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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Sandra Paños: “We have to naturalize the mistake”


Sandra Paños (Alicante, 29 years old) sits down for the conversation, with the clear conviction that the person she is talking to feels comfortable. The concierge creates a good atmosphere. He does it in Barcelona where no one coughs on him, even in the Spanish team. But above all, Paños creates trust. Voted the best in Europe in 2021, she came into the limelight against Germany in the group stage after a mistake when the ball came out and ended 1-0 for the Germans. It has sued Denmark. Before Cardona scored the red goal, the keeper had a key action against the talented Nadia Nadim. “It was a clear chance for her. Two of my players are in front of me and I realize that I have to be careful because the ball can bounce off any of my team-mates and change direction,” Paños recalled ahead of Wednesday’s game against England (9 p.m., La 1). And he makes it clear: “It wasn’t a standstill, but it was crucial.”

Questions. Were you relieved after the Nadim stop?

Answer. Every goal hurts me. It’s like a dagger. And that goal would have hurt me even more because it would have meant going home. We were 0-0, we created chances the whole game and I had that tension, that nice tension when your rival comes to you and they can’t score. But it wasn’t a sense of relief. I felt good. Against Denmark it was a game in which I was more involved than usual and in which I felt very comfortable.

P How do you deal emotionally with a goal?

R A field player or, I don’t know, a tennis player or a golfer, they always end up having contact with the ball. You have revenge on the next move to make a good action. So your error rate is higher. On the other hand, in my case it’s an action and then maybe I won’t touch the ball again for the whole game. In the beginning when I was younger I thought about it and beat myself up a bit. But then you realize it’s absurd. The only important thing is the next move, either talking to another player or intervening. You need to quickly think about the mistake, analyze what you did wrong and move on.

P Is the mistake against Germany a concept or execution error?

R I saw space. The ball exit was over there. These are passes I make every day and never miss. That day I didn’t get my foot under the ball well. It was an unfortunate move. She manages to save a strong running ball, she can dribble past Irene [Paredes] and then cross well. Conceptually, I would make the same decision again.

P Was it necessary to realize Your mistake on Instagram?

R We are able to reach many people. We must bring naturalness to everything that happens to us every day. This naturalness also consists in accepting mistakes. Part of the journey is accepting and acknowledging when things aren’t going the way we want them to. And I thought it was nice to convey how I felt. I wanted to open up, show my feelings and my emotions after the situation that happened.

P Did she feel challenged?

R No not at all. She was calm about what she had done. The game was complicated, with many situations in intermediate zones where I couldn’t help my teammates. It was a game in which I felt super good despite the mistake. He had been working with good feelings all week. These are things that happen and need to be put into perspective. Now we’re thinking about another final against England, like we had against Denmark.

P Was the group stage more difficult than expected?

R Everyone was aware of the difficulty of the group and that what happened to us with Germany can happen. Now we are where we should be. Of course we would have liked to be the first in the group to get through. If we had done it, we would now have revenge against Austria [eliminó a España en la tanda de penaltis en los cuartos de final de la última Euro]. But football gives you other opportunities. And now we have to play a great match against the hostess, in which there will be a spectacular atmosphere.

P Will you have a job against England?

R It’s going to be a very close match. Both teams have to work hard. England have a very good dynamic, they have scored goals in every game and they play at home. You have everything positive to move forward. But that’s what we’re here for, to cut off that good momentum.

P The Spanish team have issued a warning since the start of the Euros. Is it real or is it a tax?

R You have to be honest. I think so and I think you have to be prudent in life. England is doing better than us. It’s a great team and they compete very well. It’s important that everyone knows. But this is football. And we also have a great team. Now we have to do a great job to get to the semifinals.

P Do you prefer penalties or it being solved in the 90 minutes?

R The sooner it is resolved, the better. But if they touch penalties, then I would be ready too. There is no problem.

P Is she the best goalkeeper in the world or is she the best goalkeeper in the world for the Spanish team?

R For me I am the best [se ríe]. I have to believe in myself, in my game and in my work. The way I am helps me to be who I am. But I don’t like labels. I’m trying to get better every day and everything else like being the best in the world or not is a label. I’m not interested.

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