Hermoso received death threats following Rubiales podium assault

November 7 – Jenni Hermoso has opened up on the infamous ‘kissgate’ affair that led to the resignation of former Spanish football boss and UEFA vice-president Luis Rubiales.

Hermoso said she had received death threats amid the controversy of Rubiales kissing her on the lips during the World Cup trophy presentation which she says was not consensual.

In an interview published by Spanish GQ, Hermoso said: “I have had to assume the consequences of an act that I did not provoke, that I had not chosen. I have received threats, and that is something you never get used to.”

Hermoso did not elaborate saying only she had to go through “difficult weeks” after seeing herself at the centre of one of the worst crises in Spanish football.

State prosecutors alleged Rubiales, who has since been banned for three years by FIFA, tried to convince Hermoso and her relatives to publicly downplay the kiss.

“Having to tell it over and over again was hurting me a lot,” she told the publication.

“But I know I had to let it go somehow. I keep working on it with the help of my psychologist, who I have been with for many years. For me, mental health is as important as training and as the hours that I have to sleep before getting onto the field. Thanks to her I feel strong and I’m not broken down or thinking about not wanting to play football anymore.”

The international midfielder said she wants to be “remembered as someone who put Spain at the top but, above all, who tried to change mentalities.”

“Fortunately or unfortunately, this story happened, but I am going to learn to take advantage of it positively to fight for what I believe is good for society.”

Hermoso was left out of Spain’s squad in September, with new coach Montse Tome saying she wanted to protect the 33-year-old, but returned last month and scored a late winner in a 1-0 victory over Italy in the Women’s Nations League.

“These last few months, with everything that has happened, my mind has wandered a little from football. At times I didn’t remember that I was a footballer. But I go back to training, on to the pitch, put on my kit, and I want to give the best version of myself again.”

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