Aitana Bonmatí disproves coach Montse Tomé

Spain's coach Montse Tomé looks at Aitana Bonmatí
Spain's coach Montse Tomé looks at Aitana Bonmatí as she leaves the pitch during the UEFA Women's Nations League football match against Switzerland. (Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP via Getty Images)

Montse Tomé took protagonism about a weird situation in Spain’s game against Italy.

The world champions had already qualified for the Nations League semifinals. However, the unusual and unprofessional affair highlighted the mess surrounding the Spanish national team.

Montse Tomé: A new era with problems from the past

Irene Paredes couldn’t play against Switzerland because of a human-informatic error. Against Italy, another mistake happened. That day, with subs, though.

The Spaniards were winning 1-0 in Pontevedra following a goal by Athenea del Castillo. All seemed to be going well until chaos arrived during halftime.

Spain fields nine players

The goalscorer was substituted, and Aitana Bonmatí too. But nobody replaced them on the pitch. The referee whistled, and the second half started with 11 Italian players against 9 Spaniards. Lucía García went into the pitch without having tied her boots.

During this short period of time — about 40 seconds — Italy scored the equalizer. Esther González wasn’t ready yet, and she finally got onto the pitch after the visitor’s goal. This situation destabilized the team.

The match ended with an Italian win, 2-3 in the score.

Different versions of the facts

After the match, del Castillo chatted with the press. She told El Larguero that she hadn’t noticed Spain started the second half with nine players. “The subs have been said at the beginning of the coach talk. I cannot explain it to you. We already knew we were sitting on the bench.”

Montse Tomé, the new head coach after Jorge Vilda, explained herself in the post-match press conference. They have controversial versions. The player blames the staff, while Tomé blames a player, the Ballon d’Or winner.

“In halftime, we changed Athenea per Lucía. When we were starting the second half, Aitana Bonmatí said to us without time to react she was not able to continue. We do not have time to warm up Esther, and that is why we start the second half without a player,” said Montse Tomé.

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