This summer in France some of the best soccer players in the world will take the pitch in France to play in one of the game’s most prestigious, intense, exciting and passionate tournaments. Not a single one of them will be Real Madrid players.
That’s because Real Madrid couldn’t be bothered to field a women’s club side. Apparently, the club doesn’t give a shit about engaging one of the fastest-growing segments of the global soccer-watching market. Apparently, the club couldn’t give two shits about fielding a team to challenge its eternal rivals for the league crown. Apparently, those royal white shirts can’t be worn by women. Apparently, that crowned crest can only grace a man’s pectoral muscle, not a woman’s breast. Apparently the hearts that bleed white, that sacrifice and weep and breathe for the colors of the greatest team in the history of this sport...have to be attached to a penis.
Seriously, fuck that.
If that ranting doesn’t move you, just take a look at this absolutely disgraceful table:
|2011-12||18||FC Barcelona||94||Athletic Club||91||RCD Espanyol||76|
|2012-13||16||FC Barcelona||76||Athletic Club||74||Atlético Madrid||68|
|2013-14||16||FC Barcelona||79||Athletic Club||69||Atlético Madrid||54|
|2014-15||16||FC Barcelona||77||Atlético Madrid||69||Athletic Club||65|
|2015-16||16||Athletic Club||78||FC Barcelona||77||Atlético Madrid||69|
|2016-17||16||Atlético Madrid||78||FC Barcelona||75||Valencia CF||68|
|2017-18||16||Atlético Madrid||77||FC Barcelona||76||Athletic Club||56|
Just looking at that should infuriate any madridista. Not to “no true Scotsman” all of you, but no true madridista would shrug off that table.
And, seriously, it’s not just that FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are the two best women’s sides in Spain and keep winning tournaments like it’s their god-given right or whatever. It’s that the women’s game rules. Here are some goals from one tournament:
And remember: FIFA is so ridiculously sexist that they forced these athletes to play on artificial turf. For the entire cup. Want to see what it looks like when your federation couldn’t give two shits about you? Here you go:
Yet despite knowing that they would get horrible burns on their legs these players challenged every ball, played hard as hell, and gave us the most-watched Women’s World Cup in history.
Real Madrid have the resources to create an elite women’s club team. They could bring in the best players in the world. It would cost a fraction of what a single player costs on the men’s team.
That team could challenge Barcelona and Atlético for the title year in, year out. The ratings would improve every year as these women prove that the level of their game, their competitiveness and their passion are equal to the men. They have nothing to prove, but nevertheless they will be forced to prove it—and they will.
All of this could happen. But it’s not. And that’s a disgrace. It’s a stain on the shirt.
Here’s a list of elite club sides with women’s teams: FC Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham, Juventus, AC Milan, Roma, Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg, Bayer Leverkusen, Athletic Bilbao, Espanyol, PSG, Olympique Lyon, Marseille.
There are many more—including revenues one hundredth the size of Real Madrid’s. Clubs like Oviedo, Eibar and Rayo Vallecano have elite women’s sides.
It’s time for Real Madrid as a whole—socios, board members, Florentino and his cohort—to make this happen. It’s on journalists and fans like you and me to send them that clear message: why are you letting Barcelona and Atletico Madrid win this title year after year? Why is the beautiful royal white kit only fit for male shoulders?
I, for one, can’t wait for the World Cup to begin next summer in France. I’ll be watching every match—and I’ll remember, when Mal Pugh dribbles like Messi, when Carli Lloyd scores a screamer from distance, or when any player does something like this that not a single one of them will walk out onto the pitch wearing the royal white of Real Madrid the next season.
So enjoy some highlights from FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, because that’s what Real Madrid deserves for not even deigning to field a women’s team: