According to the Spanish Football Association (RFEF), Spain’s national women’s team has a new coach, namely Jorge Vilda, brought in to replace Ignacio Quereda, who resigned on Wednesday after 27 years in charge.
Following a maiden FIFA Women’s World Cup™ campaign in Canada that saw La Roja pick up just one point against Costa Rica and thereby fail to make it past the group stage, the Spanish players had formally requested an end to Quereda’s tenure, a wish that has now been granted almost a month and a half later.
Vilda has eight years of experience in women’s youth football to his name, and was instrumental in the emergence of the nation’s current batch of talented players.
As coach of the Spanish U-17 side, he came close to steering his charges to the semi-finals of the 2012 UEFA Women’s U-17 Championship, prior to guiding them to a third-place finish at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Trinidad and Tobago 2010, and to a runners-up spot at the same tournament four years later in Costa Rica.
After those successes, the highly regarded 34-year-old took the reins of the U-19 team, leading them to the final of the 2015 UEFA Women's U-19 Championship, which took place just a few days ago.
An advocate of the short passing game and the benefits of technical work, Vilda is known as a dedicated and passionate football man. “He’s the best coach we’ve ever had,” Sandra Hernandez, captain of Spain’s U-19 team stated recently.
Demanding and intense during pre-match training sessions, the Madrid native is also fiercely protective of his players. His passion for women’s football stems from his father, Angel Vilda, whom he previously worked alongside at the RFEF. Before moving into Spanish women’s youth football, Angel had fulfilled the role of fitness coach at several prominent clubs in Spain, working under Luis Aragones at Atletico Madrid, Jupp Heynckes at Real Madrid and Johann Cruyff at Barcelona.
He took his family with him to Catalonia, and it was there that Jorge played youth football for the Blaugrana, before eventually opting for a coaching career.
Jorge Vilda, who was included in the ten-person shortlist for FIFA Women’s Football Coach of the Year in 2010 and 2014, will take charge of the senior women’s team for the first time in an official match against Finland in October.