Women’s Soccer Attendance Record Set In Barcelona Amid Incredible Scenes, Amazing Goals

Més que un club? More than empowerment. That was the message held aloft by 91,553 fans at the famous Camp Nou stadium as the women's soccer attendance record was set on Wednesday in Barcelona. The record crowd saw an unbelievable match with golazos raining in from both sides. 

FC Barcelona beat Real Madrid 5-2 to advance to the Women’s Champions League semifinals 8-3 on aggregate, but this was more than a regular match. This was a match that should once and for all shut up anyone who says no one cares about women’s sports, though misogynists will be triggered by the mere mention of women’s sports being successful.

On Tuesday, the Egypt-Senegal men’s World Cup qualifier in Dakar, Senegal, provided one of the best atmospheres I’ve seen in years. It took just one day for it to be outdone with the record-setting day in Barcelona, and the play on the pitch did not disappoint, with seven amazing goals. 

The previous women's soccer attendance record was the 1999 Women’s World Cup final between the U.S. and China. That match (a doubleheader with the third-place match) drew 90,185 fans to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Unofficially, the largest attendance for a women’s soccer match comes from the 1971 World Cup final between Denmark and Mexico, when 110,000 reportedly attended at the Azteca Stadium.

Just over three years ago, another match in Spain set a record for attendance at a women’s club match at 60,739, which stood until Wednesday. In a few brief years, that record has been shattered by the best women’s soccer team in the world. All on a Wednesday evening in Barcelona.

For a bit of comparison, Barcelona’s largest home crowd for a men’s match this season was the 86,422 who showed up to watch a 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid in October. 

Throughout the match, fans raised their placards to recreate the epic “MORE THAN EMPOWERMENT” tifo. It was a beautiful night for women’s soccer, which was illegal in Spain until 1975. 

Here are a few more images of the incredible scenes at Camp Nou on Wednesday.

Women's Soccer Attendance Record Scenes

Even before the match, fans flocked to the Camp Nou to show their support en masse. 

Barcelona royalty was on hand to watch, including Carles Puyol and current men’s coach Xavi.

Barcelona vs. Real Madrid Highlights (UWCL Second Leg)

The match itself, against all odds, lived up to the amazing atmosphere.

In the first leg, Real Madrid stunned the reigning champ with an early goal, holding the lead into the second half before Barcelona scored three straight to take a 3-1 win that felt a bit harsh on the home side.

Coming in with a 3-1 aggregate lead, Barcelona could have just sat back and played defensively. With a massive crowd behind them, Barça instead took it to their rivals from the opening minute. 

Mapi León kept the home fans roaring in the eighth minute with a cross/shot that ended up in the back of the net. 

Real Madrid gave itself a lifeline not long later when Olga Carmona converted a penalty kick after a hand ball in the box. 

Moments into the second half, the Barcelona faithful were briefly quieted by a stunning golazo from Claudia Zornoza, whose passing options strayed offside so she just launched an incredible goal from 40 yards out, catching Sandra Paños off her line.

Zornoza’s goal was as if Carli Lloyd’s midfield strike against Japan in the 2015 Women’s World Cup final had a baby with Michael Bradley’s long-range lob against Mexico in the Azteca during 2018 World Cup qualifying. 

The amazing strike pulled the visitors ahead on the night and within a goal on aggregate. But Barcelona quickly restored its two-goal aggregate advantage through the impeccable control of Aitana Bonmatí.

And a few minutes later Barça retook the lead on the night with another stunning goal, this from Claudia Pina. 

Then it was the captain’s turn to get on the score sheet. Alexia Putellas, the reigning world’s best player according to FIFA, didn’t hit the ball cleanly but got just enough on it to beat María Isabel Rodríguez. It was Alexia’s eighth goal in seven UWCL matches this season, but at this point the DAZN social media team was too overworked to tweet out the video.

Instead, the next goal to watch is this finish from Caroline Graham Hansen, with Fridolina Rolfö doing most of the hard work to set it up to bring the score to 5-2, 8-3 on aggregate. 

The match finished 5-2 on the night, 8-3 on aggregate, but the number that will live long in the memory is 91,553, breaking a record that stood for more than two decades. 

Videos you might like