INTERVIEW WITH AMANDA SAMPEDRO
"It is very difficult to do better than to win the Iberdrola League. We can only equal it"
The midfielder is one of the leading players of the Primera Iberdrola women's football league. For the third year running, the team was on the verge of winning the double. The aim for the coming year: to continue striving in search of excellence.
Read the full interview
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH AMANDA SAMPEDRO, ATLÉTICO DE MADRID'S PLAYER
Interviewer: What is your takeaway from the 2017/18 season?
Amanda Sampedro, Captain of the Atlético de Madrid Women's Team: It is very difficult to achieve what we did last year, to be League champions and reach the Queen's Cup finals, and this year we did it again. When you do something very well and become, for example, League champion, it is very hard to top. The only thing you can do is match your performance.
Interviewer: What was the key to winning the League crown?
Amanda Sampedro: I think the block we created was very important. Ultimately we were able to create a block that even improved our performance.
Interviewer: Who were this season's MVPs in the Atlético? Best goalkeeper?
Amanda Sampedro: Lola is the best goalkeeper, for what she contributes to the team in terms of security, for what she contributes with her feet.
Interviewer: Best defender?
Amanda Sampedro: Menayo and Pereira. They've given us a lot of security. They've brought a lot of value. Corredera and Kenti are contributing a lot in terms of overcoming difficulty and two against one at the side.
Interviewer: Best midfielder?
Amanda Sampedro: There's not a doubt in my mind that the best midfielder is Mesi — Silvia Meseguer — not just because of everything she has contributed to the Atlético for so many years, but also what you learn from her day by day.
Interviewer: Best forward?
Amanda Sampedro: Amanda Sampedro, Captain of the Atlético de Madrid Women's Team:
Interviewer: Most outstanding new player?
Amanda Sampedro: I would say Ludmila, simply because of what she enables the people in the stands to see when she begins running.
Interviewer: How would you describe your own career in the Club?
Amanda Sampedro: Since I was little I dreamt and imagined that I'd win all kinds of prizes with the Atlético, because I'd go to Calderón Stadium to see the players, and I would watch them have fun there. I imagined myself playing in that stadium and playing in any other important First Division stadium. And in the end, when you're there and you've made it, you realise that sometimes those dreams you thought were unattainable might be closer than you ever could have imagined.
Interviewer: Who do you look up to most in football?
Amanda Sampedro: I wasn't lucky enough to grow up in a time when women's football attracted so much attention. Back then it wasn't as well-known as it is today. I always looked up to Fernando Torres.
Interviewer: What were your hardest moments?
Amanda Sampedro: I joined my first team very young, at just 15-16 years old, which at the time felt like it could be an advantage, but also a disadvantage, because I knew that I had a long way to go before I could be at that level and that I had to run very fast. I had to do things well very quickly to get up to speed, suddenly and so young.
Interviewer: What do you think about the contribution of companies like Iberdrola to Spanish women's football?
Amanda Sampedro: It is extremely important that companies of this calibre, of this size, support women's football. Since we've become part of the League the growth in women's football has been quite noticeable. This is the way forwards. We need sponsors and big companies to keep on growing, and for Iberdrola to take that step helped women's football to take a big leap.
Amanda Sampedro wears number 10 on her shirt in the Atlético de Madrid Women's Team. A number reserved for the cracks, with the badge of the team of her life. The one she yearned to wear when she went with her family to the Vicente Calderón stadium. From yearning, she now treads the Wanda Metropolitano and wears the shirt of her dreams every weekend. "When you get there, you realise that those dreams that seemed so far out of reach when you were young are much closer than you might imagine," she says with a smile.
When you get there, you realise that those dreams that seemed so far out of reach when you were young are much closer than you might imagine
Sampedro is now an example to all girls who want to start to play football. "When I started it was unfortunate that there wasn't so much talk about women's football as today. My reference was Fernando Torres." Now she is lucky to be part of a real top team: "If I had to choose an ideal team from the Iberdrola League, I would have my 20 team-mates."
A team, the Atlético de Madrid Women's Team, that won in 2019 with the Iberdrola League for the third year running: "It is very difficult to do what we did last year, to be league champions and reach the final of the Queen's Cup, and this year we did it again. When you win the League, it's very difficult to do better," says Sampedro.
The red and white captain points to Iberdrola's commitment to women's football. "Since Iberdrola came into the League, it has grown visibly. This is the way. We need sponsorship to be able to move on. The fact that Iberdrola has taken this step has helped women's football grow a lot in Spain."