Empty football stadium with red and blue seats and green football pitch.
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‘More than empowerment’: A football match of a lifetime for Barcelona

By Claire Thomson

Barcelona smash attendance record for women’s football match as crowd of over 91,000 attends Champions League win over Real Madrid.

On Wednesday evening, Barcelona made history by producing an outstanding performance to beat rivals Real Madrid 5-2 and reach the Champions League semi-finals in front of a record-breaking crowd of 91,553 fans at the Nou Camp. With all the attention on women’s football, the crowd smashed the previous highest turnout for a women’s club game, which came in 2019 when 60,739 people witnessed Barcelona win 2-0 away to Atletico Madrid at Wanda Metropolitan.

In Europe’s largest stadium, there were still more advancements in women’s football being made beyond the club level. The crowd also belittled the record for spectators at a women’s international, set when 80,203 fans gathered at Wembley during the London 2012 Olympic Games to see the United States secure gold by beating Japan 2-1.

Manchester United recently celebrated getting a mere 20,000 fans to Old Trafford in the Women’s Super League, meanwhile Arsenal had only 5,000 for the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal against Wolfsburg. Barcelona has well and truly shown up the rest of Europe, blowing them out of the water and sending out the message to reach higher and always strive for more. 

Ballon d’Or winner and Barcelona captain Alexia Putellas described playing in front of the record breaking crowd as “magical”. Growing up watching the men’s team at the Nou Camp, she commented that the turnout had left her “speechless”.

“This has been utterly magical. When the match finished the fans simply didn’t want to go home, there was such a connection between them and us while we celebrated,” she said. “I saw a lot of girls, children with that spark in their eyes. It’s amazing to be part of history.”

Tickets for the head-to-head match at the 99,354 seater stadium had completely sold out for Barcelona’s first appearance in front of supporters at the stadium. The fans were there because they wanted to be there. There were no massive advertisements or campaigns, the stadium was simply filled with people who have a love for the sport and their team.

Inside the ground, a giant mosaic was formed before the start of the match, spelling out the words “more than empowerment”. The club had said that filling the biggest stadium in Europe would “send out a clear message to aspiring young girls all around the world – you can do it too!”


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