| 25 Apr 2024
Irene Paredes frente al estadio de San Mamés (Bilbao)
  • The world champion speaks of “continuing to break glass ceilings” with exactly one month to go before the Champions League final in Bilbao

On May 25, the San Mamés stadium (Bilbao) will host the final of the UEFA Women's Champions League 2024, a date marked in red on the calendar and that will take place from 18:00 pm in a soccer city like few in the world.

One of the players who could be there playing that game is the Basque Irene Paredes, Barça center back and current world champion with Spain, who, through a video recorded on the same stage of the match, speaks of the importance of this appointment, at a sporting level, but also at a social level. “I still find it hard to believe what we have achieved. On May 25 there is a lot at stake,” she explained in relation to all the progress that has been made in women's soccer in recent years.

The azulgrana defender symbolizes the history of girls like 'Nahia', the life-size bronze sculpture that last March 6 was placed at the end of Licenciado Poza street in Bilbao; a statue that represents girls like Irene Paredes, who one day looked excited and proud at stadiums like San Mamés, dreaming of playing finals in emblematic places, surrounded by their fans. 

She looks back and remembers when she was a child. “It seemed impossible to make it this far. I feel very proud of never having given up. Earning the respect we all deserve is worth a lot,” said Irene Paredes in the aforementioned video, in addition to highlighting a phrase above the rest. “On May 25 we will continue breaking glass ceilings with balls”.

She talks about filling San Mamés for the final, which Bilbao is hosting for the first time. That is why it is so important for the city; so much so that from the City Council of the capital, the Provincial Council of Bizkaia and the Basque Government encourage everyone to enjoy the celebration of women's soccer. “It will be a civic celebration for the visibility of women in soccer. In Euskadi, women's soccer has been developed for decades by pioneering women who have fought for the recognition of this sport”.

And they send a message about the future. “The new generations already have real possibilities to dream without complexes, following the example of players like Irene Paredes”.

With the countdown to the big event underway, all that remains to be seen now is which two teams will face each other for the continental crown, a title defended by a Barça team that is once again in the semifinals of the best club competition in the world. Jonathan Giráldez's team will face Chelsea for a place in the final in Bilbao, while on the other side of the table, PSG and Lyon, both French teams, face each other in the run-up to the final.