Former Matildas midfielder Heather Garriock has revealed a freakishly accurate three-word prediction that Spain national women’s football coach Jorge Vilda left her with around six years ago.
Garriock, an assistant to Matildas head coach Alen Stajcic at the time, crossed paths with Vilda briefly where the Spaniard left the Australians with three words.
“We are coming,” he told them.
Spain won win the exhibition Algarve Cup tournament in 2017 but did not appear in 2018 — and now, at just their third FIFA Women’s World Cup finals, have claimed the greatest prize of all, beating England 1-0.
“The Spanish are a footballing nation and five years ago, Australia played them in the Algarve Cup and I remember (Jorge) Vilda coming up to myself and Alen Stajcic saying ‘We are coming’,” Garriock said on Channel 7.
“I tell you what, between now and then, they are coming. They won the under 17s, they won the under 20s, and now they have won the Women’s World Cup.
“They are a footballing nation. The way they played tonight, Australia is spoilt. That was absolute quality.”
Vilda answered his critics in emphatic fashion after leading the European nation to their maiden FIFA Women’s World Cup title.
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Spain defeat England to win maiden FIFA Women’s World Cup
Jorge Vilda led his country to victory. Credit: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
The Spaniards beat England in a final from the top shelf, with Olga Carmona’s first half winner proving the difference.
The win comes just over 12 months after reports of disharmony between Vilda and his players had dogged the footballing giant.
Spain had just lost the quarter-final of the UEFA Women’s Euros 2022, ironically to England, when 15 players walked out on Vilda’s team, only three of whom returned to the team thereafter.
But Vilda proved he had the belief within his players to deliver the country a FIFA Women’s World Cup at Stadium Australia in Sydney on Sunday night.
Jorge Vilda is lifted up by his players. Credit: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
“Everyone spoke about their coach, that the players didn’t like him, there was turmoil back in Spain going back over a year ago now,” former Socceroos star John Aloisi said.
“But Jorge Vilda, give him credit, because he believed in himself, he believed that he could actually get this team to compete on the world stage, and he’s gone and won a World Cup now.”
Mel McLaughlin added: “So, a lot of (former Spain national) players are sitting back at home watching this — I’m not sure what becomes of that. It just makes it even moreso remarkable.”
Elise Kellond-Knight joked that “Jorge has probably won the dressing room back over now.”
Aloisi responded: “I think he’s won the whole of Spain over now.
“And it’s not only in winning the game; it’s the way they played the game, the way that they were dominating England in that first half — they just suffocated them, with and without the ball.”