Barcelona and Real Madrid Face Off in Women’s El Clásico this Sunday:
This Sunday, Spain’s two biggest football clubs meet again in the women’s El Clásico, as FC Barcelona Femení to face Real Madrid Femenino at the Montjuïc Olympic Stadium.
Barcelona has dominated this rivalry, winning all previous 11 matches against Madrid since Los Blancos launched their women’s team in 2019 by acquiring CD Tacon. However, Madrid has quickly established themselves as Barca’s main challengers, closing the gap each season.
After finishing 25 points behind Barcelona in 2019/20, the margin was just 10 points last season. Now, Madrid trail the champions by only 3 points and could draw level with a win this weekend. Their growth has been rapid thanks to heavy investment and recruitment of international stars like Denmark’s Signe Bruun and Australia’s Hayley Raso.
According to ESPN, Madrid’s squad is now valued at $35 million, behind only Barcelona ($39 million) and Lyon ($40 million) in women’s football. This demonstrates the intent of the club to compete at the highest level.
Barcelona still has the core of the team that won the treble in 2020-21 under coach Lluís Cortés. This includes Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas, who returned from a long ACL injury lay-off this season. Other talented players include Aitana Bonmatí, Claudia Pina, and Jennifer Hermoso.
While Barcelona remains the dominant force, Real Madrid possesses the capability to cause an upset, boasting a lineup that includes World Cup winners like Athenea del Castillo and Olga Carmona. Carmona’s recent performances have underscored her potential as a game-changer, with Real Madrid manager Alberto Toril emphasizing her ability to ‘unbalance’ any defense, as reported by Marca.”
According to Mundo Deportivo, Toril sees this game as an opportunity to show Madrid can now truly compete with the Champions League holders, rather than merely close the gap.
Victory at the Montjuïc Olympic Stadium would be a statement for Madrid. It would prove they can now compete with Europe’s elite team and suggest a genuine title race is on in Spain.
Barcelona versus Real Madrid is becoming a true Clásico in the women’s game too. Speaking to Sport, Barcelona winger Caroline Graham Hansen said: “It is important for women’s football to have a strong Madrid. [El Clásico] It has to be the game of the year for the women, as it is for the men.”
There are also some crucial subplots around the futures of Barcelona’s stars. According to journalist Fabrizio Romano, Putellas’ contract expires this summer amid interest from clubs like PSG. Key players like Sandra Paños, Lucy Bronze and Mariona Caldentey are also in the last year of their deals.
Beyond the match, the futures of Barcelona’s star players are uncertain. According to journalist Fabrizio Romano, Star midfielder Alexia Putellas’ contract ends this summer and there is possibility to move to PSG as they showed interest to sign her, and other key players like Sandra Paños, Lucy Bronze, and Mariona Caldentey are also entering the final year of their deals.
This only serves to increase the tension around El Clásico. Barcelona are out to prove they remain the dominant force in Spain and Europe. But the rise of Real Madrid in women’s football means they can no longer take that for granted.
Madrid Predicted Lineup (4-3-3): Misa; Olga, Gálvez, Kathellen, Oihane; Teresa, Toletti, Caicedo; Raso, Athenea, Bruun
Barcelona Predicted Lineup (4-3-3): Coll; Bronze, Mapi León, Paredes, Batlle; Aitana, Walsh, Pina; Oshoala, Hansen, Salma
Time: 12pm CET, November 20th
Where to Watch: DAZN (Spain), BarçaTV+ (Worldwide)