The Spanish Women’s National Team is set to embark on a new chapter as Jorge Vilda, the team’s coach, has been relieved of his duties. In a meeting held at Las Rozas, the headquarters of the Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF), Pedro Rocha, the interim president, communicated the decision to Vilda. This announcement comes in the wake of a long-standing controversy between Vilda and the players, following their triumphant World Cup campaign in New Zealand and Australia. With the upcoming Nations League matches against Sweden and Switzerland, crucial for Olympic qualification, it was imperative for the change to materialize before the next squad announcement on September 15th.
The future of Vilda as the head coach had been hanging by a thread since last week. The conclusion reached during the meeting of the RFEF’s Territorial Presidents Commission was that his continuation was no longer viable under any circumstances. It was Pedro Rocha who spearheaded the discussions leading to Vilda’s departure. The public protest by the ’15’ players, the alleged involvement in pressuring Jenni Hermoso and her entourage to appear in Rubiales’ apology video, explicit support for the former president despite the vote of censure sent after the infamous Assembly, and the stance taken by the 23 world champions and numerous other players who vowed not to return to the national team if the same leadership remained in place were the main factors contributing to Vilda’s exit. He had been under intense scrutiny since the ’15’ case came to light. Nonetheless, his legacy will forever be defined by his instrumental role in the historic success of the Spanish women’s team at the World Cup, a milestone for women’s football in Spain.
Vilda had a contract with the Federation until 2024, earning an annual salary of around €160,000 to €170,000, as publicly disclosed by Rubiales during the Assembly. At that time, Rubiales announced his intention to extend Vilda’s contract, quadrupling his current remuneration. “I have initiated the necessary steps to begin negotiations with you, and I invite you to stay with us for the next four years, earning half a million euros per year. You deserve it,” stated the then-president of the federation. However, this renewal lacked legal validity as the contract was not signed in writing and fell under the jurisdiction of the RFEF’s own Board of Directors.
Now, the Federation must determine Vilda’s successor. Monste Tomé, Vilda’s assistant, is the frontrunner for the position. Her familiarity with the team and coaching experience make her a compelling candidate to lead the Spanish Women’s National Team into a new era.
In conclusion, the departure of Jorge Vilda marks the end of an era for the Spanish Women’s National Team. With controversy behind them, the team now looks ahead to the future with renewed determination. As they prepare for the upcoming Nations League matches and the quest for Olympic qualification, the appointment of a new coach will be a pivotal moment in shaping the team’s destiny. Only time will tell who will assume the responsibility and guide the team towards further success on the international stage.