It has been a successful couple of days for Barcelona teams in Madrid. The men’s won 4-0 on Sunday, and just 48 hours later, the women’s take a 3-1 lead into the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie with Madrid next week.
This women’s Clasico triumph felt much more than just a win. Barca Women came back from 1-0 in the first half to score three goals in the second and take control of this Champions League quarter-final. The advantage could have been extended in the second half, but they still bring a healthy lead to the return leg next Wednesday, March 30, at Camp Nou.
Barca were far from their best and faced a very competitive Madrid side, but Femeni eventually showed their superiority in the second half and found the winning goals to give themselves a chance to finish the job in front of a packed Camp Nou next Wednesday.
Barca were quite simply unrecognizable in the first half, playing the worst 45 minutes of their season so far. A lot of their poor play had to do with a great Real Madrid team that came out with incredible intensity and suffocating pressure without the ball, and they were very dangerous whenever they had the ball.
The game began with high pressing from Real Madrid, finding ways over and through the Barca defence. This bore fruit as Esther Gonzalez carried the ball forward, slid the ball out to the left, and Olga Carmona finished across Panos from inside the area. Barca Women couldn’t find their rhythm and didn’t have their first shot until 26 minutes when Misa saved well down to her right from a Patri shot from the edge of the area.
Barca were starting to find their feet, but Real Madrid continued to threaten, and the lively Esther González hit the post on the 38th minute before Panos saved another of her shots.
Madrid went forward in the dying moments looking for a late equalizer but couldn’t find a way past Sandra Panos and conceded a third goal on the counter-attack when Patri Guijarro found Alexia all alone. The world’s best player chipped the keeper to make it 3-1 at the death.
The final whistle gave Barca the win and a comfortable advantage going into the second leg. They didn’t play nearly as well as they have all season, but knockout football is all about the wins, and Barca got it. Now they come home to Camp Nou in front of 90,000 fans, with a chance to show how good they really are and book a place in the semi-final.
Barcelona’s women’s team won the Primera Division in spectacular fashion on Sunday, defeating Real Madrid 5-0 to claim the title for the third season in a row.
With six games remaining, Barcelona has a 22-point lead at the top of the standings.
Barcelona won a historic treble last season, winning the league, the Champions League, and the Copa de la Reina.
They could go one better and complete the quadruple after already winning the Spanish Super Cup this season.
Barcelona is in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, where they will face Real Madrid again, this time over two legs, and the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey, where they will face Real Sociedad next week.
The home leg of the Champions League against Real Madrid will be placed at Camp Nou, which has a capacity of 99,000 people.
But coming back to this match, Alexia Putellas, the winner of the Ballon d’Or, scored twice, and Patri Guijarro and Jenni Hermoso also scored. Babett Peter also scored an own goal.
A throng of 6,000 people gathered at the Estadi Johan Cruyff to watch Barcelona’s ladies make it 24 victories in 24 league games this season. In those games, they have scored 136 goals while conceding only six.
Xavi full of praises
Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez said the women’s team paved the way for the men after winning the Primera Division for the third time in a row with a 5-0 win over Real Madrid on Sunday.
Xavi stated that the kind of football they play, as well as their persistent ambition for success after winning the Treble last season, serves as an example for the men’s squad, which is attempting to reclaim its place at the top of the game.
After watching his side beat Osasuna 4-0, Xavi took the opportunity to publicly applaud Jonatan Giraldez’s women’s team.
“For several years [the women’s team] have been showing us the way with how they play, how they compete and the hunger they have despite winning everything last year,” Xavi said.
“We have been watching them and it’s a wonder to see them play. They are leading the way in the same way as the Dream Team did in their day or as Pep [Guardiola’s] Barca side did later. They are an example for the men’s team.”
The Dream Team refers to the Barcelona team coached by Johan Cruyff in the early 1990s, which won four consecutive league titles as well as the club’s first European Cup.
