El Clasico: Barcelona’s quarter-final win over Real Madrid in the Women’s Champions League was witnessed by 91,553 fans at the Nou Camp on Wednesday, making it a watershed moment for women’s football in Europe.
The hosts came from behind to defeat their bitter rivals 5-2, advancing to the semi-finals with an 8-3 aggregate victory, and setting up a last-four meeting with either Arsenal or Wolfsburg.
The previous highest attendance for a women’s club game was 60,739 in 2019 when Barcelona defeated Atletico Madrid 2-0 at Wanda Metropolitano. The previous Champions League attendance record was 50,212 for a 2012 game between Lyon and Frankfurt in Munich.
It was also the first time Barcelona’s women’s team played in front of a live audience at the Nou Camp. They had previously played at the stadium, but behind closed doors due to restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Carney: The El Clasico crowd moved me to tears.
“It was incredible. I took off my ex-player pundit hat and just watched the game, shouting at the TV. I couldn’t believe there were 91,000 people in attendance for a women’s game.
“Credit to Barcelona and everyone involved for bringing the fans in, making it happen, and putting on such a great show and spectacle, leading the way in women’s football.”
“Towards the end, Alexia Putellas was banging the drum and singing songs with the fans and the rest of the team.” Looking back, I was a little emotional, but I’m very proud of myself.
“Women’s football has been chasing this for a long time, and now that they’ve done it, they’re leading the way, and every other team should now follow them.” It was incredible.
“I’ve always believed that women’s football should be a part of, not separate from, men’s football.” As you can see, there is potential for large crowds and attendance. If it’s marketed properly, as we saw last night, and credit to Barcelona, if you sell it as an El Clasico and in the proper manner, you’ll get fans because there’s an audience.
“That’s exactly what we should keep doing here in the UK with women’s football because there is an audience and people who want to watch it, it just needs to be sold properly and the product will sell itself after that.”