Jorge Vilda opens up on his Spain sacking, saying it was “unfair” and that he “didn’t know” it was coming
The ex-Spain manager was sacked as the Women’s National Team manager: here is every word he had to say.
Ex-Spain Women’s National Team manager, Jorge Vilda, spoke to Spanish radio station Cadena SER, in which he called his sacking “unfair”.
How he feels: I am as good as you can be after being World Champions and getting a contract renewal and then today to being unfairly sacked.
His renewal: It was a contract announcement that was sorted.
How his sacking happened: I had a brief meeting with [RFEF President] Pedro Rocha and the Vice-president of Equality. The motive was structural changes. I have a clean conscience. I don’t understand my sacking. I didn’t expect it. In the end you always have desire, it was very motivating to be at the Paris Olympics.
Do you have any messages from the players?: I have 500 messages and I haven’t been able to look at them.
Montse Tomé (the new manager and Vilda’s ex-assistant manager): I sent her my congratulations. She has a great team. I’m leaving a recognised style of play in the team. It’s there are she’s going to do well.
Unjustified criticism: At the end of the day I know my profession. I know when we lose there will be criticism and when we win sometimes the balloon gets a bit too inflated. In a sporting sense I am going to accept everything or almost everything. As for the personal side of things, I think things were unfair on me. It was a special year, I took it as a Masters degree. Nothing has been said directly but indirectly things have been said that are not me. Things have been said that are not true.
His feelings: My treatment has always been of maximum respect to the players. Nobody specific has ever come out and said anything until today. I have been fighting for women’s football for 17 years and I haven’t moved from there.
Why did he applaud Rubiales?: The first thing is I want to make clear that I would never applaud anything sexist or anything that goes against feminism. I didn’t know what that assembly was about, I thought it was [Rubiales] stepping down. In that moment he makes the contract renewal public and recognises my work... I applauded that. I also applauded the management. From when we started in 2018 nobody has said no to me for anything, that’s what I applauded. When you come out and reflect you think that you wouldn’t have applauded some things. When 150 people applaud it’s hard to be the only person who doesn’t.
Not mentioning Jenni in his official statement: I have known Jenni for 16 years, I have seen her turn into a world star. I know that she is not in a good moment, both her and her family. She’s waiting for it all to go away. I haven’t spoken to her. I have disconnected quite a lot. She knows I’ve always been with her, we had a lot of conversations during the World Cup and she was key.
Have you spoken to Rubiales?: Since the assembly I haven’t spoken to him.
Rubiales’ gesture [holding his genitals] in the stadium during the celebrations: I remember that the referee blows the whistle, the staff celebrate in the technical area and after that excitement I remember the President in the stands, but also the Queen, my family, friends... from there how everyone celebrates isn’t my problem.
Rubiales’ kiss on Jenni: I didn’t see it at the time. Then when I saw the images I knew it was an inappropriate thing to do. On the flight home I spoke to some of the players, but not with Jenni. On that flight you could tell something was happening. I’m the manager, the topic of statements and if people appear in them or not is not my job.
The RFEF statement that lied about Jenni’s words: I can’t get into that. She knows what she says and what she doesn’t say. I didn’t know about that and what Jenni says is her truth.
Were the players with you or did they want you to go?: I think it is impossible to get the results we did without having a good feeling and without following what the technical team set out to do in the games.
His future: The first thing that I want to do is rest but if I can go out tomorrow and put my boots on to train then I’d love it. It’s the profession that I love and I think it’s the thing I know how to do best.
Would you have left before?: I don’t think so. We have made a difficult situation.After the email with the 15 players I told the president if he wants I will leave. Rubiales speaks to the players and with their support and backing we have all achieved the star.
Anything to say to the players?: I am proud of what we achieved. I remember the players a lot, the ones who participated and the ones who got us to the World Cup. All of those have made us world champions. In the third World Cup in which we have played, we are world champions.
Feeling like the players wanted him out: I don’t feel so because I am not a director. I am a manager, I choose the team. It has never been said that they wanted me to go. One of the captains said that they weren’t asking for me to go, that they asked for other things.
The Liga F strike [over minimum pay disputes]: I see a future in which these problems don’t exist. Everything has room for improvement. We all have to work in the same direction and women’s football in Spain will be unstoppable.
About the changes after the Japan defeat: When we made those changes, when Japan beat us, it was necessary so that the team reacted. That day we didn’t know how to react to what they did to us. Being knocked out in the Round of 16 would have been a failure and we had to take big decisions, but through convincing. It worked out well, the team reacted and from then we managed the team, trying to decide the best XI and manage the changes.
Alexia’s role at the World Cup: Alexia helped a lot both on and off the pitch. I think during the times she was on the pitch she was the difference maker. She affects the opponent and we used that well. Her understanding, her management, it helped a lot.
Aitana as UEFA Player of the Year: Aitana is a very prepared player. On the pitch she is very dynamic. As I said in the congratulations, I know it’s not the only award she is going to get.
Olga Carmona: For me she was a captain. She is a completely honest person who has a spectacular family and a charming personality. She deserves everything.
Sarina Wiegman winning UEFA Coach of the Year: I congratulate her on her award and the final they played. I think they made it more difficult for us than in the Euros, although they won then. As a husband and father to two kids I am glad to be second.
On his future as a coach: I’d like to coach at a big club, the bigger the better. I hope to coach a big national side or a big male or female club team.
Any final thoughts: I hope this has been worth it. I think the National Team’s win, with time, will be valued more, and everyone will get their reward for what was achieved. The most painful thing is that my honour and behaviour is questioned.