• Ali and Black Power The Seed of Black Pride

"I remember a game when I was 11 or 12 years old, in my second year of high school, in Casetas, a neighbourhood of Zaragoza. There were four or five black players on my team and some parents from the other team started insulting us, it was humiliating. At that age we didn't know what to do and my father had a run-in. Luckily in sport I haven't experienced it many times, but racism still exists in Spain, there's no denying it. You only have to look at football and what happens so often with Vinicius."

Spain kicks off the Women's Handball World Cup this Wednesday against Kazakhstan (20:30 p.m., Teledeporte) and one of the new references of the national team is Danila So Delgado, 22 years old, the best right-back of the last Liga Guerreras Iberdrola and black, in the fight against discrimination since she did not know what it was. Trained in Colores Handball, a team from Zaragoza created to integrate racialized people, her mere presence in the elite is already an example.

"I've played better and worse matches, but every time I see a black girl she's looking at me with a twinkle in her eye, with excitement. It was the same for me," he recalls.

Who was he looking at? To Shandy Barbosa, especially. I started playing handball to be with my friends, I didn't like it, but I got hooked watching the national team in 2013 and 2014. I would see Shandy and tell my father that I wanted to be like her. I think it's very important that there are black players in the national team who serve as a mirror.

So Delgado, born in Lisbon and raised in Zaragoza as a baby, was always called to be an international, but a football player. Both his father, Danilo, an electrician, and his mother, Edy, a stocker, played for the national team of Guinea Bissau, his country of birth, and his two younger brothers are now footballers. One of them, Sidney, plays for Barcelona's Cadet A, lives at La Masia and has been called up by Spain's U-15 team. But she opted for handball. Or rather, handball chose her.

Pedro Puente HoyosEFE

"As I didn't like it, I thought about quitting and then it helped me a lot to be called up for the Aragon national team, to see that I wasn't as clumsy as I thought, to realize that I was good at it," recalls the full-back who today is 1.75 meters tall, but who was one of the smallest of her teams until she was 15 or 16 years old. something that shows in his game.

With power as an argument, this summer he made his debut with Spain scoring six goals and in this World Cup he is already responsible. The absences of Barbosa herself, Seynabou Mbengue and Jennifer Gutiérrez mean that the team coached by Ambrós Martín is very young, with only one player above 100 caps, Lara González. "I miss the veterans a lot, because they make you feel safer, but it's an opportunity for the young women to redeem ourselves," proclaims So Delgado, with the European past in mind.

Then the team could not fight for the medals, although in the two World Championships it did, in the semifinals in both events. "The defence will be fundamental," says the full-back, who has a degree in Criminology, loves dancing and, of course, is an example for black girls.

  • Articles Javier Sánchez