Women's soccer is going through an excellent moment. What does the increased interest in this discipline imply? .
LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla
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Soccer is one of the most important sports in history. The truth is that there are leagues all over the planet, which generate the interest of millions of fans. And, although for a long time everything was focused on the men's variant, in recent years there has been an increase in rating with respect to women's football.
A clear example happened recently, in an official match of the European Championship, when more than 87 thousand people decided to go to Wembley . This was a true attendance record for a European Championship match, be it Men's or Women's. When it happened? In the Final of the Women's Eurocup 2022.
This figure was given in the match between England and Germany, which ended with a result in favor of the English 2-1. The goals? Ella Toone and Chloe Kelly for the locals, while Lina Magull had temporarily tied the result. Now, is there any background related to this matter?
A precedent for the attendance record occurred in the 1964 Men's Final in Spain. At that time, the host country had defeated the then Soviet Union, by 2 to 1. There were 79,115 spectators in the legendary Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, a number that is quite far from the current one.
Now, was this trend in the Women's Championship something exceptional? Not necessarily. In the current Women's Euro Cup, the match between England and Austria was already a record in this tournament, with an influx of 68,871 spectators. The record for an England Lionesses match had been set in 2019, with 77,768 spectators against Germany at Wembley, in a friendly.
Later, the total record for a women's football match in all competitions was seen with FC Barcelona at the Camp Nou, the only stadium in Europe that had a greater capacity than Wembley. In other words, on April 23, 91,648 spectators watched the UEFA Champions League Semifinal between FC Barcelona and German side Wolfsburg.
And does it only apply to tickets for the public? Well, the reality is no. In the recent match between England and Germany, only in the United Kingdom there was an audience of 17.4 million people, who followed the BBC One broadcast. That is, those who did not go to the stadium watched the game from their homes.
The Reasons for the Growing Interest in Women's Football
Now, why does this interest occur? The reality is that it seems to be a change in society. First, that more and more women are starting to play football, either as amateurs, as official juniors or as professionals. And is there data regarding this? The reality is that yes.
A clear example occurred in River Plate, which set a record in the girls' soccer tournament. 2,500 young people signed up during the winter holidays to try to be part of all the training categories, when in previous years between 500 and 600 girls used to attend, demonstrating that sport is no longer for men.
What does all this imply? Well, the girls, being interested in playing in a discipline, want to know more about the referents of the sport. In other words, a girl who plays football as a striker will surely have seen athletes of the stature of Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi. But what about women?
As for some time the matches were not widely broadcast, possibly not everyone knew who the best players were. However, nowadays, it could be said that many try to become footballers of the stature of Alex Morgan, Lucy Bronze or Vivianne Miedema, among others.
In this sense, the support provided by institutions also generates greater interest in people to watch women's football. An example occurs with the “The Best” award for Best FIFA Player or Best Technical, which began to be awarded in recent years. And, since then, 6 different women have won it.
The best of all? That this is just beginning and that possibly in the future the transmissions will be even more successful. The explanation is very simple: as it is a sport that is just beginning to become popular among women, it is logical that the technical quality is not the best, since years of training are missing.
However, when several years have passed, and they have improved their level, the competition will be even more attractive. And this will have to go hand in hand with the professionalization of women's soccer, which implies that they can receive a salary and dedicate themselves 100% to this activity, something that some countries, such as Argentina, have already implemented.
In short, the transmission records of the European Championship are not an isolated thing: they are the product of many years betting on the strengthening of this sport. We will have to see how this discipline evolves in the future, but the forecasts are encouraging. Do you watch women's football matches?