- Spain fell to a 3-1 defeat in the U-20 Women's World Cup final
- Patri Guijarro left with the adidas Golden Boot and Golden Ball
- The Spain captain has a big future ahead of her
Upon leaving the changing room after Spain's 3-1 defeat to Japan in the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup final, Patri Guijarro – still visibly upset at the loss – was greeted by three unlikely fans that were waiting for her.
The trio were Japanese players, whose requests for autographs and selfies brought a smile to Guijarro's face as they attempted to communicate with her despite the language barrier. Yui Fukuta and her two team-mates are Barcelona fans and were keen to show their admiration for the Spanish captain, even though they were the ones with winner's medals around their necks.
Guijarro may have ended up with silver, but she also earned the adidas Golden Ball and the adidas Golden Boot as both the tournament's best player and top scorer.
And deservedly so, having dazzled at France 2018 and often being decisive for her team. Not that individual honours were much consolation in the immediate aftermath of the final defeat. "I'd have preferred to have won the main prize," she told FIFA.com. "But I'm happy for all of us because we all deserve these awards and we had a great tournament."
When the final whistle sealed La Rojita's loss, the central midfielder, who captained the side for the game, went around her team-mates one by one to console them. "I told them to keep their heads up because we should be proud of what we've achieved," she said. Guijarro, who has already featured for the senior Spain side, also predicts a bright future for the youngest members of the squad, who were the most despondent at full time. "They've got a lot of self-confidence, they're really daring and they have to continue in that same vein. They'll get better with the experience these kind of games give you. This has to give them strength and experience."
We're going home with the silver medal, not the gold one, but I think all of Spain can be proud of us. We've shown we can play football and be among the best. I've got 20 team-mates who are worth their weight in gold.
Before taking her leave, Spain's number eight parted with words of hope and conviction: "Spain has progressed a lot over the last few years and it's only a matter of time before we win a competition like this one."
Did you know?
- Spain arrived at the U-20 Women's World Cup as winners of the U-19 Women's European Championship in 2017.
- This year, the country's women's youth teams have won the U-19 and U-17 continental titles.