Left Menu
Development News Edition

Soccer-European final a step in "spectacular progress" for Barca women's team

Reuters | Updated: 17-05-2019 03:52 IST | Created: 17-05-2019 03:52 IST
Soccer-European final a step in "spectacular progress" for Barca women's team
Barcelona are making their first appearance in the women's Champions League final against holders Olympique Lyonnais on Saturday but landing a maiden European title is just one part of the club's grand ambitions in the booming women's game.

The Spanish side are preparing to launch a female franchise in the United States and are looking into building a residence for female players in the mould of their famous La Masia academy. "Reaching the final is not something exceptional but something we have been working very hard to do," Barca's vice-president Jordi Mestre told Reuters in an interview.

"We have made spectacular progress in the last few years and we're going to keep going down this path as we believe we can go very far in women's football." Saturday's sold-out match at the 22,000-capacity Groupama Arena is the first time the women's Champions League final is being held in a separate city to the men's showpiece, which Mestre called "a wise move".

"This week the women are the protagonists, all the media and the fans are focused on this final alone," he added. Women's football is proving particularly popular in Spain where the top division is sponsored by energy company Iberdrola and two games are broadcast per week on national television.

Barca's women's team, meanwhile, have their own shirt sponsorship deal with Stanley Black And Decker which Mestre said has made the team self-sustainable. "These are unequivocal signs that women's football generates huge interest in Spain. Spain are European and world champions at youth level, no-one can doubt the size of women's football, but of course it can grow even more," he added.

Mestre is certain, though, that the Spanish women's game would be even more popular if Real Madrid started a female team to face Barca in a 'Clasico' between Spain's greatest rivals. "It would be very positive for Spanish football if Madrid had a women’s team, we have seen the impact a Clasico has in Spain and around the world," he said.

"It's not for me to say what another club should do but I'm sure a Real Madrid-Barcelona clash in women's football would be a huge deal, there is always a special interest in any game between the two clubs." AMERICAN FRANCHISE AMBITIONS

Barca hope to attract more fans to games next season when their women's side move into the shiny new Estadi Johan Cruyff, named after the club's legendary Dutch player and coach which will also house the men's reserve side and Under-19 team. But their ambitions go beyond Spain, with the club still hopeful of opening a franchise in the National Women's Soccer League.

"This is a strategic matter, something we began in 2015 when we opened our club's office in New York. We have had conversations with clubs, but right now the project is on standby," Mestre said. "If we are going to do it we need to guarantee it is sustainable on a sporting and economic level for a long time."

In the meantime, Barca's focus is on strengthening their women's teams at all age groups, and they have discussed building a residence akin to the 'La Masia' academy which housed the likes of Andres Iniesta before they broke into the team. "If we detect there are enough young girls to play in our teams we could dedicate a space to having an academy and residence, there is room to do so," Mestre added.

"To do if we would need to have a lot of players coming from outside, but in a few years we could do it perfectly." (Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Ed Osmond)



Domestic seafood trade in focus as COVID-19 changes market dynamics

As predicted earlier in a report titled Seafood industry post-COVID 19 An overhaul to trigger the growth of small fisheries, one of the changes going ahead would be increased focus on domestic seafood trade, driven by falling exports and su...

Migration post-COVID 19: Taking cues from the past to rebuild economies

Migrants are an irreplaceable part of even the essential workforce of developed countries and are on the frontline in the fight against the crisis, making an immeasurable contribution to saving the lives of natives with voting rights....

Socialization Post-COVID-19: Local associations and online groups to play crucial role

Though every age group is suffering due to the global lockdown caused by the ensuing COVID-19 pandemic, the challenges before adolescents are unique. Their social space has shrunk drastically, besides, they have become highly vulnerable to ...

Pharma post-COVID 19: Reducing political clout can alter business models

Powerful governments that have historically supported the pharma industry in enforcing global intellectual property rules are changing course and introducing legislation that can override normal patent rights during emergencies....


Latest News

Sporting fraternity pays tribute to "rare role model" Balbir Singh Sr

Indias sporting community mourned the loss of an inspiration after hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr died on Monday, calling him a rare role model whose achievements will motivate the next generation of athletes. The three-time Olympic gold-win...

Baseball-Teams hold practice games as Japan league nears return

Two Japanese teams held intra-squad practice games in empty ballparks on Monday as the Nippon Professional Baseball NPB league nears a return from the COVID-19 shutdown. The NPB season was supposed to start on March 20 but has been delayed ...

IPL will help spread positivity: Dhawan

The Indian Premier League will help spread positivity and change the mood of the people during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to India opener Shikhar Dhawan, who is hopeful that the glitzy T20 tournament will take place this year. The cor...

FOREX-Dollar on front foot as worries about Hong Kong stir risk aversion

The dollar edged higher on Monday as worries about a standoff between the United States and China over civil liberties in Hong Kong fuelled demand for safe-haven currencies.The yuan and the Australian and New Zealand dollars fell as risk-av...

Give Feedback