A record 91,553 fans came to watch a Uefa Women’s Champions League football match at the Camp Nou on Wednesday, as Barcelona beat rivals Real Madrid 5-2 to secure a 8-3 aggregate win in the quarterfinal of the tournament.
The crowd figure surpassed the previous record for a women’s football match when 90,185 watched the 1999 World Cup final between the United States and China at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, reported AFP.
The staggering number of attendees in the stands is on paper the new record. It also broke the previous club football record of 60,739 people coming to watch Barcelona play Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano in March 2019.
The fans on Wednesday, perhaps aware of the record, held up placards before the match that spelt the words ‘More than empowerment.’
According to the AFP, the club allowed its 147 thousand members 24 hours to book up to four free tickets with just a 2.5 Euro administrative charge, and non-members were able to buy tickets between nine and 15 Euros.
“It was magical - the game finished and nobody wanted to go home,” said Alexia Putellas, who won the Ballon d’Or in November, and scored three goals for Barcelona over the two legs against Real Madrid.
“We were celebrating with the fans, it’s amazing. There were so many people, so many girls. What happened today was historic.”
Barcelona, the defending champions, will next play the winner of Arsenal and Wolfsburg for a spot in the Champions League final.
The game produced some special goals too:
It started well for Barca when, in the eighth minute, Jenni Hermoso passed back for Mapi Leon out on the right and her in-swinging cross caught Misa out of position, the ball curling over the Madrid goalkeeper and in.
But Barca’s lead was short-lived as Olga Carmona’s driven shot caught the right elbow of Irene Paredes and Olga steered the penalty into the corner.
Madrid were gaining in confidence as the half wore on and shortly after the interval, they pulled ahead, Claudia Zornoza scoring a stunning goal from distance. With Madrid breaking through the middle on the break, Zornoza took over, spotted Sandra Panos off her line and lobbed the keeper from all of 40 yards.
Barca’s aggregate advantage was cut to one and nerves might have begun to take hold. Instead, they scored twice in three minutes to all-but end Madrid’s hopes.
First, Madrid were beaten to a loose ball in midfield and Hermoso played quickly to Aitana Bonmati, who was given too much room to nip inside and find the corner.
Then, Fridolina Rolfo’s overhit pass was tidied up by Claudia Pina, who drifted forward and clipped a shot into the far corner.
With progress secured, Barcelona began to enjoy themselves and seven minutes later, Putellas made it four, her shot through the legs of Babett Peter squirming through the hands of Misa, who should have done better.
Caroline Hansen added a fifth at the back post after a surging run down the left by Rolfo. The biggest cheer of the night then came in injury-time, when the big screen showed the attendance.
In Paris, substitute Ramona Bachmann grabbed the extra-time goal which gave PSG an aggregate 4-3 win over a Bayern side missing 12 players through injury and illness.
Swiss star Bachmann drifted away from her marker to score into the far corner past the dive of goalkeeper Janina Leitzig.
Sandy Baltimore had given the French side a 17th minute lead with a clever lob.
However, Bayern levelled on the night through Saki Kumagai just two minutes later.
Klara Buehl, who had also scored in the first leg, then put the German side in front and level on aggregate on 54 minutes with a shot deflected in by Lea Schueller.
PSG will face either seven-time champions Lyon or Juventus for a place in the final.
Reporting by AFP