Women’s football club owner Natalie Portman calls Spanish female stars ‘inspiring’

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Women’s football club owner Natalie Portman calls Spanish female stars ‘inspiring’

Oscar winner says she was disappointed women's World Cup win was overshadowed by unwanted kiss given to Spanish captain by president of the Spanish football federation

Oscar-winning Hollywood actress Natalie Portman has praised the “resilience” of Spain’s national women’s football team.

A part-owner of National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) club Angel City in Los Angeles, California, Portman was referencing the overshadowing of Spain’s triumphant World Cup win in Australia by an unsolicited kiss given to team captain Jenni Hermoso by Luis Rubiales, president of the Spanish football federation.

Speaking in Berlin at the European Clubs’ Association General Assembly, the Guardian newspaper reported her saying:

“I wish the players could just focus on the sport. Unfortunately they have had to be political inherently, as we have seen at the last two World Cups.

“The winners previous to this one, the US, were fighting for equal pay at the same time as they were winning the World Cup. This time the Spanish team was fighting against harassment, abuse and assault.

Angel City, HBO

“The resilience of these women to play at the top level whilst being under such unfair and unjust conditions and the ability to be advocates on and off the field is inspiring. I pray for the day they can just be athletes and everything else is fun. For now I find great inspiration from the players.”

Rubiales has been suspended by FIFA and claims the kiss was consensual.

  • HBO Max is currently showing a new docuseries, “Angel City,” about the launch of Angel City FC, the first women’s professional soccer (football) team to be founded and led by women.
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