Salma Paralluelo Shines on Spain's Road to the Women's World Cup Final

If Salma Paralluelo had opted to continue her track career, she may have been preparing for the Olympics next year.

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) — Salma Paralluelo could have been training for the Olympics if she had stayed with track instead of switching to soccer.

But she chose soccer, and the 19-year-old winger has played an important role in Spain's run to the Women's World Cup final.

Spain will face England in the first all-European final since 2003 on Sunday.

"We're overjoyed to have made it to the final," said Paralluelo, who was treated for cramping during Friday's practice session.

"It's unrivaled. It was quite difficult to get here, but we did it. And we can now dream big."

Paralluelo has been one of the tournament's brightest young stars, scoring two important goals to help Spain win its first major trophy.

She scored the game-winning goal deep in extra time in a 2-1 quarterfinal victory over the Netherlands, then added La Roja's game-winning goal in the 81st minute of a 2-1 semifinal triumph over Sweden.

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