January 19, 2022

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Women's Football: Luis Cortes: "I would like to inject Barcelona's DNA into Ukraine"

Women’s Football: Luis Cortes: “I would like to inject Barcelona’s DNA into Ukraine”

Luis Cortes has moved from Barcelona coach to Ukraine women’s national team coach, a leap that many understand as a step back and claims to be what he needs at this time in his life. Lleida technician answers MARCA’s call and talks about what to expect from his new stage…

A question. His departure from Barcelona was as surprising as it was.

Answer. He was all very quick when it came to communicating with him, but it’s something I actually discussed with my close circle after winning the Champions League. They thought I’d just get over it and change my mind, but it’s been a very tough season. It’s been a very nice year winning titles and enjoying them, but she’s pretty tiring. And it’s not about that wear and tear, it’s that being the coach of Barcelona is something that wears them out. It’s long hours, many trips, long time away from your family. I think life is stages and my life in Barcelona was over.

Q: Do you understand that people think it is difficult to go from Barcelona to the Ukrainian women’s team?

R was found. Leaving Barcelona, ​​any destination is a retreat. People may not have seen me here, I get that, but for now, I think that’s what I need. In his day I wanted to rest and was completely away from football and journalism for three months. Then when I began to evaluate offers, the offer from Ukraine came and I accepted it.

Q: Were there offers from other teams?

R was found. Yes, but especially abroad. What happens is that I didn’t want to ride at the wheel I got off of months ago, and more so during my absence. Working on the Ukraine project allows me to work at home and now I want this quality of life.

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Q: What about the men’s team performances?

R was found. There were also they as well as from the outside. What happens is that while in women’s football we normalize any coach, be it a man or a woman, we understand that we work with footballers, in women’s football we are categorized as women’s football coaches. It’s not something from Spain, but cosmopolitan. I think there is a lot to work on so far.

Luis Cortes in his presentation as coach of Ukraine.UAF

Q: How did you get the opportunity to go to Ukraine?

R was found. It is a personal project of Andriy Pavelko, President of the Ukrainian Football Federation, who is thinking of developing women’s football in the country and making it a venue for the 2025 European Cup. He wanted a project led by a world-famous person and he wanted to count on me to be a part of it. We talked, it didn’t tempt me at first, but the conditions were pretty good and I ended up cheering.

Q: What will your job consist of?

R was found. They want me to organize all the women’s football in the country. At the national team level, it means the management of the first team, Sub’19, Sub’17 and Sub’15 and affects who should be in each team, the work methodology, the selection process … also working with regional teams, where the system is similar to that of Spain but it lacks regulation. On a competition level, they want me to organize leagues, classes, and groups at both an amateur and a grassroots level because they barely have 15,000 licenses. And at the development level, they want to create a global brand, for more women’s football to be consumed, for there to be more networking, and more to be talked about. With my experience in the Catalans and in Barcelona, ​​I think I can help them grow.

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Q: What was found when you landed?

R was found. I have met people who are very willing to grow, learn and absorb everything I can contribute to them. They are aware of their level and where they are, but they really want to grow. I enjoy it so much because anything I say they see it with very good eyes and the preparation is incredible. The level of the team pleasantly surprised me.

Q: You have taken Spanish assistants with you.

R was found. Yes, Joan Ruiz was already with me in the Catalan federation and she was explorer in Atletico Madrid. Jordi Escora, whom he encounters on several teams, was a physiotherapist in Espanol before he traveled to Thailand and China. Now he will oversee medical services and act as a liaison with the sports district.

Q: How do you track players?

R was found. For this first FIFA window, it was easy because the list was made two weeks ago due to the issuance of visas to travel to Ukraine. Then I will see how I can access most of the games, clubs and players. The selection base is players from the two Kharkiv teams, which facilitates the task and many matches are broadcast on YouTube. We will find the formulas.

Luis Cortes during a training session with the Ukrainian national team.

Luis Cortes during a training session with the Ukrainian national team.UAF

P. How do you understand with the players?

R was found. Language is now a critical factor, but it will help us grow. Some players speak Russian, some speak Ukrainian, but most of them speak Russian Work crew A large part of the players speak English and that is how we communicate. I was used to speaking English with foreigners in Barcelona so it’s not a problem.

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Q: Speaking of Barcelona, ​​do you see yourself able to take Barcelona’s style to the Ukraine national team?

R was found. I’d like to inject Barcelona’s DNA into Ukraine, but it’s true that you can play certain things if you have certain players. As a coach, I have thoughts that are difficult to change. We will adapt to what is there, and we have to find a balance. We won’t be Barcelona, ​​but we can develop their idea of ​​football a little bit so that we can all enjoy it and get a little closer to winning.

Q: What goals have you set?

R was found. In the short term, there is nothing concrete because they realize that they are in a moment of change and evolution. As an organization they want to host the 2025 European Cup and the sporting objective will be to qualify for that tournament, whether we are hosts or not. Ukraine was in the final stage of only one tournament (Euro 2009), so if it were achieved it would be a huge success. We are now in the middle of qualifying for the World Cup, although it is difficult as many matches have already been played.

Q: You have a clause under which you will be released in the event of a club call.

R was found. At the moment it is not my priority. It is true that I do not see myself as a coach all my life because I have chosen and love this way of life, but I am happy that I agreed to lead this project in Ukraine.