knowing how to participate in these competitions…we have to dream big. I would be disrespectful to the other teams if I said we were going to win because they all have their strengths, but I wouldn’t set any limits. Besides, there are always surprises in the World Cup. If we compete to the limit and go with that mentality, things will definitely work out well.

s. In Spain, they also extrapolated a little bit from the Barcelona model, which works for you, right?

R was found. Yes, my references are Xavi and Iniesta as players, and also Guardiola as a coach because I couldn’t see him short. And Cruyff, who had that philosophy that others had assumed, understood the game in the same way. When Guardiola was at Barcelona, ​​they were one of the happiest years of my life because the days were different on Tuesday or Wednesday in the Champions League, I even went to school with enthusiasm because they play at night.

s. Are you happy with the ball at your feet?

R was found. Of course, I like it in the same way that I don’t like to miss an easy pass. I understand everything in those moments, but over time I learned to own up to mistakes because, even though I still am, I was too demanding of myself. Now I see things in perspective, I don’t think about it a thousand times like before. This does not mean that she is very ambitious And that I want to get better every day.

s. Perhaps this ambition weighed you down at some point?

R was found. Ambition is very good because that made me where I am, but it also brings suffering behind it because when you want to get to the top and stay there, you can never give up. I also live things with a great deal of passion and intensity and this exhausts me. You have to find balance and working with a psychologist who helped me, I learned to disconnect a bit.

s. Have you ever thought about quitting smoking?

R was found. Up to that heavy point, no. But sometimes I realized I couldn’t go on like this, that I was getting into loops…but I didn’t want it to be seen as something weird. I think everyone has moments when they don’t know who they are, how they are, ask questions…and I had those moments, of course. So it’s about finding the way again. i have a book, The obstacle is the waywhich explains that hard times make you stronger, to understand yourself.

s. Although, when you were younger, you wondered if it was worth staying in football, right?

R was found. When I was not a professional and did not see the future, yes. There was no women’s football at that time. Also, in my house, the only person who had a driver’s license was my mother and she has fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, so she often couldn’t drive for me. So I had to take a bus and train every day and left home at 5:30pm to come back at 12:30pm. It made me miss the first hour of school for days because I couldn’t get tired.

s. Was she a good student?

R was found. She was ambitious even to get the best grades. And my parents were teachers of the Catalan language and literature… My house is like a library and since childhood I loved history books and now I also read from Mentality. But it affected me deeply in World War II. I once went to Berlin, to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, and it was a difficult experience. Now I want to go to Auschwitz.

s. You are very anxious in social. Cooperate with UNHCRis an ambassador for the Genuine League and collaborates with the Cruyff Foundation as well as other NGOs…

R was found. I have always cared for the most vulnerable. And being more famous, having a speaker, I’m getting more involved. I do it because I feel it. It’s in my family’s DNA because my parents always fought hard against social and gender inequality. I think we live in a sexist society, even though things are changing. But there is a long way to go. The woman is in the background in many scenarios and also in how she is treated. This also happens in sports and football. Although I don’t hear so many derogatory comments anymore. Maybe because I don’t look at Twitter either. We know what the network is like. Many do not put the photo and do it from anonymous profiles and this is very easy.

s. On the corporate level, there are also things to improve, right?

R was found. Clear. In our league, for example, they just changed the name, From Iberdrola to Liga F Professional. There are certain areas that should not be allowed for our health. It doesn’t matter much if you agree to play on those fields… Although it’s also true that I live in two realities because Barcelona is the most professional club. We have it all, filling the Camp Nou…

s. Why did you reject an offer from Chelsea and another from Lyon?

R was found. In Barcelona I feel completely professional, we have the best conditions and the record says we have two Champions Leagues. The league may not be the best in terms of professionalism, but the teammates are top notch day in and day out. And I’m so cool.

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