Real Madrid and Bayern also want to be giants of women’s football

Lyon against Bayern and Paris SG against Real Madrid: the women's teams of PSG and OL travel on Wednesday and Thursday to the home of two titans, d

Lyon against Bayern and Paris SG against Real Madrid: the women’s teams of PSG and OL travel on Wednesday and Thursday to the home of two titans, determined to recover their delay in women’s football and to be two continental powers there too.

In the first leg in Paris, Real could not stand the fury of the Parisians (4-0), but the meringues are far from having the experience and history of their male counterparts.

Real Madrid was even one of the last major European clubs to equip itself with a women’s team.

An absence corrected since July 1, 2020: CD Tacón, a team from the Spanish capital that had just been promoted to the first division the previous year, was officially absorbed on that date by Real Madrid, from which it adopted the name and the color of the t-shirts.

Objective: to recover the delay with respect to Barcelona. The eternal Catalan rival has invested for several years in its women’s section and has just opened its Masía training center to girls for the first time this summer, already reaping its fruits.

Barcelona crushes the competition in Spain, where it won the league, the Cup and the Super Cup, and even won the Women’s Champions League for the first time in its history last spring.

Real wants to quickly reduce this advantage. The merengue club attracted great players such as the Swedes Asllani and Sofia Jakobsson, nominated for the Ballon d’Or and silver winner at the Olympic Games with her team in Tokyo-2020.

“Women’s football is an unstoppable phenomenon and Real Madrid must be part of it,” said the club’s president, Florentino Pérez, in 2019, during the vote to absorb Tacón.

Last June, Real Madrid finished 2nd in the Spanish women’s league (as in the men’s), securing a first appearance in the Champions League this season.

In their first continental match, the Madridistas beat WFC Kharkiv in Ukraine 1-0 and then thrashed Icelandic club Breidablik 5-0.

In the league, Real have not had a great start to the season with only four victories in ten games, and are situated in a disappointing 10th position in the standings, 17 points behind the leaders, Barça.

In Germany, the giant of women’s football is Wolfsburg, with its five Champions League finals (two titles, 2013 and 2014) and its six Bundesligas.

But, Bayern – which lost 2-1 in Lyon in the first leg – was a pioneer with the creation of a women’s section as early as 1970, just when the German Federation (DFB) lifted the ban on playing soccer for women, formally decreed in 1955.

This first version of Bayern had great successes, before falling into relative anonymity.

The revival dates back to the 2010s with three women’s Bundesliga titles (2015, 2016, and the last edition in 2021) and two Champions League semi-finals in 2019 and 2021. The team is currently third in the Bundesliga, one point from the leader, Wolfsburg.

“Wherever Bayern is, we want to be number one. Our goal and our ambition is to also be a benchmark in women’s football and we are on the right track,” said club president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge last April, just before the take over from Oliver Kahn.

“Wolfsburg have done better than we have in recent years, but we have big goals and we stand on a tradition that no other first division club can claim,” added Rummenigge.

pve-cpb / gr / iga