Alexia Putellas’ comments
After Sunday’s title win, star woman Putellas said: “I don’t think we are conscious of what we are doing. But I think that’s a good thing.
“The first stage of the season has served to get us into a position to fight for everything.
“Now is when the trophies are decided and what matters working hard every day. We want to win the lot.”
Next Sunday it will be the turn of Xavi’s team to take on Real Madrid when Barca’s men visit the Bernabeu!
History was written when Arsenal Women’s Football Club announced the signing of former football star Ole Miss Rafael Souza, becoming the first-ever Brazilian player to sign with Women’s Super League all-time power Barclays Barclays Women’s Superleague. Founded in 1886, the men’s team of the legendary Arsenal football club. Legendary Arsenal Football Club achieved their first double in their history under Bertie Mee when they beat Liverpool 2-1 to take home the FA Cup. Arsenal Dams are the most successful British women’s football team of all time. Since its founding in 1987, they have won fourteen league titles and the Women’s Champions League in 2007.
Founded in 1987, Arsenal Women’s Football Club is the most successful club in women’s football in England, with 40 major trophies to date; 2 FA WSL titles, 12 FA Women’s Super League titles, 13 FA Women’s Cup titles, 10 Women’s Football titles League Cup, 3 FA WSL Intercontinental Cups and 1 UEFA Women’s Champions League (formerly UEFA Women’s Cup). Statistically, Arsenal is the most successful club in women’s football in England, holding the record for the most titles in every domestic competition they play. Arsenal won 13 First Division and Premier League titles, 10 FA Cups and became the first London club to reach the Champions League final in 2005/06 under Vic Aker; Arsenal has achieved one-sided success at home.
In 1987, Arsenal’s Vic Akers helped find the women’s football team and their starting manager. Over the next twenty years, Arsenal dealt with all aspects of women’s football, such as training, tactics, scouting and finance, to maximise the club’s growth and win trophies. In the 1990s and 2000s, Arsenal spent many seasons luxuriating in the FA Women‘s Premier League, boasting alumni from academies such as Marieanne Spacey and Faye White and using the club’s income from stars such as Emma Byrne to let the club win a bunch of trophies. Women’s Arsenal produced numerous players for England, such as Fay White, Karen Carney, and Alex Scott. The latter two eventually moved to the US Pro League for a short time, improving their matches in the process. 2006–2007 season brought the most successful trophy in the already glorious history of the clubs.
In the 2008-09 season, FA Women’s Premier League’s five-year unbeaten record ended; from 16 October 2003 (lost to Charlton Athletic) to 29 March 2009 (lost 0–3 at home to Everton), Arsenal Women’s Football Club had 108 unbeaten games. Vic Akers also led the team to numerous records in English women’s football, including six years of unbeaten league play from October 2003 to March 2009, scoring 108 games without defeat. Arsenal’s women’s football team also won the Women’s FA Cup 7 times, the Women’s League Cup 8 times, and reached the Women’s League Cup final in the 2006/07 season, becoming the most significant achievement for a women’s football club in England.
Since the 2010s, Lyon has frequently been named the strongest women’s team globally and has been cited as a model for the development of women’s football in both economic and cultural terms. The team has won seven Champions League titles, including a record five successive titles from 2016 to 2020 and 14 consecutive domestic league titles from 2007 to 2020. They have also won five trebles when the top-level continental competition is considered the most for any team.
The growth and domination of Olympique Lyonnais Feminin laid a foundation for the development of women’s football around the world. They used to dominate Europe and changed the perspective of people about women’s football.
Before becoming Olympique Lyonnais Feminin in 2004, the club was founded as FC Lyon in 1970 and claimed four league titles between 1991-1998. Over the past 17-years, the Lyon women’s team has established itself as the best club side globally, breaking records and dominating the women’s game. Olympique Lyonnais claimed their first league title under their new name in 2007, finishing 7pts clear of Montpellier in 2nd and only losing one and drawing one of their 22 matches. Thus began Olympique Lyonnais’ total dominance of Division 1.
