Women's Champions League Classico finally gains the recognition it deserves

Champions League Classico shatters Women’s Football attendance record!

Arthur Ferridge
4th April 2022
Real Madrid Femenino. Image credit: Twitter - @realmadridfem
The Champions League quarter-final between Barcelona Femenino and Real Madrid Femenino set a new attendance record for women’s football! The seven-goal thriller played out in front of 91,553 spectators, over 1,000 clear of the previous record holder, 1999’s World Cup Final in Pasadena.

This landmark match adds another highlight to Barcelona Feminino’s impressive legacy. The team is among the most formidable in the game, sitting top of Primera División Femenina with a 19 point buffer to second place. They are yet to lose a match this season, presently enjoying a streak of 41 competitive victories with an average of 4.9 goals scored per game.

The theme continued in this tie. The first leg was a relatively one-sided affair. Los Blancos took an early lead through winger Olga Carmona, a fact which Barcelona did not take kindly to, replying with three goals of their own to take a two-goal advantage into the home leg at the Nou Camp.

The second leg followed a similar pattern. Barcelona found themselves on the back foot early in the second half but went on to score four goals in 22 minutes to put the tie to bed, winning 8-3 on aggregate.

Veteran Barcelona star and Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas believes that crowds of this size can foster further progress in women’s football.

“I didn't picture myself playing in the Nou Camp as a girl as I only saw men playing there,” she told reporters before the game. “The game can open so many doors for so many girls and I feel proud Barca makes it possible."

Twitter: @FCBfemeni

Player of the Match Caroline Graham Hansen mirrored this sentiment in an emotional post-match interview: “I had to hold my tears back because this is just too crazy… I couldn't imagine anything like it, it's just goosebumps all over the place.”

If the near-sellout crowd wasn’t enough of a statement, fans formed a massive mosaic before the match which read “More than empowerment.” The club wrote on their website that “The message was one that the Club wished to send around the world… supporting women in their battle for a more equal society.”

Players across the world have celebrated this historic crowd. Manchester United striker and Scotland international Martha Thomas wrote on twitter that the match constituted an “unbelievable moment for women’s football.”

Gender equality activist and two-time World Cup Winner Megan Rapinoe was similarly enthusiastic, writing that the “crowd [was] fitting for the team on the pitch! You LOVE to see it.”

"You LOVE to see it"

Megan Rapinoe

This comes just over a month after the United States Women’s National Team finally secured equal pay after a years-long battle spearheaded by Rapinoe and her teammates.

Barcelona Feminino will face Wolfsburg in the UWCL semi-finals on April 23rd as they continue their title defense.

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AUTHOR: Arthur Ferridge
Head of Sport, 2023/24. @rthur_ferridge on Twitter/X

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