It was time. On the Luis Rubiales affair, the president of the Spanish Federation who forcibly kissed player Jenni Hermoso on the mouth after the World Cup victory in August, almost everyone commented on it . All that was missing, in the end, was the words of the main victim of the affair. The Pachuca striker spoke at length in an interview with GQ magazine.

“I had to accept the consequences of an act that I did not provoke, that I did not choose or premeditate. I even received threats, and it’s something you never get used to,” regrets the 33-year-old Madrid native, who claims to have suffered a lot. She says she sought help from a psychologist: “Having to talk about it over and over again really hurt. But I know that I had to express it in one way or another […] For me, mental health is as important as daily training, as the hours of sleep to be able to go to field. Thanks to her, I feel strong, I don’t collapse and I don’t think about not wanting to play football anymore.”

Hermoso has become a feminist icon since the affair and takes responsibility for it, believing that all this made it possible to “become aware of what the word “feminism” really means. We women footballers have experienced first-hand the fight for equality. We were called capricious. We always said we wanted to be paid like the boys, but that wasn’t true.” The world champion expresses her “anger when people say that women’s football does not generate as much income as men’s football” and says she is only asking for “the essentials: to have a minimum salary, to be respected and to have the opportunity to do something really big. As soon as we got it, we were world champions.”

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If her mind has moved “a little away from football”, Jenni Hermoso now wants to move forward and hopes that the world of football will remember her “as a person who wanted to leave Spain at the top , but above all as a person who tried to change many mentalities. She is very grateful for the support she has received over the past two months.

The striker was left out of the first list of the new coach, Montse Tomé, but has since been recalled. “It was quite a difficult day, coming back after everything that had happened. I hadn’t seen my teammates either, I hadn’t worn my national team clothes or the jersey with the star,” she explains. For his part, Luis Rubiales was suspended for three years from any football-related activity by Fifa. He decided to appeal.