Olympique Lyonnais entered the Guinness Book of World Records in 2013 after the club secured 41 consecutive wins in the league and cup between 28th April 2012 to the 18th May 2013. The club have also won a record 9 Coupe de France titles since 2008 and claimed the Trophee des Championnes in 2019.
Sandrine Bretigny proved one of the club’s best-ever players during this spell of constant success, netting 211 goals in 241 appearances between 2000-2012. Bretigny’s best season arrived in 2006/07 during the club’s first title success as Olympique Lyonnais, in which she played in all 22 league games and scored an impressive 42 goals.
In more recent years, Olympique Lyonnais have relied upon the goals of Norwegian international Ada Hegerberg. Hegerberg signed for the club in 2014 from Turbine Potsdam in Germany and proved an immediate success. During her first season, Hegerberg netted 34 goals in 32 games and has only failed to score more goals than games played in a season in two of her six campaigns with the club, which includes the season that was cut short due to the global pandemic.
This success can partially be credited to their President, Jean-Michel Aulas, who has been committed to gender equality in the sport since creating Olympique Lyonnais Féminin in 2004. He wanted to bring as much success to the female team as to the male one, which was ambitious knowing that the male team won the domestic title 7 times consecutively between 2002 and 2008.
DAZN holds the global rights to the UEFA Women’s Champions League from 2021-22 to 2024-25. The 61 matches in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons will be streamed live for free on the DAZN UEFA Women’s Champions League YouTube channel. Women’s Champions League 2021-22 will feature a stage in the 16-team UEFA Women’s Champions League. Each participant will receive €400,000 (approximately five times more than the round of 16 participants received in previous editions).
Visa became the first dedicated sponsor of UEFA women’s football following UEFA’s sponsorship rights for men’s football. The UEFA Women‘s Cup was launched in the 2001/02 season to grow interest in women’s football. The UEFA Women’s Cup was a football competition for European clubs.
With this new format, the group stage – a group of four – allows eight teams to reach the quarter-finals at home and away, after which the games will be the same as before. The UEFA Women’s League has been redesigned to look more like the UEFA Champions League format than before. The competition itself features an Italian-style two-player group stage in the Women’s Champions League era for the first time. The most notable changes from 2001-2009 were the inclusion of runners-up from the top eight countries in the rankings, a one-off final compared to the double-finals of previous years, and until 2018 the hosting of the finals was done in the same city.
Sixteen teams are divided into four mini-tournaments of four teams. Forty-three clubs have entered the Champions League, including all-league champions that did not qualify directly for the group stage. Seats from these countries are allocated to each country’s first team in a bilateral tournament. The following year, the top leagues of Belgium and the Netherlands merged into a single bi-national championship.
Lyon holds the most titles in the competition, with seven, five of which came in consecutive seasons between 2016 and 2020, also a record in the competition. Lyon, for excellent reasons, is considered the best women’s team in Europe by a margin. Lyon is committed to what is called Fivepeat in social media jargon. FC Barcelona made this decision in recognition of the outstanding achievements of the Women’s Barça over the past year, winning the league and double cup in addition to their own. Over the years, Lyon has promoted and practised gender equality in the game, using the same training facilities, stadium and infrastructure for both men and women.
In this edition of Women’s Champions League, the quarterfinal round consists of FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid, Bayern vs PSG, Arsenal vs Wolfsburg, Juventus vs Lyon. These matches will be played between 22nd March to 1st April. The Semifinal round will start on 23rd April.
It is not often that women’s football grabs the attention of the global media but just a few days back it did, but for all the wrong reasons.
The New Zealand women’s team defender Meikayla Moore scored a hattrick of own goals within the first 30 min in a match against the United States women’s team.
Life played a cruel joke on Meikayla Moore as the hattrick of own goals she scored was a perfect hattrick – left foot, right foot, and a header!
After only five minutes into the match, Meikayla Moore turned a cross from US winger Sophia Smith past New Zealand goalkeeper Erin Nayler.
