Good morning and happy tuesday hoddlers. A belated congratulations to Molly Bartrip (pictured here with her mother) for winning the PFA Community Champion award!
As the footballing season wraps up, I thought it would be a fun idea to explore the standings throughout the league. One in particular caught my eye: Barcelona Femeni were crowned the Primera Division champions.
Not surprising, eh? It’s Barcelona, after all. But let’s take a quick look at their stats:
Barcelona Femeni finished the season 30-0-0 (eat your heart out Arsene Wenger) with an absurd Goal Differential of +148! They conceded just 11 goals all season (less than 0.33 per match) and scored on average 5.3 goals per match. Not even in my wildest Football Manager fantasies could I have imagined this.
A few weeks back I provided a link to the Wall Street Journal’s weekend read ($$$) on the Barcelona women’s team was founded only in 2015 and its payroll is less than other notable women’s clubs. Still, a budget of $5.5-7.6 million is a lot. Their goal in 2015: to reach a Champions League final in four to five years, but do so by sticking with the Barcelona philosophy.
From WSJ: “That way of thinking about the game is the blessing and the curse of being Barcelona. The club insists that there is only one acceptable way of winning soccer games. The style must be death-by-a-thousand-passes. The core of the team must be homegrown. And the games must be entertaining.”
And while the philosophies of playing the game are similar to the men’s, the philosophy of growing the club appears to be far different than the men’s. Every loss with the men’s team is catastrophic, but Femeni head coach Markel Zubizarreta saw a 4-0 at the hands of Lyon crucial to his club’s development.
After rapidly growing the staff and players like Alexia Putellas, Barcelona ballooned into a giant of the game. And this was reflected when they set an attendance record for women’s football at Camp Nou with 96,648 fans watching their encounter against Wolfsburg in the Champions League semifinal.
The club has grown tremendously, and is not the same that lost to Lyon a couple years ago. On May 21, they will have the opportunity to prove that in the Champions League final.
Fitzie’s track of the day: Persephone, by Allison Russell
And now for your links:
Burnley fan arrested for apparent Nazi salute at Tottenham match
The Athletic ($$): Ugly win shows Spurs are mentally tougher under Antonio Conte
Alasdair Gold: Cristian Romero speaks on settling into Tottenham
Transfer rumours: Gareth Bale’s agent says Welshman’s return to England is ‘likely’
Late Huddersfield goal sends Terriers to Wembley after 1-0 win vs Luton
Blackpool FC’s Jake Daniels comes out as gay