Barça Women return to Camp Nou 50 years after first game played by pioneers
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Barça Women will play at the Camp Nou for the first time since their professionalisation, in a league match against Espanyol on January 6th. The team, who since 2019 have been playing at the Estadi Johan Cruyff, will feature at the Camp Nou to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the match that women's side Selecció Ciutat Barcelona -considered the ‘embryo’ of Barça’s women’s football setup- played there on December 25th, 1970.
On Christmas Day 1970, the Barça pioneers, under the name Selecció Ciutat Barcelona, of coached by legendary former goalkeeper Antoni Ramallets, played a match against Unió Esportiva Centelles, as a prelude to a first team match against CSKA Sofía. That game at the Camp Nou, which ended in a goalless draw, took place in front of 60,000 people, and became part of Barça Women’s history -even though at that time they could not wear the club colours or use the club name, as they were not officially part of it.
Previously the stadium had hosted two other matches with female participation, in 1967 and 1969, but these were with teams that had been created only for that occasion, unlike Selecció Ciutat, which was created with the idea of continuity and laying the groundwork for a future project.
With the match against Espanyol at the Camp Nou, Barça Women will once again be protagonists in a historic milestone. The players will do so as a professional team, the result of the club's 2015 commitment to promoting women's football.
The game will be brodcast on Barça TV, the club streaming service Barça TV+ by registering, and Teledeporte.
On January 6th, the spirit of those pioneers will be at the stadium, as it is expected that a representation of their group will be able to attend to watch the match live, health and safety measures permitting. Likewise, the Barça players will wear a patch on their shirts to commemorate the milestone of 50 years ago, whilst on the stadium video screens and through speed time - the LED screens that border the playing field - that unique match from 50 years ago will be remembered.
In addition to this event at the Camp Nou, the club and the FC Barcelona Players' Association have prepared a series of parallel actions to commemorate the date. The Association has organised a commemorative event for the pioneers with the participation of Ramón Alfonseda, president of the entity, and Carles Tusquets, president of the Management Committee of FC Barcelona. Different audiovisual content has been created that reviews key moments in the history of the women’s team, as seen by that first group of players, in a series published through social networks on a weekly basis, ending on the 24th with a video dedicated exclusively to December 25th, 1970.
Barça have prepared a video with current Barça Women's players Alexia Putellas and Aitana Bonmatí, who are taking part in an 'unboxing' that shows their reaction to objects typical of the 1970's, images of that first match and even a reproduction of the first Copa de la Reina of 1993/94, among other pieces, with the aim of being able to make that era better known, take a tour through the history of women’s football and provide an idea of how things have changed from then to the present day.
Barça and women’s football
Barça Femení turned professional in the summer of 2015. Since then, the team has established itself as a point of reference in the Spanish league, the competition the side won last season. The professionalisation of the team was the culmination of a journey started precisely by that group of women who were part of Selecció Ciutat de Barcelona.
In 1971 they became known as the Penya Femenina Barcelonista, and began to receive support from the club. After playing numerous tournaments and friendly matches for almost a decade, the situation stabilised in 1980 when women's football was integrated into the Spanish Federation (RFEF). This allowed the celebration of the first Copa de la Reina in 1983 and the first league in the 1988/89 season.
Subsequently, two more key dates for the team were June 26th, 1994 and June 26th, 2002. In the former, Club Femení Barcelona, the new name under which Barça played, won the first Copa de la Reina, defeating Orquieta Villaverde de Madrid 2-1 in the final. The latter marks the moment when Club Femení Barcelona became a section of the club, called FC Barcelona Women
Since 2006, Barcelona’s women’s football has begun an upward trajectory that has culminated in the current golden age, with a cumulative record of five league titles, one Supercopa de España, five Copas de la Reina and ten Copes de Catalunya.
The commitment to women’s football has remained with Barça Women, with the talent trained at the club such as Vicky Losada, Patri Guijarro, Leila Ouahabi and Aitana Bonmatí, among others, as well as important international signings such as Lieke Martens -who in 2017 was chosen as Player of the Year by UEFA and The Best by FIFA-, Asisat Oshoala -named Best African Player for the last four consecutive years- or Caroline Graham Hansen.
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