Moore had scarcely recovered when lightning struck again just 82 seconds later, this time from the opposite wing when Margaret Purce headed a cross from right-back, Sofia Huerta, into Moore’s face and it deflected into the goal.
Moore’s completed her hattrick 30 minutes later when she slid another Purce cross past her long-suffering goalkeeper.
In a true sense, it really was a hattrick of misfortune!
This day has to be one of the darkest days in Meikayla Moore’s career and one can’t possibly comprehend what she must have felt!
Moore sank to her knees at her misfortune and it was not long before her coach Jitka Klimková intervened, replacing the defender after 40 minutes.
Klimková comments after the game were sympathetic.
“Each player who has played [football] and it doesn’t matter what level, has great games and tough games, and Mouse [Moore’s nickname] had a tough day at the office.
“Obviously she’s sad and disappointed, but she has us. We know who she is, we know what a great player she is, and we are going to support her as much as possible and we will be behind her.
“I said to her we all know what a great player she is, and there is no doubt about it, she is a solid center-back, defensively she’s tough to beat, great in the air, a great passer… that’s who she is, and that’s what she needs to keep in her mind, and that’s something I’m going have to repeat many times to her.”
The head coach was not the only one who was sympathetic about the incident, many others involved in football came to the support of Meikayla Moore.
“You never like to see this in football. It’s tough as a player and I can only feel for Meikayla,” was the view of New Zealand midfielder Annalie Longo, who was on punditry duties for the game back home.
“I’m so proud of the USWNT, 3-0 at half vs NZ, but I do have to say my heart goes out to Moore, this beautiful game can be cruel sometimes and today doesn’t define her! I can’t imagine the pressure she feels atm and I hope she’s okay.”
Former US defender Ali Krieger tweeted this during the game.
Scoring 3 own goals for your team can be the most disheartening thing that can happen to a player.
Nobody and I mean nobody scores an own goal on purpose and our hearts go out to Meikayla Moore, who probably had the worst day in her life.
Humans make mistakes and Meikayla is only human.
We hope that the gods have written only a good script for her future because she has managed to use up a lifetime of bad luck in a single day!
Ada Hegerberg, the Norwegian International, was at the helm of women’s football in 2018 after winning many individual accolades and team titles with the French club Olympique Lyonnais. But at the beginning of 2020, she sustained an injury before Lyon were due to play Stade de Reims on 26 January 2020. It was later confirmed via an MRI scan that she had ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament. On 28 January, the club announced that she would miss at least the remainder of the season. Her absence was further extended in September 2020 by a stress fracture in her left tibia.
Her return to football took a long time. But she was stronger mentally and physically. On 5 October 2021, the Norwegian forward returned to action on the inaugural night of the very first UEFA Women’s Champions League group stage away to Hacken. On 14 November, she ended her 707-day wait for a goal when she struck against Paris Saint-Germain and added another within three minutes. She was back in the European goals on 9 December with two at Benfica, passing 50 in Europe for Lyon, the first to get that may for a single club.
Ada Hegerberg said that scoring the first goal after returning gave her goosebumps. Hegerberg said: “I’ve just been focused ever since I came back. About doing things very simply, getting back into my rhythm. Obviously, playing against PSG is one of my favorite games to play. I love those games. I was ready mentally. I knew I was ready to score. It was just a fantastic day. We had been longing for this game ever since we had lost the French title last season. It was some night for us as a team and the people of Lyon who came to support us. It was incredible to have that reception from the fans because they were cheering like crazy and gave me goosebumps as well.”
Ada is one of the top footballers in the world right now. She has won several awards before suffering that injury. Hegerberg was awarded the 2016 UEFA Best Women’s Player in Europe Award on 25 August 2016, and in 2017 and 2019 was named BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year. In 2018 she was the first-ever recipient of the Ballon d’Or Feminin. She holds the record for most goals in a UEFA Women’s Champions League season and is currently the all-time highest goalscorer in UEFA Women’s Champions League.
