Spanish Forward Jenni Hermoso Opens Up About Life After World Championship Victory
GQ Woman of the Year Reflects on Non-Consensual Kiss and Mental Health
November 6, 2023
The Spanish forward, Jenni Hermoso, recently sat down with GQ magazine after being named “GQ Woman of the Year.” In the interview, she candidly discussed the challenges she has faced since winning the World Championship with the national team, including the non-consensual kiss she received from Luis Rubiales, the former president of the Federation, during the title celebration.
“I have had to face the consequences of an act that I did not provoke, choose, or plan. Dealing with threats is something you never get used to,” lamented the 33-year-old player.
Hermoso acknowledged that she sought psychological help to cope with the situation. “Recounting the incident repeatedly was emotionally draining for me. However, I knew I had to find a way to let it go. Mental health is just as important as daily training and rest for me. Thanks to my psychologist, I feel strong and resilient, and I have not lost my passion for football.”
The controversial kiss from Rubiales sparked the #It’sOver movement on social media, positioning Hermoso as a feminist icon. The Madrid-born player believes that this incident has helped raise awareness about the true meaning of feminism.
“Through everything that has happened, many people, including friends and family, have gained a deeper understanding of what feminism truly stands for. In football, we have personally experienced the fight for equality. We have been labeled as capricious and falsely accused of demanding equal pay to male players. It infuriates me when people claim that women’s football does not generate as much revenue as men’s football. We never asked for equal pay; we simply wanted fair treatment, respect, and the opportunity to achieve something extraordinary. Once we were given that chance, we won a World Championship,” explained the passionate Spaniard.
Hermoso believes that positive outcomes can arise from adversity. “I want to be remembered as someone who not only excelled in Spanish football but also as someone who challenged societal norms. Despite this incident, I will use it as a catalyst to fight for what I believe is right for society. The #SeAcabó movement should usher in a new era. These past few months, my focus has shifted away from football due to everything that has transpired,” she shared.
HE DIDN’T FEEL THE SUPPORT OF THE PLAYERS
She expressed her gratitude for the support she received from teammates, rivals, and even celebrities. “I am immensely grateful for the overwhelming support I received from various individuals, including actresses, singers, and fellow footballers, some of whom we faced in the World Cup, such as the English team in the final. Their support gave me the strength to persevere and made me realize that we were all in this together. Many of my colleagues needed someone to speak up for them,” Hermoso acknowledged.
While she understands that everyone has their own opinions, she wished for more unanimous support from fellow players. “I comprehend that people have different perspectives, and I would love to solely focus on my sport. However, when faced with unjust situations, one must take a stand. People may love or hate me, but I have my own beliefs, and I don’t hesitate to express them openly. I don’t know if their support would have made things easier, but it would have undoubtedly made a significant difference,” she stated.
RETURN TO THE ‘RED’ AFTER THE KISS OF RUBIALES
After being initially left out of the first call by the new coach, Montse Tomé, Hermoso eventually made it back to the national team for the second match. Reflecting on her return, she shared, “It was a challenging day, returning to the team after everything that had happened. I hadn’t seen my teammates, worn the team’s uniform, or put on the shirt with the star. I left home feeling calm, but I experienced some emotional lows. Nevertheless, I strive to find happiness in general. For a football player, there is nothing more gratifying than representing their country.”
The Pachuca forward also revealed that she finds solace in Madrid during both good and bad times. “Whenever I return to Spain, my first instinct is to visit my parents’ house. My extended family gathers, and we enjoy home-cooked meals. I am deeply rooted in my family values,” she shared.
In conclusion, Jenni Hermoso emphasized the importance of considering the working class and using her platform to effect positive change. “I have always lived in a humble neighborhood, and it is crucial to remember the hardworking individuals. Through this sport, we have the power to transform lives, even if we are not fully aware of it. As champions, our voices are heard more clearly. Personally, I am not driven by status. My life revolves around my neighborhood, my family, and the simplest things. I will never prioritize money over principles. Fighting for what I believe in brings me immense pride, and that is where I truly want to make a difference. If I have to step forward to bring about change, I am ready,” she concluded.