Sonia celebrating one of her three goals against Espanyol / PHOTO: GERMAN PARGA
Women's football, the emerging sport
Some of this season’s matches have been broadcast on television. Do you think women’s football needs more exposure? “The fact that a couple of matches have been broadcast on television on Friday afternoons has promoted the women’s Liga. Women’s football has a lot of followers and I hope that next season they will keep on supporting us. I also hope that our qualification for the Champions League will promote the sport even further in Spain and Catalonia.”
This summer you organized your first Sonia Bermúdez campus, which will take place in Torrevieja from July 2 through 9. What’s your objective? “Above all we want to promote women’s football. If you look online you can only find one or two football camps for girls. We wanted to do something different with this initiative, we want to show girls how to be footballers.”
The 27-year-old ex-Rayo Vallecano player Sonia Bermúdez signed with the FC Barcelona Women’s team last season. Her transition to the Azulgrana team has been excellent and her goal-scoring prowess has allowed her to claim the Pichichi trophy of the Superliga. Bermúdez broke her personal record of goals scored in season this year: 38.
First off, congratulations for the Liga title and the Pichichi. This year must have been a perfect season... “Yes, it is. We won the Liga and I, personally, won the Pichichi... Even though this title is just anecdotal for me. The Liga title is much more important. If I had to grade my performance this year I’d give myself an 8.5 (out of 10), because we still have to think about the one title still in play: the Copa de la Reina. If we win it, I’d give myself a 10. We’re ambitious and we are eager to compete and, obviously, we’re eager to win.”
You’re the Pichichi of the Superliga with 38 goals. How does it feel? “When I started the season I just wanted to play well, I didn’t expect this. At most, I usually only score 25 goals a season. Like I said, the Pichichi award is a side effect of having a good season, but I am pleased with the award. With that said, the team deserve 100% of the recognition. Without my team-mates I wouldn’t have scored any goals. I try to score, but they give me everything on the pitch.”
The match against Espanyol at the Miniestadi was vital for you in the Pichichi race. You scored a hat-trick which saw you clear of Mari Paz. “I remember that game very clearly. We were coming off a a defeat to Athletic Club and our moral was rocked. Still, we depended solely on ourselves. I wanted to help the team. The truth is the goals helped up go forward and I was pleased at the end of the game because I had helped the team.”
This year you beat your personal goal-scoring record. What do you attribute this to? “Playing in a different position on the pitch has helped. I played as a ‘media punta’ [behind the strikers] before that. I play in the striker position at Barça and that has helped me score so many goals. Moreover, I have team-mates behind me that give me confidence and they help me score with their assists.”
Are you on the best form of your career? “I think so. I’m 27 years old and I’ve learned to read things during a game that I hadn’t previously been aware of. I don’t know if I’m at my best seeing that I still have a couple of years left, but I think so, not only because of the Pichichi award, but because it’s been my best season long performance.”
The FC Barcelona Women’s team were not able to win the title in Lezama and you had to wait until the last game of the season to clinch the League. Was the wait worth it? “Of course it was. The goal was to win the Liga and it doesn’t matter when you win it; if you’re three matches out or if you win it in the last game. It’s true that we wanted to win the title as early as possible but Athletic have had a fantastic season and I have to congratulate them. The recompense is the same when it comes, as long as you win. Furthermore, I think we deserved to win the Liga because we are the team that won the most amount of points, the team that won the most games and the team that lost the fewest matches.”
With the Liga title, FC Barcelona Women’s team have qualified for the Champions League. How do you feel about that? “We are highly motivated. It’s a shame that only the champions of the Liga can play in the Champions League. I’ve played in this competition twice and it’s a different experience, you learn a lot.”
You left Rayo Vallecano, who were Liga champions, for Barça, and you went on to win the Liga title. What impact have you had on these two teams? “I don’t think that it was only me that won the titles. I’ve always had great team-mates. I had seven great seasons at Rayo and we were a fantastic team. But things in the team were not going well and I accepted Barça’s offer. I’m very pleased with my time at both teams seeing that I’ve won four titles.”
You transition to Barça has been excellent. What has Xavi Llorens taught you professionally? “On the pitch, I’ve learned a lot, even though that’s true of any team I’ve played in. But Barça is different. The FC Barcelona Women’s team is highly valued by the Club and I appreciate and value that. I have to say that Xavi Llorens gives me a lot of liberty on the pitch. I really appreciate it because it gives me confidence.”
"Xavi Llorens gives me a lot of liberty on the pitch. I really appreciate it because it gives me confidence”
"The Pichichi award is a side effect of having a good season, the team deserves 100% of the recognition"