The queen of Spanish basketball says goodbye to the National Team

Laia Palau received this Monday a beautiful tribute for her final goodbye to the National Team with Jorge Garbajosa, president of the Spanish Basketball Federation (FEB), at the FEB Museum in Alcobendas (Madrid). His dismissal from the national team was a fact after the elimination in the quarterfinals of the Games against France.

And he did it surrounded by all his family, his blood family, and the sportsman, that Family With which he will not be in the first round of Miguel Méndez with the National Team in the qualification window for Eurobasket 2023: Spain meets Hungary in Szekszard on Thursday 11 and Romania in Almería on Sunday 14. Both games will be at 18:00 and will be broadcast on Teledeporte.

He withdrew me from the National Team. I say it already. With Ilusion. All this week there has been an internal dispute about what I had to say because when I have to explain things well, but if it’s up to me, it costs me more, “said an excited Laia.”Thanks. Not like a convention. To all of you, to the life that has given me so much because I can’t imagine that this could be better. First of all, to my parents for giving birth to me with this grace. They have accompanied me in my life. And also to the people who accompany me, who make me keep my feet on the ground “.

20 years is a long time. The National Team is something very particular, you have to feel that it is your team par excellence and to be 20 years old … It is magnificent. I keep playing, “he continued.” FEB is the home of basketball. Where it is cooked, it is built … My house for 20 years. Thank you for the respect and affection that you have always shown me. For putting on this event … that I’m not doing well (laughs). I wouldn’t be who I am without having played for the National Team. “” Winning is cool, but if you really share it with these teammates, that’s what you have left. It does not always go well, but thinking that we are together makes the dragon less scary, “closed Palau, which will be part of the FEB this summer.

Basketball history

The veteran base (Barcelona, ​​1979) leaves after 314 caps, an absolute record in the women’s team… and in the men’s team, where Juan Carlos Navarro’s 253 were left to nothing. In Tokyo, in addition, she became the oldest player to step on a basketball court with 41 years and 319 days.

There is more? There is more: she reached 74 matches played in a Eurobasket in Valencia last June, six more than the second, the all-powerful Uliana Semenova, who like Laia reached ten continental championships. The USSR pivot retired unscathed: 10 tournaments, 10 golds. Almost nothing.

Half a dozen medals

At 42 years old, the Catalan is a record woman. Get 12 medals with the National Team, top in male and female category. Pau Gasol adds 11; Felipe Reyes, Juan Carlos Navarro and Rudy Fernández, 10. It is the spearhead of a generation that forever changed the Women’s National Team, which went from only two medals in the list of honors in 2002, when it debuted at the World Cup in China, to 14 .

“This act can be anything but simple, he told Laia. There are 314 games. I have discovered a very happy person and a very professional person. You have understood the profession as no one has understood it“Jorge Garbajosa commented.” You are the perfect person for the women’s project. You have helped me understand what women’s basketball should be. You have an overwhelming, intelligent personality. You are a very important person in my life. You go but you never go. I want you close: the best teacher close to you“.

In the it was Palau, that encompasses between 2002 and 2021, Spain has demolished all the borders to hang that extra dozen of medals: three golds (2013, 2017 and 2019), one silver (2007) and four continental bronzes (2003, 2005, 2009 and 2015), one Olympic silver (2016) and one silver (2014) and two world bronzes (2010 and 2018 ). Laia leaves after scoring 1,839 points (5.9 on average), capturing 684 rebounds (2.2) and making 838 assists (2.7).

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The queen of Spanish basketball says goodbye to the National Team