The impact of Salma Paralluelo in Spain’s World Cup run

Salma and Spain celebrate win over the Netherlands

With Spain looking to secure the World Cup trophy in the final against England, the impact of Barcelona Femeni’s teenage sensation on La Roja’s incredible run cannot be undermined.

The young forward, who has featured in all of Spain’s games in the World Cup, has had an outstanding performance that has seen her win two Player of the Match awards. The 19 year old failed to score in the group stage, where she started all three games, but has shown how important she can be to the team in front of goal in the knockout stages, where she has featured mostly as a substitute.

Her first goal of the competition came in the quarterfinals, when she scored the match winner against the Netherlands in the 111th minute, after coming on as a substitute. She opened the scoring again in the semifinals against Sweden when she found the back of the net in the 81st minute after once again coming on as a substitute. 

Spain’s style of play is possession based, and they stick to the script as much as possible until the team fails to score or is in desperate need of a goal. It is in such moments, that Salma Paralluelo has thrived in the World Cup. Her pace, agility, stamina, and dribbling ability make her a constant threat for a tiring defense that has had to deal with the threat of a Spanish attack for over an hour. 

Bringing Salma into the game in such moments adds dynamism to Spain’s football. The team can play more direct football and send the ball over the top of opposition defenders or into space for the young forward to chase and create scoring opportunities.

Such as being the case in the quarterfinal and the semifinal, where she has proven to be a constant threat in attacking positions. Her versatility and ability to play in any position in the final third make her unpredictable and difficult to mark for defenders.

It remains to be seen whether the youngster will be given a start in the final on Sunday or if she will be used again as a “Super Sub” to disrupt England’s defense late in the game and get a goal that would win Spain the World Cup trophy.


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