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Vera Rico: from the Yellows Academy to scoring in the Liga F
Vera Rico: from the Yellows Academy to scoring in the Liga F

The teenager from Benicàssim, who joined the Submarine as a child, made her debut in the first division at the age of 18

A life devoted to the Yellows Academy, specifically, within the structure of Villarreal Women. Vera Rico is one of the young talents from the province of Castellón who have gone on to succeed at Villarreal, like her teammate Irene Miguélez and Pau Torres, among others.

On Sunday 12th March she experienced the “most special moment of her career”, as she herself explains, when she scored her first goal in the top flight of women’s football in Spain, called the Finetwork Liga F, which also helped her to win the vital match against Alhama (3-1). “I can’t quite believe it because it’s a moment you always imagine and you don’t know when it’s going to happen and that it’s with the club where you’ve grown up and the colours you feel,” says the striker.

Rico is a versatile attacker who can perform well in several attacking positions. Her youth is not at odds with her versatility, although she is more comfortable as a forward: “Since I joined the first team I’ve been playing more as a striker, I’ve rarely played as a winger”.

Formed in the Yellows Academy

Vera Rico arrived at the Submarine when she was just 12 years old to join the ‘Cadete-Infantil B’ ranks from Benicense. At that time, she never imagined that her football training would develop to the point where she would be able to play in the top flight.

Currently, the striker believes that all the work that has been achieved in the Villarreal Women’s structure, which has trained players such as Irene Miguélez, Cristina Cubedo and herself, continues to improve: “You can see that more and more emphasis is being placed on the youth system and the work is much more professional. The girls coming through now have a higher level. They will be better than we were.”

If the province’s young pearl has a thorn in her side, it is making her debut for the national team in an official match. Various uncontrollable aspects for the talented attacker have prevented that achievement from happening for the moment. “I was called up by the Spanish U-17 team for some online talks during the pandemic, but obviously I couldn’t play and I’ve attended training days with the U-19s. I was called up for the early stages of the European Championship, but I got injuredthe day I was leaving.”

Advocate for two careers

Vera Rico is currently studying a Higher Degree in Early Childhood Education, which she combines with her training and matches, knowing the importance of studies in the life of a football player. “As long as I play football I will continue studying because football has an expiry date. There is another life after it because it ends and you have to have other resources,” argues the player with the great criterion that characterises her.

Rico continues to develop as a footballer and as a future teacher while she waits for more moments like that first goal in the top flight. Vera Rico is already present and future of Villarreal CF.