Teresa Abelleira has been dazzling football fans around the world as a result of her unbelievable start to the World Cup that is currently taking place in Australia and New Zealand. The Spanish midfielder has become a critical piece in Jorge Vilda’s tactics because of her great performance on the pitch. She is one of the ‘dark horses’ on the Spanish squad, but has proven how great of a player she is and shown off her talent at Real Madrid for years.

The Galician player does not get the most exposure, as she always has been shy and calm in front of the media. When she steps foot on the pitch, she does not need to talk to make an impact. She might not be named the MVP of the match, but she currently is one of the pillars of Real Madrid and the Spanish national team.

Some time ago, Tere Abelleira was not regarded as an important prospect for the Spanish side. Patri Guijarro, the best defensive midfielder in the world, and Laia Aleixandri both played her same position. The two of them were among ‘Las 15’ and have been left out of the World Cup. The Galician has made the most out of her chance and it has given great results. She has filled the role that was Spain’s biggest concern in a brilliant manner.

The center-mid is Spain’s compass: she can start off plays, set up her teammates, regain possession of the ball and is a good finisher. Abelleira is a smart and well-rounded player who can get the best out of her team. Last Wednesday’s match against Zambia is a clear example of her impact and not only because of the outstanding goal she scored: a strike from outside the box that landed in one of the opponent’s top corners and left everyone speechless. She ripped the spiderwebs out of the goal with her powerful shot. Without a shadow of a doubt, the best goal of the World Cup so far.

The midfielder’s statistics for the match speak for themselves: one goal, 6/8 long shots on target (75%), 11 steals, 3/5 ground duels won (60%), 5/7 aerial duels won (71%) and 94/105 passes completed (90%). She could have been awarded the MVP that was given to Jenni Hermoso, who also had a really solid match.

Teresa Abelleria just needed to take that step forward in the national team. The midfielder made her debut with Spain on the 27th of November 2020 in a 10-0 win over Moldavia at Las Rozas but has made less than 20 appearances. She would not have been called up for the last Euros (2022) if it was not for the injury of Salma Paralluelo. Her first appearance in the competition would come in the round of sixteen, in which she was a starter and played a brilliant 70 minutes against England. In addition, she has won the U19s European championship back in 2018.

To get to where she is, Tere Abelleira has fought hard and proven that she has special talent repeatedly. Born in Pontevedra (2000), she started playing football almost by chance at the age of six. She would go to her brother Tomás’ (who is five years older) practices and matches. There, she made her first contact with the sport before eventually joining a team. A fun fact is that her father is Milo, a relevant figure in Galician football.

She was always turned between football and futsal. In 2016, she was signed by Deportivo de la Coruña and the rest is history. She stood out as a youth player and led the Galician side to the top. In 2017 she became the first player ever to sign a professional contract in Galician football history alongside her teammate Raquel Béjar. She was the biggest revelation and received the awards for best midfielder and best young player in Galician football.

In the 2018/19 season she would lead Dépor to a promotion to the First Division. In the 19/20 campaign, she made her debut in the highest tier of Spanish football and became one of the most surprising players of the year. The big clubs started noticing as she ended up joining Real Madrid when right after its creation. Teresa earned her spot through hard work and, nowadays, she is critical to the club. This season, the Galician has once again been one of the best and her progression does not seem to have a ceiling. Teresa Abelleira is a joy of a player to watch.

Main Image: @SEFutbolFem.

Translated by Nuño Alonso.

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