Women's Barça: Let's reopen Camp Nou Listen to this article

There are days that are etched in our memory. Moments that get imprinted in the mind before and after. It is important to pause and reflect on these moments, as they lead to new possibilities. The night of 30 March 2022 was not just a night out, it was a show of strength in the women’s sport as rarely seen.

A total of 91,553 people gathered at the Camp Nou with one goal: to enjoy the match between Real Madrid and Barcelona in the quarter-finals of the Women’s Champions League. It was more than a meeting at the European level, it was the mobilization of an increasingly strong sentiment. Women’s football is marketable and interesting if the means are provided for it.

The appointment broke any previous record in the sport. The record was set in the 1999 World Cup final at Rosebowl Stadium in Pasadena, where more than 90,000 souls gathered to support the match between the United States and China. The previous top figure was blown up in a club match, leaving more than 60,000 fans who came to the Wanda Metropolitano in 2019 to watch the Catalan at the Atlético de Madrid stadium. And the previous record in Europe’s top competition is far behind with 50,000 fans, who followed the final between Olympique Lyonnais and Frankfurt in Munich in 2012.

One of the most symbolic stadiums in modern football was filled to support the women’s section of the club. The image of the field, with stands painted in the team’s colours, was creating a general sense of admiration around the world. As an avant-garde club in the region, Barcelona’s job is to promote the development of, in developing a culture of equality. Noun And act as an inspiration to the little ones. Because if you want to hold on to the dream, it is easy to dream.

Football practiced by women is experiencing a moment of development, and we must not forget the fact that the road will be very long. It is important to lay the foundation for solid projects, giving the necessary time to complete the phases. Attracting the best players, convincing powerful sponsors and creating a sports culture around the discipline is a process of years. And the belief in the product will be just as important as the talent of the athletes. Professionalizing the league and having prominent women in management would be steps to strengthen a sport that has a lot of potential.

It is true that the imbalance is huge at the moment. But a committed club like Barca has developed a firm project, surrounded by entities that are still taking their first steps. An organization with clear objectives has opened up an exciting path, and this season they can bear more fruit: the best player in the world plays in their ranks, the second is a goal for the Champions League season and the winning dynamics give fans attracts.

The club is dashing the expectations looking at all. The Johan Cruyff Stadium, with only 6,000 seats, has fallen short for some games of the season. The social mass grows, many fans are left without seeing the girls day in and day out and the reality screams for a movement: that the opening of Camp Nou is not an exception in search of a record, but a regular transit in the most important events. Is. It may not always be full, but the message of greatness can permeate even the smallest. Among the girls looking to have a professional future to choose from in football.

Alexia Putelas during a match at Camp Nou.
Alexia Putelas during a match at Camp Nou.AFP7 via Europa Press (Europa Press)

It’s hard to forget the looks of the players. Girls who grew up in that house, who haven’t played for the other team, were able to defend their complexion in the stadium they’ve lived with since childhood. That mystical lawn was his and it is an unforgettable moment. The first time the team and fans could see each other at Camp Nou, a mysterious atmosphere ensued, expected to be the first of many meetings.

To mark the beginning of an era for this sport, these opportunities need to appear more often. I still remember the record game of Wanda Metropolitano, an initiative that would develop Atlético de Madrid if it were repeated more often. The public has shown a willingness to respond whenever they have had the opportunity to showcase it. In sport, given the emotion it evokes, the stage effect is no trivial matter.

Access to these spaces is nothing new in sports such as tennis or basketball. This will be a big step towards normalizing it in football. Fortunately, the number of girls who dedicate themselves exclusively to the sport continues to grow. When a product sells well, when it has visibility, it generates widespread interest. Hope you get the same opportunities, just ask for it.

Brave people have the courage to change things. Barça has taken a huge initiative to keep its class at the top of the line in the world. In the Champions League semi-finals, at the end of April, they have the opportunity to bring the stars back to the Camp Nou pitch. In that case, something stronger than the achievement of a record will be achieved: a steadfast commitment to greatness, to serve as an example. To show that the dream is possible.

What happened last Wednesday is already a beautiful memory. A perfect image that will fade with time. Let’s move on to something bigger: let the confusion be the next great meeting.

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