Argentina hopes to win the Women’s World Cup for the first time in 2023.
The veteran goalie, who competed in the 2003 edition in the United States, recalls her feelings after the national men’s team was declared world champions last December.
An estimated five million people flocked to the streets of Buenos Aires to greet Lionel Messi and his teammates as heroes after they defeated France on penalties in the World Cup final in Qatar.
Seven months after those extraordinary events in Argentina’s capital, La Albiceleste are ready for their opening encounter at the Women’s World Cup against Italy on July 24 (07:00 BST) at Eden Park in Auckland.
No country has ever hosted both the men’s and women’s World Cups at the same time. This is unlikely to change in the near future.
While Argentina leads the world in men’s football, the women, who are ranked 28th in Fifa’s rankings, have failed to win a match in their three prior outings at the global tournament in 2003, 2007 and 2019.
That may explain why there is little evidence in the football-crazed country that manager German Portanova and his players are about to compete in the world’s largest women’s athletic event.
“Most people in Argentina are football fans – but women’s football isn’t as popular,” Daniela Lichinizer, a sports reporter for Argentina’s TN Deportivo, tells BBC Sport.
“I’m sure most of them are unaware that our national team will be competing in a World Cup in a few days.” There are currently no broadcast advertising promoting it.