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The Olympic Games: A Blessed Problem

Spain already has its sights set on the Olympic Games, where only 18 players can participate.

The National Team once again met the objectives set for this February. The first was qualification for the Paris Olympic Games. The second, winning the Nations League title. The dream that began last summer in Australia and New Zealand is far from over. In fact, all eyes are now set on the Olympic event taking place in a few months in the neighboring country. But there is work to be done and many decisions to make. For the Olympics, Montse Tomé faces a significant dilemma: the list.

The issue is that the rules of the tournament organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) dictate that teams must participate with a roster of 18 players, in both the men’s and women’s categories. This means that Spain has to cut down from the 25 players called up for the Final Four to select only 18. Tomé has to make significant cuts, leaving seven internationals without the dream of attending the Olympics.

Some of these players have their participation almost 100% guaranteed. La Roja has been relying on a typical starting eleven for many months, which seldom changes. Cata, Ona, Irene, Olga, Tere, Aitana, Jenni, Athenea, Salma, and Mariona are untouchables. Laia Aleixandri and Laia Codina have also been constants. Aleixandri is a starter in defense, but without Tere Abelleira, she has taken on another role as a pivot, which left a spot open for Codina. Alexia Putellas is also indispensable, although she could not participate this time due to recovering from a long-term injury. Misa Rodríguez, as the second goalkeeper, would not miss the event.

In Doubt
With 13 players having a secure spot, there would be 6 places for 12 footballers. A third goalkeeper would have her spot. In this case, Elene Lete was called up for the Final Four. In defense, Oihane, Sheila, and María Méndez would compete for a spot. The latter two were the cuts for the final against France, so their chances are reduced for the Olympics.

In midfield, Fiamma, María Pérez, Vicky López, and Maite Oroz. Although she was the last to join, Vicky has played in both matches for Montse, so she would have a chance to participate in the Games. Lastly, in the forward position, Eva Navarro, Alba Redondo, and Lucía García would be options. The latter, the United forward, has not played any significant role in this selection window.

Mapi and Patri
The increasingly likely return of Mapi León and Patri Guijarro to the National Team would make the list for the Olympic Games even more contentious. Both the Barcelona defender and midfielder would directly enter the final list of 18 players due to their individual level. A role they had secured before stepping down from La Roja over the ’15’ issue. Currently, Mapi is out due to injury, making her return a utopia. Others, such as the unselected Ivana or Esther, would have to compete for a spot in the coming months. It won’t be an easy task for either the players or Montse Tomé. The Games present a new challenge with an included dilemma.

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