Voted best women's player in Romania last year, Andreea Părăluță, 21, transferred this summer to famous Spanish team Atletico Madrid.

Romania's national women's football team has not had for a long time a goalkeeper as good as Andreea Părăluţă. After five years with ASA Târgu Mureş, of which the last one was exceptionally goad (the team in Arad ended on the second place in the Superleague and won the Romanian Cup), Andreea Părăluţă went to a powerful championship, a demanding team and, as she confesses, a different world. She says that the step forward she took this summer means a lot to her, but also to the national team for which she dearly wants to play in the next year's final tournament of EURO 2017. Andreea believes that everything depends on her and her team mates, on their determination and courage in the last two qualifier matches they will play in Cluj against the Ukraine and Greece.

"We are ready"

- Andreea, we are approaching the end of the qualifiers for the EURO! What do you think about the last two games?
- Everybody knows that we have two difficult matches ahead. Both games, against the Ukraine and against Greece, are particularly difficult. But all the girls are ready. It would be a shame to fail now. We have worked too hard and we have hoped too much and we can't afford losing. I think that all the squad's players are in the best shape. We've been training for a long time already and we've played a lot of matches - those of us who play abroad, as well as those in Romania. And I'm referring here, first of all, to the girls from Olimpia Cluj, who have already played in the Champions League.

- What do we need to beat the Ukraine, our main contender for the 2nd place in the group?
- Courage and determination! We have them but we need to show them in the field. And not only against the Ukraine, but against Greece, too. Even if we win the first game in Cluj, we will need to stay focused, because the next match is against Greece, which is a difficult opponent, in spite of what one might think.

"I have many scenarios in my head"

- What do you think about the Ukraine?
- It is a very powerful team, with experienced players who can make the difference. They run a lot and challenge every ball. We saw all that in the first match in Lviv, which ended in a 2-2 tie. However, we have our own strengths. We have technical players. We should not let them have the ball and play their game.

- The qualification for EURO is near! Can you feel that?!
- I don’t know what to say. I have many scenarios in my head. Most of them are about how happy we will be if we qualify! I'm dreaming of the evening of September 20, the evening of the last qualifier, against Greece.

- What motivates you?
- This motivates me most. I don't want to miss the joy of a qualification for EURO! I want for us to go to the Netherlands next year and to measure swords with the best players, with the best teams in Europe. Only this can help us grow and feel that we really play football.

"Qualification was the goal right from the start"

- How important was the transfer to Atletico?
- It was important. Very important. I've already been training for a while and I've played many friendly matches. Here, with Atletico, I receive specific training for my position, which I didn't have much in Romania. The transfer helped me personally, but I want to believe it helped the national team, too.

- What was the goal in the beginning of the qualifiers?
- The qualification for EURO! We've had this in mind from the very beginning. We knew it was a group we could come out of. Not from the first position, of course, because France is one of the best teams in the world. What mattered to us was to have a good game against France.

"Diego Simeone lets us attend the training sessions"

- Could we have won the away match against the Ukraine in the first round?
- I think that it was possible. However, we made some mistakes and we were unable to control the game at some points.

- Have you met the stars of Madrid's men's team?
- We train at the same center! A few days ago, I ran into Antoine Griezmann and Diego Godin! And coach Diego Simeone says hello whenever he meets us in the alleys or on the training field. He even lets us attend their trainings! I will also go to the matches!

“I started playing football at the age of 14, back home, in Târgoviște. Initially, I was an outfield player, but one day I got angry at our goalkeeper and I told coach Mihai Tătăranu: <I can do better than her>! So, the coach sent me to the goal. And this is how I started my career as a goalie."

“Hope Solo, the goalkeeper of the US national team, is my idol. I like her very much. I watch her whenever the matches of the US national team are on TV. Sometimes, I watch her on the Internet, too."

2015 is the year

when Andreea Părăluță was voted the best women's player in Romania

 

SHARE: