The FEB has chosen the route of prestige to leave behind a golden stage with a cloudy ending. Miguel Méndez has been named the new women’s basketball coach, replacing Lucas Mondelo, who was dismissed in August after his poor performance at the Olympic Games and punctuated by the testimonies of Anna Cruz and Xargay about alleged turbulent relations when they coincided with the Barcelona coach.
Méndez, born in Vigo 54 years ago, is one of the most renowned coaches in women’s basketball. It is the first Spanish coach in history to win the Euroleague three times, in a consecutive way, after breaking the tie precisely with Mondelo (2). The Galician coach has been adding titles since he began to train Celta de Vigo in 2000. He remained here until 2011, still being the one that has led the historic team of the Olympic city for the longest time.
Your Yekaterinburg is making history. He has four Russian Superleagues and three continental reigns. Before that, the new Spanish coach had won three leagues in Italy with Famila Schio and one in Celta Banco Simeón. He also went through Rivas in Madrid. In Yekaterinburg his right hand is another Spanish coach, Nacho Martínez Rey. Defeated in the final held in Istanbul (68-78) to the Avenida Perfumery, directed by another great of our country, Roberto Iñiguez. Three national coaches (Miguel Méndez, Roberto Iñiguez and Víctor Lapeña) met in a Final Four, a sign of the good health of Spanish women’s basketball at the slate level. Víctor Lapeña, at the controls of Fenerbahce Oznur Kablo, got the bronze medal by beating Sopron Basket 64-58.
Méndez has had one of his stellar players in the historic Alba Torrens. A woman who missed the Eurobasket because she had to remain locked up in a room for two weeks due to COVID and in Japan she lived her third Games. “She is one of the best Spanish athletes of all time,” she has come to say. “It is not easy to win in three different teams. Apart from numbers, she is an incredible player and her personality, her humility and her way of making her teammates better shows her greatness,” he added. Miguel has been away from home for almost ten years and always refers to the fact that he misses his land. His wife is a businesswoman and cannot leave her job to be with him, she remains far away with her children. “It is a sacrifice that is worth it because I have the best job you can have in women’s basketball and that compensates. But I cannot help but recognize the difficulty that it entails,” he alludes. Now he will have to combine the two facets, as a club coach in Russia and as a coach. In principle, he would sign until Paris 2024.
In recent interviews, Méndez threw balls out about the option of training the national team: “At the moment, it is difficult to consider this since the national team has the best possible coach. Lucas has been our differential factor in recent years and I have not raised to get to train the national team because it seems impossible to find a better coach “.