Laia Palau, the great captain, announced this Monday her retirement as a player of the Women’s National Team. The base has made its decision publicly known in an emotional act at the FEB Museum in Alcobendas in which it has been accompanied by the FEB President, Jorge Garbajosa. Palau, 314 international times, has also been supported by his family, the sponsors of the FEB and all the players and the coaching staff of the National Team who are preparing the first qualifying matches for the Women’s EuroBasket 2023.
Laia Palau: “The National Team is your team par excellence”
“Today I make it official that I am retiring from the National Team. I do it with enthusiasm. The first of all is to say thank you, thank you all and life for giving me so much. First of all, thanks to my parents and my friends because they have been wonderfully good with me. Twenty years are many and, above all, there are many companions and many people who have passed through all this time. The National Team is your team par excellence, we are the representatives of the many people who have been bitten by the basketball bug. To have been lucky enough to be twenty years in the National Team is magnificent. I’m not leaving because my intention is to stay close to the whole group. FEB is the home of basketball and it has been my home for many years and I hope it will remain so for many more.
I always stay with people. Knowing that we are many companions has made me less afraid. The Selection belongs to everyone and I would like him to continue thinking big ”.
Jorge Garbajosa: “He is the person who has best understood being a basketball player
“I’m going to try not to get excited to be here by your side, Laia. You are the player who has represented the National Team the most times and the one who has managed to get the most medals. But talking about matches and medals with Laia is an understatement. You are the example of what a professional basketball is. He is the person who has best understood being a basketball player. Talking to you has allowed me to discover an extremely intelligent person. You know that you leave the National Team with the highest possible honor. You go, but you will never go. I hope you continue to be linked to the Women’s National Team, I want you close ”.
Silvia Domínguez: “Thank you for being the commander of what became a revolution”
“Basketball itself has to thank you for everything you have given. A stage in basketball is closing, but you are still part of it and it still has a lot to give you. You have to be thanked for being the commander of what started out as an illusion and turned into a revolution. You deserve to have lived all this moment ”.
The legend of Laia Palau
Laia Palau, who at 42 years old is still active in the ranks of Spar Girona, made his debut as an absolute international in the preparation tour for the 2002 World Cup in China. A 19-year career that has made him a true legend of the National Team , in a reference of women’s basketball and in a myth of Spanish sport.
With 314 caps, he holds the record for matches in both the Women’s National Team and the Senior Men’s National Team. In addition, it has an enviable track record made up of a total of twelve medals: three European golds (2013, 2017 and 2019), three silver (the 2016 Rio Olympics, the 2014 World Cup and the 2007 EuroBasket) and six bronzes (two World Cups). and four Europeans). No player has been on the podium of a great championship more times with the National Team than her.
Palau’s list of achievements also extends to the international arena. In the recent EuroBasket 2021, she became the player with the most matches played (74) in the history of the European women’s championships. With ten appearances in continental tournaments, Laia shares with Uliana Semenova (USSR) the historical record of participations.
To this day, Laia is also the oldest player in history to play an Olympic match. With four Olympic participations, she is the Spanish basketball player with the most appearances in the Games.
Facts and figures that make it an eternal legend. Thanks for everything, Laia!