Jorge Vilda: Who is the Spanish women’s team coach & why are players resigning?

Spanish women's team

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) is standing by women’s national team coach Jorge Vilda, despite 15 players threatening to resign if he is not relieved of his duties. 

The players in question sent “identical” emails to the RFEF, claiming that playing under Vilda was affecting their mental health. 

GiveMeSport Women takes a look at Vilda’s career so far and explains why his tenure with Spain’s national team has turned sour.

Who is Jorge Vilda? 

Vilda is a Spanish football coach, who has managed Spain’s women’s national team since 2015. 

The 41-year-old is also the sporting director of the Spanish FA’s women’s national-team system and tactical instructor at their National Coaching School. 

Having been a coach of the youth-level national teams prior to 2015, Vilda has overseen the development of stars like Alexia Putellas and Mariona Caldentey and helped establish them as regular senior squad members. 

Since taking over Spain, Vilda has won the Algarve Cup and the Cyprus Cup, but is yet to claim any major silverware. 

Earlier this year, Spain were among the favourites to win Euro 2022, but were knocked out in the quarter-finals to eventual champions England

Spain women

Why have the Spanish players resigned?

The 15 players have been named as Ainhoa Vicente Moraza, Patri Guijarro, Leila Ouahabi, Lucia Garcia, Mapi Leon, Ona Batlle, Laia Aleixandri, Claudia Pina, Aitana Bonmati, Andrea Pereira, Mariona Caldentey, Sandra Panos, Lola Gallardo, Nerea Eizaguirre and Amaiur Sarriegi.

Ballon d’Or winner and Barcelona star Putellas, nor any player representing Real Madrid, were among the players to submit an email.

According to sources, many of the current Spanish team are unhappy with the atmosphere in the dressing room. 

They have reportedly grown frustrated with Vilda’s training sessions, his team selection and the management of injuries. 

Local media in Spain reported last month that the women’s team was in chaos and on the verge of Mutiny if Vilda was not sacked. 

Spanish women's team

What has the RFEF said? 

A statement from the RFEF emphasised that the players concerned had committed a “very serious infraction” and that refusing to play could see them face a long-term suspension from the national team unless they apologised. 

“The RFEF can confirm that, throughout today, we received 15 emails from 15 players of the women’s senior football team… in which they state that the current situation affects ‘significantly’ their emotional state and their health and that, ‘as long as it is not reversed’, they resign from the Spanish national team,” the statement read. 

“The RFEF is not going to allow the players to question the continuity of the national coach and his coaching staff, since making those decisions does not fall within their powers.”

It added: “The national team needs players committed to the project, defending our colours and proud to wear the Spain shirt. 

“The players who have submitted their resignation will only return to the discipline of the national team in the future if they accept their mistakes and ask for forgiveness.”

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