While Spain’s early departure from Palmerston North became global headlines, the city’s mayor is happy to claim some credit for helping La Roja win the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“They had a great three weeks early on in their campaign, and we’re gonna say it really helped them go through to win the title,” mayor Grant Smith told the Seven Sharp television show.
Main photo: Mayor Smith displays his Spain shirt with Papaioea (Palmerston North) across its back.
He said Palmerston North “absolutely” played its part in providing a team training base for the Spanish team, despite media reports claiming the players found the city “boring”.
Smith said he thought the reports were a “beat up” and the squad had only left the city a day early, wanting to set themselves up in Wellington for their knockout stages.
“We’re no Madrid, we’re no Auckland, we’re not even Wellington when it comes to the bright lights, but we’re pretty comfortable in our own skin,” he said.
“You make your own fun, whether it’s Madrid or Palmy.”