2023 WOMEN'S WORLD CUP
Gisela Robledo: “Colombia can think about winning the World Cup”
Following knee surgery in October, Colombian international Robledo has her sights on recovering in time to play at the 2023 World Cup.
Gisela Robledo became headline news in 2020 when she appeared in a Gatorade commercial alongside the likes of Leo Messi, Michael Jordan, Usain Bolt and Serena Williams. At the age of 16, she had already been champion of the Colombian league with América de Cali and was emerging as one of the great promises of Colombian soccer. In January 2022, she made the move to Europe to sign for Liga F side Granadilla Tenerife, where she is currently undergoing rehabilitation as she recovers from an anterior cruciate ligament injury she suffered in October 2022 with Colombia.
At the time it looked that she was saying goodbye to 2023 World Cup but a dramatic improvement in her condition has her dreaming of being on the plane to the big event this summer in Australia and New Zealand. “That’s why I’m working hard on recovering now, to reach the World Cup”, she stated in her conversation AS: “We want to qualify first (to the round of 16) and then think about the title. Nothing is impossible”.
Gisela’s contract ends this season with Granadilla after the Canary Islanders delivered a historic Liga F victory against Real Madrid last Saturday at the Di Stéfano.
—How is your recovery going?
—It is being a long process that an athlete never wants to go through, but they are hazards of the game. Some footballers do not suffer these setbacks and others do, and unfortunately it was my turn. I did four months of recovery in Colombia and now another four in Spain. Recent tests have shown that things are greatly improving and that makes me very happy.
—Is it possible to be at the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand?
—It’s eight months of therapy, adaptation and everything else... I think it’s going to be something positive for me because I know that in the end everything happens for a reason, and that’s why I’m working hard on recovery now, to reach the World Cup. I have to be positive. And if not, there will be many more things for me in the future. One wants to play in a World Cup, especially now when women’s soccer has gained a lot of notoriety. If I don’t get to be there, it’s going to be very hard.
—What is the goal of the Colombian team in this World Cup?
—We will take the World Cup step by step and we want to qualify first (to the round of 16) and then think about the title. Nothing is impossible.
—At what point of growth is women’s soccer in Colombia?
—I believe and I know that Colombian soccer is growing and we made history with Linda Caicedo, the first Colombian to play for a major club after signing for Real Madrid. We have a lot of talent, we just have to exploit it, give it visibility, support it more..
—Going back to your club, what is your assessment of your first year at Granadilla Tenerife?
—It was not a year as I wanted with the knee setback. In the last game before the injury, against Betis, I scored my first goal in the Spanish League and it made me so happy. Then I go to Colombia and get injured, just as I was already adapting to European football. So going back again to adapt to all that I know it’s going to be a bit difficult, but that’s what we’re here for. I know that with the help of all my teammates and the coaching staff I will make it.