WOMEN'S FIRST DIVISION FOOTBALL LEAGUES

Atlético Madrid wins the 2018-2019 Iberdrola League

#sport #women #gender equality

Atlético Madrid Women lifted the Iberdrola League title in 2019 for the third year in a row. After 30 days of competition, Atlético demonstrated their position as the most consistent team in a season in which Spanish women's football twice beat match attendance records, showing the healthy state of women's football in the country.

Spanish women's football is growing each season. It's not just a fad: game after game, season after season, the number of spectators flocking to the Primera Iberdrola (previously, Iberdrola League) stadiums is growing. In fact, during the 2018/2019 season it surpassed the European record for attendance at a women's football match between two clubs, with a crowd of 60,739 at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid to see Atlético Madrid face FC Barcelona.

Women's football is becoming more visible on TV, too. The Atlético - Barcelona game was the most watched match in the 2018-2019 season with 330,000 viewers, a record TV audience for Spanish women's football. Only the Primera Iberdrola women's football league can boast such growth.

SPANISH WOMEN'S FOOTBALL, CLOSER TO THE EUROPEAN ELITE

Atlético Madrid won again the Iberdrola League (current Primera Iberdrola) in the 2018/2019 season while FC Barcelona reached the final of the Champions League. Both clubs are continuing to expand onto the European scene. The final leap, winning a continental title, is drawing ever closer. The big clubs, like Wolfsburg and Olympique Lyon, have increasing respect for Spanish teams with each season.

At the end of the 2018/19 season it was obvious that the Spanish women's football league is closer to the elite of European football, to the most powerful leagues: France, England, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway. In the past 18 Women's Champions Leagues, only three teams reached the final without being from one of these powerhouses: a Swedish team (Umeå I. K.) in 2003, a Russian team (Zvezda 2005 Perm) in 2009 and FC Barcelona in 2019.

KEYS TO THE RISE OF THE IBERDROLA WOMEN'S FOOTBALL LEAGUE

There are several factors to explain the increased visibility of the Primera Iberdrola:

  • The players' skill levels are increasing, with exclusive signings like that of the superstar Lieke Martens by Barcelona, the Swedish international Kosovare Asllani for the CD Tacón or the Dutch goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal, Golden Glove at the World Cup in France, for the Atlético de Madrid.
  • Sponsors, like Iberdrola, are becoming increasingly committed to women's football.
  • Increased media exposure.

Score card for the major European womens football leagues 2018,2019.#RRSSScore card for the major European women's football leagues 2018/2019.

 SEE INFOGRAPHIC: Score card fot the major European women's football leagues 2018/2019 [PDF]

Find out the score card for the major European leagues

SCORE CARD FOR THE MAJOR EUROPEAN WOMEN'S FOOTBALL LEAGUES

The Primera Iberdrola teams are close to breaking into this elite. Barcelona were knocked out of the Champions League 2018/2019 by Olympique Lyon, the great European football that dominates club competitions: the French team has won the last four Champions Leagues and a total of six titles in nine seasons. The last match, against Wolfsburg, was watched by 15,000 spectators in the stadium. Lyon also won the French league with 21 wins and a draw in 22 games - an impeccable season.

Their budget is huge (€4.5m), much higher than that of the Spanish teams, and they have some of the best paid players in the world. Eugénie Le Sommer and Wendie Renard earn around 300,000 euros from the club, advertising and being on the national team. In Lyon's galaxy of stars, Ada Herderberg stands out with 46 goals in the league and the Champions League.

European runners-up, Wolfsburg, were unrivalled in Germany. The team led by Pernille Harder (17 goals) proved its strength by winning the Bundesliga and the Cup final against Bayern in front of 15,000 spectators. Two titles to close a great year.

In England, the Chelsea women did not lose a single match either. With Francesca Kirby as their star player, they won the double after beating Arsenal in the FA Cup final in front of more than 40,000 spectators.

In Spain, the Iberdrola League was won by Atlético Madrid and the Copa de la Reina (Queen's Cup) is now on display in Barcelona's trophy cabinet, which went to the final of the Champions League. A competition in which, thanks to the dizzying growth of the Primera Iberdrola, the Spanish teams will once again face the great clubs on the continental scene.

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