Chile player Javiera Martine Vega put on a commanding display in her side’s opening victory against hosts Norway, and for her it helped ease the pressure they had placed on themselves.
“There was a lot of pressure before the first game. I was very anxious. I couldn’t eat prior to the match. Our own pitch is very different to this. But when we got on the pitch I reminded myself and the other players to stay calm.”
Calm they were on the park, displaying an attitude that reflects Chilean teams of past years — full of drive and determination.
“We have a winning mentality and we all have the belief that we will win the tournament. We always demonstrate our desire at tournaments, and Oslo will be no exception. We want to win for our families, our friends and for all the people who have helped us along the way.”
And for Javiera, the importance of football and the Homeless World Cup is clear.
“Football is the recipe for solving problems for me. The Homeless World Cup illustrates that. It allows you to forget the bad things and focus on the good things, like playing and being involved in sports.”
Words: Craig Williams
Images: Daniel Lipinski