Sunday, July 3

“Barça’s commitment to women’s football was not makeup and it is firm”

  • “The future is that the girls who see us on Sunday want to play in a Champions League final”

  • “The final will have nothing to do with the one from two years ago because we are in a much better moment individually and collectively”

Alexia putellas I could not imagine when he began to kick a ball through the squares of Mollet that he would dispute not one but two Champions League finals. “I did not imagine it then or when I signed for Barça when I was 18 years old,” says the second Barça captain. Nine years after donning the Barcelona jacket for the first time and two after the final in Budapest, this talented midfielder aspires to lift this Sunday the first continental crown of the women’s Barça, the engine of the growth of women’s football in Spain.

Now there are girls who will have seen her in two Champions League finals. How do you think this helps the future of women’s football?

It is very important that these games are broadcast because everything that is not seen does not exist. If a girl does not see a woman playing a Champions League final, she will think that she cannot dedicate herself to this. That is why it is important so that there are many girls and boys who see that sport is also a girl’s thing and that women can also be professionals.

“The future happens because the girls who see us on Sunday want to play a Champions League final”

How important are the references in women’s football evolution?

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The girl who wants to be a footballer will see that there is a profession and that she can dedicate herself to that. 20 years ago it was unthinkable to think that a player could dedicate herself 100% to this and be a professional. In Spain we have started to give importance to football played by women later, but progress is being made in record time. The future happens because all these girls see players who are dedicated to that. The future is that the girls who see us on Sunday want to play a Champions League final themselves.

Is there a real bet on women’s football in Spain or a lot of posturing?

There is everything. But you can tell right away when you are inside who is posing and who is really doing it.

Sponsors are key to professionalization. The gift for going to the 2015 World Cup with Spain was a cup of coffee and the 2019 one a car. What evolution have you seen in the interest of the ‘sponsors’?

Only 1% of the ‘sponsors’ is destined to women’s sport. If women’s sport is accelerating the way it is, imagine investing a little more. We would advance an awful lot. You have to give it visibility that generates more interest, demand, the consumer will go more to the stadium, to buy the shirt. And then the ‘sponsors’ come in. It is a chain where everything is necessary.

Sponsorships that have added value in social terms.

We are in a social moment in which we all have to achieve real equality. In normal workplaces there is equal pay. I emphasize that I am talking about other jobs, in companies in which men are paid more for the same position than women. In sports, give the same opportunities, that a boy can play as a girl. It has to be achieved now, it is time. Unfortunately, there have been inequalities before, but we all have to achieve it.

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What role has Barça had in making women’s football visible?

Barça has been a pioneer in this regard. The way in which he has approached all the evolution and planning that already exists and continues to be to become the mirror that everyone looks at. We have been three and four years without winning the League. And it has not depended on this wanting to become the best team in the world in our sector. It has to be valued. It wasn’t makeup, it was real and the idea is firm.

Barça’s bet was not makeup, it was real and the idea is firm

But when that idea is accompanied by results, everything is much easier, right?

Yes, but normally what happens in women’s sports is that you first have to have the results and then the investment comes. Because it’s like you’ve already justified the investment. The strange thing and what must be valued is what Barça has done. Yes, it is true that Leagues had already been won before, but the moment the section becomes professional, the League is not won. And the second year someone could have said “you have not won, well outside, you cannot be professionals.” And that did not happen, quite the opposite. It was normalized that in sports you can win or lose but investment in the world of sports It is not touched, we really believe that it has to be done and it will be.

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What is the difference between the team that reached the final in Budapest two years ago and the one that reached the Gothenburg final?

I think there is a lot of difference. To start in Budapest when we go out we think it’s 90 minutes to see if we have a chance. Obviously we were going to win but we are aware that our level is lower than that of Lyon. It is now at 50%. We have worked a lot these two years, including last year against Wolfsburg you play 10 games and beat them 9. If it hadn’t been for that game, it would be three consecutive finals. They are major words. The final will have nothing to do with the one two years ago because we are in a much better moment individually and collectively.

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