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‘We’ve suffered a lot’: Inside Spain’s turbulent path to the EURO quarterfinals

Sam Mallia/Equalizer Soccer/SPP

In the end it seemed fitting, Marta Cardona scoring the goal that got Spain past the EURO 2022 group stage. That 90th-minute header gave Spain la Selección the victory against Denmark but, above all, provided peace of mind to a group of footballers in urgent need of it.

A team missing its main leader from the moment Alexia Putellas flew back to Barcelona to start her long recovery process from a torn ACL, la Selección faced Finland, Germany and Denmark not only playing against 11 opposition players but against their own insecurities, too.

Marta Cardona, a gifted winger who last season was arguably Real Madrid’s MVP, personified the ruthless nature of professional soccer: by January this year she contemplated retiring, as she revealed on Saturday shortly after scoring the winning goal.

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