Jenni Hermoso has said she received threats after the former Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales kissed her on the lips following Spain’s World Cup win.
Now Hermoso, who plays for CF Pachuca in Mexico, has opened up on the toll the controversy took on her in an interview with GQSpain.
“These weeks have been very difficult,” Hermoso said. “Having to tell it over and over again was hurting me a lot.
“But I know I had to let it go somehow. I continue 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 daily training, like the hours I have to sleep to be able to go out on the field. Thanks to her I feel strong and I’m not shattered or thinking about not wanting to play football anymore. I have not lost my enthusiasm.”
She added: “I’ve had to assume the consequences of an act that I did not provoke, that I had not chosen or premeditated.
“I have received threats, and that is something you never get used to.”
Following the media storm that ensued, Hermoso was left out of Spain’s squad in September, with new coach Montse Tome saying she wanted to protect the 33-year-old.
The striker returned last month and scored a late winner in a 1-0 victory over Italy in the Women’s Nations League.
The incident led to the creation of the hashtag #SeAcabo, meaning ‘It’s over’, and the former Barcelona and Atletico Madrid forward said she hoped to use the platform it has given her constructively.
“The #SeAcabo movement must bring a new era,” she said. “These 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, to a field, to putting on the uniform, and I want to give my best version again.”