- Argentina make history with first World Cup point in France
- Bravo, who went three years without playing, stood out
- "We know we have to aspire to even more," she told FIFA.com
By Diego Zandrino, with Argentina
The headline for this piece was actually suggested by Ruth Bravo. It may not have been the one that was planned, but when the midfielder made the suggestion, it had to be heeded. After all, how could you say no to Chule after she had run non-stop for 64 minutes?
Argentina drew 0-0 with Japan to secure the country’s first ever point at a FIFA Women’s World Cup™ and end a run of six consecutive defeats.
“I can’t put into words what I felt when the final whistle blew,” Bravo told FIFA.com “For us this draw is not exactly a victory, but it’s a very important result.”
For her, the key to the performance came from within. “It was the heart we showed. We come from a country where football is played with heart, and today we did that.”
And Chule, as she is known, has nothing if not a big heart. In 2012 just days before she was set to play the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, she ruptured ligaments in her knee and missed the tournament.
Her footballing career, which had come at the expense of being a dancer and model, as her father had envisaged, looked to have gone up in smoke. In fact, she went three years before playing again and even took a job in a bakery.
In the end, though, she made it back, first playing for Boca Juniors and then with current club, CD Tacon of Spain. So did all that flash through her mind at full time?
“Not at full time, but when I heard the national anthem I thought of the difficult moments but also of some beautiful times, as well as the people who were always there for me and who are now helping me to realise my dream.”
And the point secured last night, which many thought unlikely, especially given the way the game panned out, will only fuel those dreams more.
“Yes, they dominated, but that was to be expected. After all, they came here as runners-up and winners of the last two World Cups. But we don’t feel inferior to anyone, and we’ve shown we can go toe-to-toe with any team.
So, what now?
“Now we have to rest in so far as we can, as we’ll find it hard to get to sleep, and then turn our thoughts to England. We’ve set the bar high for ourselves and know we have to aspire to even more.”