Tuesday 28 November 2023, 14:30

Olga Carmona: "People have become hooked on this team"

  • 28 November marks 100 days since Spain won the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™

  • Olga Carmona scored the winning goal in front of almost 76,000 spectators

  • “We will be remembered forever," she told FIFA.com/inside

"It's a real source of pride that the next generation will look up to us. We're going to be immortal. We have already written the next chapter of women's football history in Spain by winning a World Cup.” The words of Olga Carmona, who now features in a list of names that features legends of the women’s game like Akers, Riise, Chastain, Kunzer, Prinz, Sawa, Lloyd and Rapinoe.

It has been 100 days since Spain lifted the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™ after defeating England 1-0 at Sydney/Wangal's Stadium Australia in front of 75,784 fans.

During the last three months, not only the players, but also an entire country has been getting used to this unprecedented success. Girls and boys now talk about Aitana [Bonmati], Olga [Carmona], Alexia [Putellas] or Jenni [Hermoso] as they do about any player in the men's national team. They aspire to be like them when they grow up; they are examples to look up to.

"When we meet up with the national team, we are filling stadiums, something that didn't happen before. We've obviously noticed that people have become hooked on this national team and these players. It's a very positive thing for Spanish women's football."

Olga Carmona’s name is already in football’s history books. Her goal in the final gave Spain their first-ever senior women's national team title. Nearly six million people who had been watching in front of their television sets on 20 August, having got up early in the morning, jumped for joy as they watched their team lift the FIFA Women’s World Cup trophy.

"Since that match, we have witnessed how people have become much closer to the national team and we have attracted a lot of new fans,” said Carmona. “It has helped us to fully understand the milestone we achieved," Olga tells FIFA.com/inside as a smile breaks out and her face lights up during an interview at the Spanish team’s training camp in Madrid.

“Since the FIFA Women’s World Cup, our players are now reference points in a way they’ve never been before,” she explained, referencing how their names now adorn fans' shirts, sparking excitement among young and old alike. “At the beginning I was a bit shocked to be recognised in the street, but now I take it in my stride. It's nice that the children recognise you. It's a reflection of how well the team have done."

Looking at the younger fans – some of whom caught a glimpse of their new heroes or got an autograph at a public training session last night – reminds her of own beginnings, a period in her life that was far from easy.

We are going to be remembered forever. It's something that you fight for every day since you start playing: to win a title like this.

Olga Carmona

"I remember the little Olga who started playing in the dirt. Unfortunately, I didn't have any female role models and that's why I always say that the girls growing up now will be lucky to have them," says the 23-year-old, who also starred in the semi-final against Sweden, scoring the winning goal when the game seemed destined for extra time.

It is often said that the hardest thing is not reaching the top but staying there. Now the Spanish players are further raising expectations of themselves.

"Personally, it's been very demanding since the tournament, but of course I'm proud of what's happening to me. I don't just want to be remembered for that goal in the final. I want to build on it and continue to be part of this national team and achieve more and more success,” Carmona reflected.

When you achieve such an important success, you remember all those people who have done their bit to help you become a world champion. In her case, Olga has one person to thank above all the rest. "She has always been my main influence," she says when asked about her mother's role in her success. The tattoo on her wrist gives it away. Two people embracing and the infinity sign. "I've always had a very special relationship with her, and I dedicate all the goals I score to her. I'm eternally grateful to her, as I am to all my family. My mother though is the driving force in my life, and I owe her everything," added the Real Madrid player.

Olga Carmona of Spain celebrates victory with family after the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Final

As well as being crowned world champions in Australia in August, Spain can also currently boast of being the reigning FIFA U-17 and U-20 women's world champions too. Achievements that Carmona believes demonstrate the talent, quality and grassroots structures successfully implemented in Spain.

The radical change that has taken place to women's football in the country does not blind the national team to the fact that there is still a long way to go however. As world champions, the players are aware that they must take advantage of this momentum and continue to fight for the growth of women's football.

"I feel that in Spain we can still improve the visibility of women's football. In that sense, there are countries doing this very well and they are a mirror to hold up to ourselves,” she concluded.