Today we interview Sandra Paños, goalkeeper from Barcelona Soccer Club and Spain Women’s Soccer Team.
Before we begin, I would like you to tell me what your feelings are about the current women’s soccer situation, what has changed and what should be improved.
Women’s soccer is growing rapidly, there is more and more involvement from clubs, federations, brands, media and society, but there are still many things that need to be improved, for example, that all clubs have minimum conditions, better fields to give the professionalism to women’s soccer that it deserves and that the media help and bet on the retransmission of matches in all competitions, league, Champions and matches within the Spanish team.
Do you think that someday women’s soccer will match men’s?
I do not think that it will be matched, that is why we fight to shorten the differences in every way and achieve the best possible conditions for all the players. It’s not about competing, it’s about having recognition according to our work and involvement as athletes.
How would you define yourself as a goalkeeper?
I´m a goalkeeper who tries and works hard to be as complete as possible. I’m very demanding and I´m always trying to evolve. Barça also requires you to have qualities with and without the ball that always makes you have to “perfect” everything.
Did you expect things to turn out for you as they are?
Not at all, I am living a dream that I had since I was little and now I want this reality to be maintained for a long time so I work on a day-to-day basis to be better and live up to expectations.
What has changed as a goalkeeper, from the Sandra from the beginning to the current one?
Very much, although there are still some things that I need to polish, but above all the experience, competitive maturity and being aware that work is the key to success.
You have a college degree correct?
Yes, I have a degree in physical and sports activity. I think it is very important to have training beyond sports.
We know that you are very demanding of yourself, tell us, what cannot be missing in your work or daily routine?
Hard work and enthusiasm to continue improving to help the team and individually to improve on a daily basis.
Do you follow a strict diet or do you have a good diet?
I do not follow a diet, the club offers us a series of recommendations to help us achieve a better nutrition and understand what foods can bring us closer to achieving the best version or ourselves.
Have you had any injuries?
Luckily I have not suffered very serious injuries, but several years ago I had a right shoulder injury, subluxation that made me have several fractures. Luckily I am much better now and able to compete to the fullest.
What current goalkeepers do you admire? And with which one would you like to share a team with someday…
By proximity and game model, Ter Stegen , because he seems to be a very complete and very decisive goalkeeper.
But honestly many, perhaps when you are little you admire or idolize more, now I simply value and appreciate the amount of high-quality goalkeepers around the world and analyze objectively, liking some things of one or the other.
Which rival has impressed you the most, both individually and as a team?
OLYMPIQUE DE LYON
What do you think is the most important quality a goalkeeper should have?
A good goalkeeper should know how to read the game, make great saves, make good decisions and have the ability to not let mistakes affect them. Also in Barça, you have to know how to play well with your feet.
We know that many children and goalkeepers look up to you and when they grow up want to be just like you. What advice would you give them that you would have liked someone had given you?
That they work hard every day, that limits are not set and that they must fight until the end for their dreams, because they are fulfilled.
How do you prepare for a match preview? Do you have any special rituals?
I am not fanatical, I try to be well focused, see cuts from matches from the rival team and have a good warm up to feel good.
Tell us about the model you use, since you have your own exclusive glove model which has led you to evolve yourself on a technical level.
My glove in particular has evolved a lot from last season, I changed several things inside the glove and the finger cut. The glove is tighter to my hand with my measurements, I always had too much space inside the glove and I did not like the sensation of mobility inside the glove, also it has silicone lines on both the palm and fingers. Over the traditional wrist closure, but adjusted to my wrist size, we can see my identity logo Sp (Sandra Paños) and finally the cut that I changed from a roll/ negative to the Kontakt cut, I tried it and it gave me greater security due to its shape, which helps me better grasp the ball despite having a size 8 glove.
How do you think the gloves have evolved?
The world of gloves is a world apart, I think it is incredible all the variety of products that can be developed, either with the latex, backhands, wrist closure … every time, gloves are technically better and different for every taste, and above all I am lucky I´m able to decide what I feel most comfortable with.
Do you usually wash your gloves or give them special care?
I try to take care of them, and occasionally I give them a wash.
And finally, happy with your relationship with HO SOCCER?
The materials are of very good quality. Because gloves are a goalkeeper´s “work tool” I am happy because they give me security, comfort and guarantee. Everything can be improved, but we are on the right track!