The Norwegian footballer has already started working for the betterment of women’s football. Hegerberg has had a massive media impact over the past years, widely considered as the number one spokesperson for her sport, given the numerous interviews she gave for women’s football. She has been named one of the most powerful women in sport by several media, including Sports Illustrated.
The ability of female athletes to attract significant audiences on television, benefit sponsors, and attract tens of thousands of fans to every event has been demonstrated time and time again over the past decade. Women’s sports allow brands to position themselves as modern and progressive, attracting new audiences. The same Nielsen Sports poll says that women’s sports are generally viewed more favourably than their male counterparts: they are considered less money-oriented, less prone to cheating, more challenging, and much more family-oriented.
Since the cost of rights, both for advertising revenue and for subscriptions, depends on the size of the audience, women’s sports broadcasts on television must attract a significant number of viewers to generate considerable income. The value of these offerings is modest compared to men’s sports but growing. Commercial activity in women’s sports is still tiny (compared to men’s sports), but it multiplies. The truth is that women’s sports represent an exciting business opportunity that most companies are missing out on, especially brands operating on a smaller budget, for which participation in many men’s sports is simply too competitive and expensive.
More women at the helm of leagues, teams, sports governing bodies and media companies will change the values reflected in sports and keep female athletes off the hook, said Julie Foody, a new investor in Angel City FC football team. Former Team USA star. This was the topic of a series of talks on the future of the sport by Aspen Institutes, at a time when organisations such as the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), the Women’s National Soccer League (NWSL) and Athletes Unlimited (AU) are introducing new professional sports models. Coming years will be significant for women’s sports: the Women’s Six Nations Championship, the Women’s World Cup, the Women’s Cricket World Cup and the World Lifetime Netball Championship, not to mention the many other competitions in football, hockey, volleyball, matches in curling and golf, many of which are broadcast for the first time.
Adidas recently became a founding partner of United for Girls, partnering with the US Football Federation to empower women and girls from disadvantaged communities. Angel City and Nike donate a sports bra to low-income communities for every seat sold. The lack of sports bras is a significant barrier for women to exercise. The value of partnerships with women’s sports teams and female athletes is likely to increase.
Women’s sports represent a missed opportunity for brands, with only 0.4% of sponsorship dollars going to women’s sports and female athletes. Sports brands such as Nike and Adidas have a long history of supporting female athletes, but traditional brands have traditionally invested in their sponsorships in supporting men’s teams and athletes. Fortunately, the tide seems to be changing, and previous years saw a significant increase in sponsorship of women’s sports, especially from large corporations.
You would believe that women’s football is finally getting the attention it deserves. Women’s football teams such as Chelsea, Manchester City, Lyon, and, of course, Barcelona are far more professional and sophisticated than the teams in the past.
But what if we told you that there was a time when women’s football was at its wonderful pinnacle and that if it hadn’t been for the FA, the fate of the women’s game could have been so very different.
So, let’s travel back in time and uncover a story of football – in an era where destruction and weapons were upon us.
During World War 1, men had to leave the country to serve in the great war. The majority of capable young men picked up their weapons, joined the army, and were ready to sacrifice themselves for their motherland.
This caused a hole in the country’s workforce, causing it to cease operations.
With men gone, someone had to pick up the workload so that there will be bread and butter at the end of the day. As a product, it created a generation of fierce women, who worked in the factories, creating armaments, worked amid dangerous machinery and noxious chemicals, agriculture, and pretty much everything.
Basically, women were in charge of handling the workload of the entire country.
Soon factories began to set up their own football teams and there was one team that stood out. Dick, Kerr’s Ladies FC founded in 1917 were a team of female employees who worked at the Preston-based Dick, Kerr & Co munitions factory.
The team was fabulous. It caught the eye of many people; they were the talk of the town. Masses would gather around in thousands, to see this team play.
Dick, Kerr’s Ladies FC, and many such others, began to play to raise money for charity and war efforts.
