Jenni Hermoso broke the silence after the months-long saga involving the Royal Federation of Spanish Football (RFEF) that ended up with the suspension of Luis Rubiales from all soccer-related activities for three years.

The 33-year-old, who plays for Pachuca Femenil, was kissed by Rubiales after winning the Women’s World Cup with Spain. Hermoso stated the kiss wasn’t consensual, which is why her teammates stood up for her. The midfielder also got support from other personalities in world soccer, but she wishes the Spanish women’s national team had received more support from male colleagues.

“I understand that everyone thinks the way they think and I would also love to focus only on my sport, but when you see unfair situations, you have to be on one side or the other. People will hate or love me, but I have my way of thinking and I don’t mind saying it openly: I don’t know if their support would have made everything easier, but it certainly would have helped us a lot,” Hermoso told GQ Spain.

However, she was grateful with Borja Iglesias, Hector Bellerin, Oscar Trejo, and Isco, who were the first to take a stand. Even so, Hermoso said she would love to see more unity between male players. “We have the philosophy of being united and doing what we feel, and that is how we have achieved everything we have achieved so far.”

Jenni Hermoso says she received threats

Before Rubiales got suspended by FIFA, Hermoso and company had to wait for months for the RFEF to take action against its chairman. In fact, the world champion said she received threats all these months.

I have had to face the consequences of an act that I did not provoke, that I had not chosen or premeditated. I have even received threats, and that is something you can never get used to,” she said.

Following Rubiales’ kiss, the Spanish women’s national team called on the RFEF to make significant changes. But their battle didn’t sit well with everyone, as they faced backlash from certain people who didn’t take their request seriously. Hermoso said speaking to a psychologist helped her not to quit the sport.

Returning to the national team

Hermoso was overlooked by coach Montse Tome in the first international break after the Women’s World Cup. But she returned to the team in her second call-up. “For a player, there’s nothing better than playing for your country,” Hermoso said.

Though it has tough returning to the national team after the Rubiales incident, she’s relieved to have spoken out. When asked how she would like to be remembered, Hermoso said, “As a person who has wanted to leave Spain at the top but, above all, as someone who has tried to change many mentalities. Fortunately or unfortunately, there is this history, but I will learn to use it positively to fight for what I believe is good for society.”