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Spain’s Jenni Hermoso says ‘football continues to give me life’ six months on from the Luis Rubiales ‘kiss’

Six months after Spain’s Women’s National Team claimed victory in the World Cup, striker Jenni Hermoso faced the media at her first international press conference since the ‘kiss’ incident.

Despite the challenges she has faced, Hermoso expressed her gratitude for being back on the field and competing with Spain in the Women’s Nations League final against France.

The incident involved former Spanish federation chief Luis Rubiales, who kissed Hermoso without consent, leading to legal consequences and a ban for Rubiales from all football-related activities.

Jenni Hermoso filed a legal complaint against Luis Rubiales after he kissed her on the lips following Spain’s victory over England in the World Cup final in Sydney, Australia, in August.

Luis Rubiales kissing Jenni Hermoso on the lips.
The kiss which caused outrage amongst many as Luis Rubiales kissed Hermoso on the lips after Spain’s World Cup victory. (Image: Getty)

The incident was widely condemned, leading to Rubiales’ resignation and a subsequent three-year ban from FIFA.

The repercussions extended beyond the personal turmoil for Hermoso, triggering a global outcry against sexism in women’s sports and sparking a call for reforms within women’s football in Spain.

Addressing the media on Tuesday, Hermoso reflected on the challenging six months, describing it as a “hard process” of understanding.

However, she emphasised her commitment to enjoying football and expressed gratitude for the opportunity to continue representing Spain on the international stage.

Hermoso, who plays for Tigres in Mexico domestically, returned to the national team in October and played a crucial role in the Nations League group stage, scoring an 89th-minute winner against Italy.

Hermoso is determined to focus on the positive aspects of her football career.

She highlighted the importance of playing in another final and expressed her love for the sport, emphasizing that football continues to provide the fulfilment she needs.

By reaching the Women’s Nations League final, Spain has also secured qualification for the Paris Olympics, further solidifying their place in history.

Hermoso believes that winning the final against France would be another historic achievement for Spain.

While Hermoso remains optimistic, her teammate Aitana Bonmati, the Ballon d’Or winner, expressed disappointment in the lack of positive changes following their World Cup victory.

Bonmati noted that other nations, such as England after winning the Euros, experienced significant positive changes, including increased investment in the domestic league and higher attendance at matches.

The incident not only led to Luis Rubiales’ resignation but also resulted in the sacking of World Cup-winning manager Jorge Vilda in September.

Vilda remains under investigation as part of the criminal case against Rubiales.