Women's football now only missing one thing: Real Madrid
The final that Spain’s girls’ under-19 team lost yesterday was the third consecutive final they’d played in and the fourth in five years. There have been notable successes in the under-17 category as well, winning three of the last 10 European Championships, coming second in two and finishing third once. All of this reflects a high level – built on the will and support of three generations of women and girls who’ve just been practising their hobby – which has been achieved with almost everything going against them. That’s because there are few people who have promoted women’s football over the years, whether in Spanish clubs or in the Federation.
Greater investment in women's game
Fortunately, the situation is beginning to change. LaLiga has invested €2 million – in virtue of the latest TV contract – through the Federation, and has created an Association of Clubs for women’s football. Sponsors Iberdrola have invested a further €2m, a quarter which will go to the national set-up and three quarters to the clubs. The Association of Spanish Footballers has also established representation for female players. What’s more, Spain’s women’s coach is no longer that dinosaur Ignacio Quereda, collector of votes for the “Villarato”, but someone much more capable.
Real Madrid lagging behind
Looked at more closely, the only thing women’s football in Spain is missing now is Real Madrid. The rest of the big clubs have signed up to the cause with ever more enthusiasm. Florentino Perez is still lagging on the matter – something which would cost him very little when you consider the absurdity that for what Lucas Silva is paid, a women’s team could be funded for 15 seasons. I’m told that one of Perez’ colonels has a daughter that plays very well and he’s fighting to convince him. The daughter of a notable Real Madrid director couldn’t possibly player for Atléti, could she!? Who knows if it it’ll go that way…but if Real Madrid created its own team, it would be the definitive push forward that the women’s game needs.
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