Soccer

Jenni Hermoso happy to be enjoying football again after Luis Rubiales ordeal

Spanish football federation chief Rubiales resigned and has been banned from football for three years after kissing Hermoso at the World Cup final.

Spain’s Jenni Hermoso, centre, celebrates with team-mates Alexia Putellas, left, and Irene Paredes after winning the FIFA Women’s World Cup
Spain’s Jenni Hermoso, centre, celebrates with team-mates Alexia Putellas (left) and Irene Paredes after winning the FIFA Women’s World Cup Spain’s Jenni Hermoso, centre, celebrates with team-mates Alexia Putellas, left, and Irene Paredes after winning the FIFA Women’s World Cup (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Jenni Hermoso has revealed “football continues to give me life” after emerging from the controversy surrounding former Spanish football federation chief Luis Rubiales’ unsolicited kiss.

Speaking at a press conference for the first time since Rubiales was forced to resign after kissing her on the lips in the wake of Spain’s World Cup final victory over England, the 33-year-old midfielder reflected upon a difficult six months as she prepared for her country’s Nations League final clash with France.

She said on Tuesday: “For me, it’s very important to play in another final, to continue here. I feel good, football continues to give me the life I need.

Luis Rubiales was forced to resign as president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation
Luis Rubiales was forced to resign as president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation Luis Rubiales was forced to resign as president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (Mike Egerton/PA)

“I want to continue enjoying games with my national team and with my Tigres team, and I continue to enjoy this sport.

“If we win tomorrow, Spain will have made history again.”

Rubiales’ actions, which have since resulted in a three-year FIFA ban from all football-related activity, prompted boycotts of Spanish national teams and sparked anger across the world over sexism in the women’s game.

Hermoso, who plays her club football in Mexico, found herself at the centre of the controversy and admitted she had found that tough.

She said: “I’m lucky to be back in a final after six very long months. Today I’m enjoying football, competing with Spain to win another tournament.

“A lot has happened since then. It has been a hard process of understanding many things.

“I’m still playing football and the only thing I want is to continue enjoying myself wearing this shirt.”