- Carolina Agulla was one of Spain’s key players
- Already a multi-champion, but still thrilled with bronze
- “We’ve had a great time"
Carolina Agulla, or simply 'Carol', as it says on her No4 shirt, is smiling cheek to cheek. And while it is true that when her Olympic journey began a year ago, for a winner like her, gold was the target, she is nonetheless happy to be taking home bronze from the Women’s Futsal Tournament at the Youth Olympics Buenos Aires 2018.
"We just cannot believe it. It's something we know might never happen again," Carol told FIFA.com after their 11-0 triumph over Bolivia.
"Even if our semi-final defeat the other day still rankles, the bronze is ours and we have to enjoy it. It’s not every day you meet someone who has an Olympic bronze medal. So, we’re very proud."
As someone used to winning titles – she has been a Spanish champion four times with Poio Pescamar in underage categories, a Spanish U-16 champion with Galicia, and made her first division debut at 18 – the unique setting that is a Youth Olympic Games allows her to be both self-critical and happy with her team’s third-place finish.
"We couldn’t make it to the final. Against Japan our standard of play dipped, and we could have done so much more. However, today we showed that we can play at a higher level. We’re happy as we deserve to be in this position."
A decisive team-talk, a unique experience
After the unexpected loss to Japan in the semi-finals, it took a frank and intimate team meeting to change the mood of the group: "We were very disappointed. But the next day we had a very cool chat with the coaching team and the change was abrupt. In our minds the next game was a final, even if it wasn’t for the gold medal."
All told, it has been a very special year for the player, who was named sportswoman of the year in Poio, where she will shortly return to after some truly unforgettable experiences.
"To travel outside Europe, to make such a long journey with people you’ve been working with for a long time and get on so well with, to discover other cultures and everything that was the Olympic Village... the people treated us so well here. We’re heading home very happy and we’ve had a great time."