Besides in the darkest of times that mankind has seen, a beautiful game of football made people smile. Perhaps for only the briefest of the moment, it gave them enough hope to carry on.
The popularity of Dick, Kerr’s Ladies FC, and women’s football was growing like wildfire.
The concept of females playing football was generally regarded as a wholesome novelty. But the sheer popularity of Dick, Kerr’s Ladies FC helped change that perception and establish women’s football as a real, legitimate sport in its own right.
The team even had a star player in their ranks, Lily Parr who was almost 6 feet tall and could smash the ball like a rocket was an exceptional footballer. Praised even by the male footballers at the time.
On one Boxing Day, their match against a rival women’s team drew a crowd of 53,000 at Goodison Park, with over 14,000 more potential spectators stranded outside the stadium. The ladies were genuine celebrities, with offers to perform all across the country. The bubble, however, soon burst — poked by the FA itself.
Insecurities and jealousy witnessing the rise of women’s football, the FA thought this will be a threat to the men’s game. Towards the end of 1921, the FA made a shock move and banned mainstream women’s football.
They were not allowed to play on FA pitches anymore, the statement was, “the game of football is quite unsuitable for females and ought not to be encouraged”.
There might have also been a political influence that led the FA into taking this decision.
Now, these matches were played for noble but left-wing causes, such as raising funds for miners opposing wage cuts in 1921. As a result, individuals who considered trade unions to be their foes perceived this as a danger.
Nonetheless, women’s football did continue. The teams now had to play on non-FA pitches but that didn’t quite catch the limelight and women’s football fell into the glorious abyss.
The future might have been different for the women’s game, had FA not decided to burst the bubble. Still in the time, playing for the right causes, Dick, Kerr’s Ladies FC, and the others brought hope in the hearts, smiles on the faces, and much-needed escapism for the people during those dark times.
Women’s football, the comfort and love during an era of mass destruction and hate.
Maria Leon is the wall of Barcelona. She is sometimes called the ‘Carles Puyol’ of the Femeni team. She is a physical defender who can also play as a left-back. Her technique and speed help her to attack very well.
Her first club was Zaragoza CFF, where she debuted at 16 years of age. Mapi played at Espanyol during 2013/14 before joining Atletico Madrid the following season. Last season, in which Atleti claimed the Liga Femenina title, was the one where she came to everyone’s attention. Her performances saw her selected for the Spanish team that contested the European Championship in the summer. On August 24, 2017, she became an FC Barcelona player.
Jennifer Hermoso is the No.10 in the squad. She is a player who can score goals and makes assists in any situation. She is a natural leader who possesses a strong left foot and a big aerial presence.
She was brought up through the ranks at Atletico Madrid and coming to the fore at Rayo Vallecano, Madrid-born Jennifer Hermoso joined Barça in the winter of 2014 after a season at Swedish side Tyresso. In 2017 she left to join PSG, returning to LaLiga and Atletico Madrid a year later. Her second spell at Barça would come when she was signed again in 2019. Hermoso was the top goalscorer in the league during the three seasons before her rejoining Barca.
Asisat Oshola is one of the best African players in the world. The striker has been chosen as African Player of the Year on no less than four occasions, in 2019, 2014, 2016 and 2017. The year 2014 was a stellar one for the Nigerian as she also claimed the Golden Shoe at the U20 World Cup. Oshola has great experience despite her youth, having played for Arsenal in 2016 alongside Vicky Losada and for Liverpool the previous year in the English top division of Women’s Football.
During a spell in China, she was the top scorer in the 2017 Superleague. The striker came to FC Barcelona on loan from Chinese club Dalian Quanjian and was presented as a Barca player in January 2019.
One of the most promising players to come out of the youth set, Aitana Bonamati, has been an international at every youth level. In 2015/16, she led the B team to their first-ever Second Division league title. During that season, she made her debut for the first team in the Cup. In the summer of 2016, she made the definitive move to the first team squad.