Boquete backs Croatia tournament

Spain forward and UEFA ambassador Verónica Boquete was on hand at the women's Under-16 development tournament in Zagreb to support Croatia's promotion of the female game.

Spain forward Verónica Boquete was on hand in Zagreb as part of her new role as a UEFA ambassador for women's football development.

Boquete was in Croatia to support the recent efforts made to nurture the women's game in the country. Her visit coincided with a UEFA women's Under-16 development tournament where the hosts were joined by Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Slovenia.

Appointed last month, Boquete was making her first trip as an ambassador. Speaking to the girls attending, she said: "Yes, it is possible for girls to make it in football! My best piece of advice to you is: work hard to reach your goals. Talent is not enough. Practise as hard as you can and do your best every day, not just on the field but also in your life off the pitch."

When it comes to the women's football development programme backed by UEFA, the objective of the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) is to promote football as a sport for women, to give girls from all regions of Croatia the opportunity to play football, and also to encourage coach education.

"This is an excellent project which benefits the whole region," said Marija Damjanović, coordinator of HNS women's football and Under-19 women's national coach, "and in my time, there was no project like the development tournaments. Now girls can improve through such tournaments and today, in front of their idol."

Sarah Ljubijankič, Slovenia captain, said: "Verónica is a role model for us. We are very impressed that she came all the way to visit us and this gives us more motivation and adrenaline."