Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Lola Gallardo has praised her rivals Barcelona, ââdeclaring the champions of Spain and Europe “the team to beat in Europe”.
The Spain international joined the club this summer after a season with Lyon, seven-time winner of the Women’s Champions League.
After a disappointing campaign last season, Atleti have made a great start to Liga Iberdrola this year and will face Barca on Saturday. Gallardo stressed the desire to do amazing things like their opposition, which won the treble last season, but with the same patience they also had.
What was said?
Talk to Goal in an exclusive interview, the 28-year-old said of Barcelona: “It’s true that they have been patient, they have had their block of players and they have added top players who are helping to The team. I think that was their success, that’s why they’re up there fighting for all the titles, and right now I think they’re the team to beat in Europe.
âWe want to do things like that, but we can’t expect to finish fourth last year and this year to win the league, the Champions League, the cup, the Super Cup and all the titles. We have to take one game at a time and little by little to try to reach BarÃ§a’s level as quickly as possible.
âI think the stage where we underwent the biggest change was the year I wasn’t here. There was a change of coach, a lot of new foreign players, and at the end of the day that Like it or not, it’s a very big change and people have to adapt, we need time to adapt.
“It is true that this year more national players have entered, which we also needed, the language is very important and with the people who were already there, who have been there for a year and have had time to adapt, I think it’s a good mix and that’s why things are going well for us.
“I think Oscar [Fernandez, head coach] was looking for a rojiblanco feeling (red and white). In the end, being in Atleti is a matter of feeling, courage, heart and anyone who comes here should be clear that it is only experienced here. I say this from experience. I’ve been to other clubs and the way football feels here, at least in my experience, doesn’t feel anywhere else.
“We have to be clear that we have to run more than anyone, that we have to be more aggressive than anyone, that we have to fight for every ball more than anyone and if they have these things, and come with those . values ââis much easier.
“Lyon is a luxury”
Gallardo also reflected on his year with Lyon. The postponement and late resumption of the 2019-20 Women’s Champions League due to the Covid-19 pandemic meant that she was part of the squad that won that title, a triumph which was her “primary focus” at reach at the club.
âI met people I probably wouldn’t have met if I hadn’t been overseas. I’ve played and trained with the best and that’s what I’m going to keep, âshe said of her experience.
“The truth is, it’s a luxury [to be among the players at Lyon]. Seeing how they work, how they train, it’s no coincidence that they’re the best, that they’ve won all the titles they’ve won.
“They work hard, they work 100% to keep winning it all, and the truth is I am very proud to have been able to share a locker room with them and it has been a rewarding experience.”
As for her decision to return to Atletico, the goalkeeper explained: “I think you always want to go back to where you are happy. I love the way football is experienced at Atletico Madrid and I think it is. that’s why I keep playing.
“It is true that the spark in Lyon gradually died out and I was afraid it would not ignite, but it only took two games with Atletico Madrid for it to ignites again. “