An untimely injury meant that Marta Corredera sat out the final stage of the season and missed the Copa de la Reina semis and the final itself. The Atlético de Madrid winger was back to full fitness in time to take part in the 7-0 thrashing of Belgium last week as Spain's women's team finalize preparations for this month's Women's EURO 2017 in Holland. That friendly win over Belgium, says Marta, has done wonders for the team's morale although Spain will be going into the Euros knowing that they will need to give 100 per cent if they are to emerge from a tough group which includes England, Scotland and Portugal, to book their place in the quarter finals.
Belgium demolition gives Spain extra impetus
"Gaining such a big win against Belgium has given us a lot of strength. We have been working well and we are heading in the right direction. We know we have the ability to do well at EURO 2017 but if we don't hard work like we did the other day against Belgium, that's not going to happen. All of us know that during the next two weeks, every one of us has to give 100 per cent" Marta told journalists at the Cuidad del Fútbol in Las Rozas.
Spain's women, unbeaten on the road to Holland
The former Barcelona Femení and Arsenal Ladies player says she and the rest of her team mates are looking forward to building on what was an impressive qualifying campaign - which the team strolled through unbeaten: "We are perfectionists, we enjoy giving our best. There is a lot of hard work ahead to ensure we go into the opening game (against Portugal on 19 July) in the best shape possible. The team had good sensations even before the Belgium win. We have done well in the qualifying games, the friendly games we've played have also been positive and we are training well. And on top of all of that, the coach is transmitting a feeling of confidence and that's important too. Jorge has given us confidence since he took the post. He is a very approachable, and communicates well; if any of us have a problem, he will call us to sort it out. It means the atmosphere within the squad is healthy and that is reflected out on the pitch".
Testing friendlies to prepare for EURO 2017
Spain's Red Flames have geared up for EURO 2017 with 10 friendlies against high profile rivals such as Brazil, Norway, England and Canada - the right amount of preparation, says Marta. "All of the 23 players in the squad have a lot of experience - playing in the First Division and in international leagues. Many of us have played abroad and we have benefitted from those experiences - more than feeling under pressure, we view these tournaments as a challenge. We are a team which is hungry for success; we want to grow and continue making history. This week we are thinking only about the Portugal game and we have two weeks to prepare for it".