Alexia Putellas and her Barca teammates are celebrating an impressive record.
Barcelona broke the attendance record in women’s football for the second time in a month as 91,648 supporters watched them beat Wolfsburg 5-1 at Camp Nou in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal.
Prior to that, the women’s record had stood since 1999, when 90,185 fans watched the World Cup final between the United States and China at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
“It was spectacular, both today and a month ago against Madrid,” midfielder Patri Guijarro said in a news conference after the game. “We’re speechless, really. I’m sure as the days and years pass, we will become a bit more of what we have achieved. We’re still not completely aware of the magnitude of [the attendances].”
However, some estimates suggest 110,000 people attended Denmark’s win over Mexico at the Azteca Stadium in the 1971 World Cup final, a tournament that was not officially sanctioned.
Barca usually play their home games at the 6,000-seater Estadi Johan Cruyff at the club’s training ground, but their Champions League knockout games have been moved to Camp Nou to accommodate the bigger demand for tickets.
This was just their third competitive game at the 99,000-seater stadium. They played against Espanyol behind closed doors last season due to the pandemic, and then for the first time with fans against Madrid last month.
On the pitch, they were too good for Wolfsburg, blowing them away with four first-half goals from Aitana Bonmati, Caroline Graham Hansen, Jenni Hermoso and Alexia Putellas.
Jill Roord pulled one back for the German side after the break, but Ballon d’Or winner Putellas added her second from the penalty spot to seal Barca’s 45th successive win in all competitions, a run dating back to last June.
The teams will meet again in the second leg at the Volkswagen Arena next Saturday, with the winners facing Lyon or Paris Saint-Germain in the final in Turin on May 21.
Wolfsburg coach Tommy Stroot was pessimistic about his team’s chances of turning things around in the second leg.
“Barca fans can book their tickets for the final,” he said. “They were favourites before the tie and now they’re even bigger favourites.
“Our challenge is to try and win next week without losing touch with reality. Wanting to win 5-1 is difficult, but winning is possible, although we have to change certain things.”