When Irene Paredes (Legazpi, Guipúzcoa, 1991) sat down before the media on September 1, 2022 in the company of Jenni Beautiful and of patri pebble, he did not imagine everything he was going to experience until he reached the World Cup final. Hours before, it had been leaked that, for the first time, the players had requested the resignation of Jorge Vilda and the RFEF forced the three captains to deny it in a tense press conference. Three weeks later, that denial remained a dead letter with the already famous riot of Las 15. Paredes did not sign the letter of the rebels, because he considered that he had already positioned himself, but due to her leadership over the group, he remained as one of the leaders of the movement and the coach added her to the list of retaliated.
That day, Paredes stated that what they wanted was to professionalize the team. “At no time have we asked for the dismissal of Jorge, We have conveyed the feelings of the players, nothing else. As captains we have that responsibility,” he said.
Without that public claim in which improvements were demanded for the team, Irene would not be able to share with her son today, Mateo, and his wife this historic moment. Both have traveled to the antipodes to experience this tournament with her. “Being able to be here and experience all this with her, being able to support her and that she can rest easy knowing that we are fine, is a wonderful advance,” says her wife, Lucia Ybarrato THE WORLD.
But the journey thus far has been tumultuous. After that public appearance, Irene saw how part of public opinion was on top of her. She had to listen to how she was called a “little girl” and a “blackmailer”, in addition to receiving threats. The World Cup seemed banned for her while Vilda redid the selection without its former leaders. She, unlike Las 15, had not asked not to be summoned by Spain until the situation was resolved, but that was just what happened.
Eight months passed until the captain put on the red shirt again. She did it against Norway on April 6 and, showing his weight in this team, she already did it as a starter. Once pardoned, her presence in the World Cup was never discussed. However, since his return he no longer wears the bracelet, in a sample that not everything has healed. Still, she is still the leader even though she is not officially recognized. “That leadership comes from home, from the values that she learned, from her family, from her way of knowing how to be, of accompanying, understanding, speaking and carrying things out calmly, with sacrifice and work,” explains his wife.