Lucía Gómez, an example of overcoming hardship
Lucía Gómez, an example of overcoming hardship

The footballer from Castellón returned to the pitch 2 years, 3 months and 10 days later

On Saturday 30th September, when Villarreal Women faced Valencia CF, Lucía Gómez returned to experience what life as a footballer was like. The player from Castellón, in the 65th minute, came off the bench to return to the pitch after 2 years, 3 months and 10 days on the sidelines. “In that moment I felt a liberation, because I’d ended an era of so much hard work and it was really exciting. I couldn’t wait, to be honest,” ‘Junior’ said full of emotion.

A clear example of resilience and overcoming challenges 

If recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the knee is hard work, both physically and psychologically, recovering from two in a row is a real challenge. Gómez recognised the struggle mentally: “After having had three torn ACLs already, suffering another one in a training session before I had played a game was one of the biggest blows in my career.”

But she used her experience of hard work, resilience and overcoming hardships to, after four ACLs, rise from the ashes like a phoenix, to close a painful moment of her life and focus on the excitement of feeling like a footballer once more: “I always focus on the good things and at the end of the day, these four ACL injuries have made me the person I am now. I’m pleased to have been able to have overcome many challenges and to be able to be an example for manu people, and even for myself.”

The excitement of playing for her childhood club

‘Junior’ came through the youth ranks at Villarreal C, making her first-team debut at just 15 years of age. After seven years away from the club, Lucía returned last summer and is over the moon to finally be able to pull on the yellow shirt to play once more: “Playing with Villarreal Women in the top flight has always been a dream of mine and that was one of the biggest motives I had when I was trying to recover.”

Lucía, visibly emotional, recognised that it hadn’t been an easy journey, but the players and coaching staff at Villarrreal were crucial: “They’re the ones who made me feel excited again.”

Her objective now is “to return to being 100% on the touch” to be able to “help the team to reach their goals and take Villarreal as high up the table as possible.”