Record crowd at Barça Women-Real Madrid game


Attendance record at women's soccer Image: FC Barcelona

Women’s soccer celebrated a milestone on March 30th when a world-record crowd of more than 91,000 people watched Barça Women (Futbol Club Barcelona Femení – the women’s football section of FC Barcelona, Spain) defeat Real Madrid (Spanish women’s football club Real Madrid Femenino) 5-2 in the quarter final second leg of the Women’s Champions League at the Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona, Spain.

‘The Indian Express’ quoted organizers as stating that 91,553 people were in attendance in Barcelona. The previous record for any women’s game was 90,185 for the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ Final between the United States and China at the 90,888-capacity Rose Bowl Stadium at Pasadena in California.

Exclaimed Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas, “I don’t have the words to describe it. It was super magical. The game ended and the fans didn’t want to leave. It was incredible.”

The 99,354-capacity Camp Nou is a football stadium in Barcelona, Spain. It opened in 1957 and has been the home stadium of the LaLiga team FC Barcelona since its completion.

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Women’s Champions League, previously called the UEFA Women’s Cup, is an international women’ s association football competition. It involves the top club teams from countries affiliated with the European governing body UEFA.

The ‘Indian Express’ further stated that at the 2012 Olympic final in London’s 90,000-capacity Wembley Stadium, 80,203 people saw the US women’s soccer team defeat Japan 2-1 to win the gold medal.

The previous women’s Champions League record was 50,212 for a game between the French women’s football club Olympique Lyonnais Féminin and the German women’s association football club Eintracht Frankfurt in Munich (Germany) in 2012.

A stadium wide mosaic featured the words ‘More than Empowerment’ on the grandstands of the Camp Nou supporting women in their battle for a more equal society.

FC Barcelona wrote on Twitter, “Culers, the world record for attendance at a women’s football match is ours!”

The Catalan club advanced to the semifinals 8-3 on aggregate after winning the first leg 3-1 in Madrid (Spain) last week.

Putellas scored one of the goals for Barcelona, which will face either the Women’s Super League team Arsenal Women Football Club (UK) or the German’s women’s football club VfL Wolfsburg in the semifinals.

Alexia Putellas Segura is a Spanish footballer who plays as a midfielder for the Primera División club Barcelona, whom she captains, and the Spain national team. She is widely regarded as one of the best female players in the world.

It was the first time Barcelona’s women’s team played a match at the Camp Nou in front of fans. It had played at the stadium before but behind closed doors because of restrictions prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The team usually play its matches at the much smaller Johan Cruyff Stadium in Spain, which holds about 6,000 fans. The Camp Nou has a 99,000-capacity.

The match sold out quickly after free tickets for club members were snapped up two months in advance. The cheapest tickets for non-members were priced up to 15 euros ($16).

Barça Women has won all seven meetings with Real Madrid Femenino, which only recently created its women’s team.

Going down annals of history

The ‘FC Barcelona’ stated that the 91,553 fans that were behind Jonatan Giráldez’s (head coach of the Barça women’s team) team as they made it to the last four of the competition have also helped to write another page in the history books not just at Barça but in women’s football.

Camp Nou’s capacity, the biggest in Europe, allowed hopes of a record attendance for a women’s game to be raised.

The challenge to break the record needed the help of the members and fans who responded excellently to the club’s call for people to come to the game. Despite a rainy day in Barcelona, the fans did not disappoint and turned up in great numbers to get behind a team that has made them proud and that this season could even improve on last season’s treble winning campaign.

Carnival-like atmosphere

The ‘FC Barcelona’ further stated that the fans enjoyed a carnival-like atmosphere inside and outside the ground. The stands at Camp Nou were not only notable due to the size of the crowd but also for the varied nature of those attending with members and fans of all ages and all corners of the world mingling in the Barça stadium to be part of the record breaking evening. In the hours before kickoff, fans were able to take part in various activities (skate park, basketball tournaments, 3 a side futsal, photos…). Several youngsters were attending their first game at Camp Nou and will remember their part in making history for the rest of their lives.

Who’s who

For the historic occasion, present in the President Suñol box were representatives from the Catalan institutions, starting from the President of the Catalan Regional Government, Pere Aragonès, the President of the Catalan Parliament, Laura Borràs, as well as the Barcelona Government Delegates, Maria Eugènia Gay, the Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, and the Secretary of State for Sport and President of the CSD, José Manuel Franco.

Other guests included Barça figures such as Xavi Hernández, Carles Puyol, Àlex Abrines, Audie Norris, and the President of the Cruyff Foundation, Susila Cruyff. From the world of culture present were the winner of the Berlinale Os d’Or, the cinema Director Carla Simon and actor Silvia Abril.

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