Barcelona player Alexia Putellas says the conditions in women’s football must be improved
The FC Barcelona player and current Ballon d’Or holder spoke to FIFPRO about the current situation regarding women’s football.
FC Barcelona midfielder Alexia Putellas insisted that it is important to improve the conditions for the players” to continue with the professionalisation of women’s football while at the same time saying that “anyone who is coherent would praise Barcelona for what they have done for the sport”.
The Ballon d’Or holder spoke to FUTPRO in which she opened up on the ACL injury that had kept her out of football for over 300 days: “the conclusion that I have gained from this injury, from the experiences I’ve had recently, is that it is a multifactorial injury. I don’t think the injury was just about one thing. I don’t put it down the fact that there aren’t a lot of studies on the topic. It’s an injury that depends on a lot of things”, she said.
Alexia gives examples of areas to improve in women’s football
The midfielder finally returned to the pitch after suffering an ACL tear before Spain’s Euro 2022 campaign. Barcelona beat Sporting Huelva 3-0 to secure their fourth league title in a row, capping off another historic season in which the team are yet to drop a single point after 26 games.
Alexia said that players’ conditions should be improved in terms of “rest, travel, and playing surfaces, as well as, of course, the stadiums. It’s relatively recent that the players have begun to become more professional in this sport, and there has hardly been any time to carry out these studies and learn more about the players’ bodies. It’s clear that it is a different body to that of a man. I think there are things to improve”, she said.
In terms of the domination that FC Barcelona have once again had in the domestic league, in which they have only lost once in the last 4 seasons, the Ballon d’Or holder acknowledged that “there is a distance between Barça and a lot of other teams, really since Barça created a project and lead the situation. I hope a lot of clubs do the same.”
Barça have driven the change in women’s football
“80 to 85% of clubs have a professional structure that also has a men’s team playing professionally”, she continued, “then of course there are other clubs that don’t have that backing, and they need support and institutional assessment, government help.”
Also, she pointed out the ambition of the Catalan club in the women’s game, despite the superiority over recent years: “Barça have grown, they have driven [change], and they’re not happy with just that, they want to continue to improve the investment and help the players be what they really want to be: footballers who don’t have to worry about being anything else.”
Barcelona, last year, broke a 23-year-old attendance record which stood at 90,195 from the 1999 World Cup final. Alexia’s side managed to attract 91,648 fans into the Camp Nou to face Wolfsburg in the Champions League semi final of the 2021/22 season. “It was incredible”, she said, “it was one of the best days of my life. What we experienced there was incredible and I hope it continues like that. I hope it’s just the start of the romance between the Camp Nou, our team and our fans and that we continue to win.”
Alexia’s Barcelona team play Wolfsburg in the 22/23 UEFA Women’s Champions League final on 3 June 2023.