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"Founded in 1881, Bordeaux [FC Girondins de Bordeaux] has won France’s top division title six times in its history. Over the years it has been home to some of the country’s most celebrated players, including World Cup winner Zinedine Zidane."

Yes indeed, Vanessa Gilles plays a very big role for them.

But it's complicated. Hopefully the Bordeaux women actually get to play in their qualified Champions League slot. Last I heard the club were under the protection of the court and the owners said they had lost enough and were done (the owners being a U.S. Hedge Fund who bought them a couple years ago). If they survive it's a big unknown, and if they do then who picks up the debt, do they go under and come up, etc. Lots of what-if's and legalities. But the possibility of a multi-division drop as a penalty is quite real. I don't believe anyone mentioned the women's program but if the men tanks you wonder about the fallout for the women.

They have a dozen teams in Sweden and Italy. Norway had a dozen and cut back to ten for a more level playing field last year and it worked. It was called the most competitive women's league in Europe the other day. Anyone can and did upset anyone on an given day. 

I think the number of teams depends on the size of the country and the talent pool. But for a country like France ten isn't enough, especially considering the number of foreign players in the league.

Speaking of NWSL, pretty funny moment this afternoon. The game is really late in extra time and a player crosses a ball to a teammate at the back post of the opposing net. The teammate is unmarked and maybe a couple yards tops from the back post and off the goal line. The keeper is standing on the front post about 10m from her. All she has to do is just let it hit her and it will go in the net. She tries to head it and it goes down to the ground and wide. The whole play was surreal, but becomes legend when the female announcer say's something like "that is just poor, that ball has to come back across the frame." Uhmm she was standing wide open a couple yards from a completely empty net with the ball right on her head. One of the most bizarre comments I've heard in a game.

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Posted (edited)

I know this is sacrilege, but if any sport could benefit from a European Super League right now it's women's football. Okay, I don't fully mean this, but I would say that if Barça got to see Bayern, PSG, Lyon, the top English sides, each year, it would be more interesting. 

Although this year is a blowout, in normal circumstances At Madrid or Levante or a few others would be a bit stronger and the Spanish league would not be so predictable. But even so, there are few enough players in your own league you really want to see play. And on the weaker teams, there is literally no one. I'll watch Espanyol, once good but now pretty bad, because the sister of someone I know plays for them, a young guy at a business I went to pre-Covid and we chat about her career. Fine, but that is not a pro criteria, it is an amateur mentality.

I know they realise the Champions League has to be better, maybe a better group stage, and another knockout round, but I think travel costs are still a problem. 

Another thing we need is a World Club Cup, so we can see the US teams match up vs. the Europeans.

Edited by Unnamed Trialist
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CONCACAF is doing a club tournament, so the Women's Club Cup can't be far off.

Very true about the top end of the women's club scene being so adrift around the world. I think it may be a result of so few owners willing to drop coin on the female game. Those who do like Aulas and Abramovitch reap the spoils until then.

There was an article in the Guardian today that fawned on about how Emma Hayes is a gift from God for transforming Chelsea. One of the comments said it all:

"Looks to me that the secret is to buy the most prolific goalscorer in the world, the most expensive player in the world, five international captains, and a load of goalkeepers so nobody else can play them. Kind of like a men’s team with Ronaldo, Neymar, Kane, Neuer, de Gea, Ramos, Chiellini, and Courtois."

Do the Espanyol ladies probably play on the main field out at their training ground at Dani Jarque?

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7 hours ago, _Vic_ said:

CONCACAF is doing a club tournament, so the Women's Club Cup can't be far off.

Very true about the top end of the women's club scene being so adrift around the world. I think it may be a result of so few owners willing to drop coin on the female game. Those who do like Aulas and Abramovitch reap the spoils until then.

There was an article in the Guardian today that fawned on about how Emma Hayes is a gift from God for transforming Chelsea. One of the comments said it all:

"Looks to me that the secret is to buy the most prolific goalscorer in the world, the most expensive player in the world, five international captains, and a load of goalkeepers so nobody else can play them. Kind of like a men’s team with Ronaldo, Neymar, Kane, Neuer, de Gea, Ramos, Chiellini, and Courtois."

Do the Espanyol ladies probably play on the main field out at their training ground at Dani Jarque?

Yes, and that is a nice little facility, I've been many times, though never to see their women. I've watched Espanyol academy there, or promotion playoffs. 

How do you know that @_Vic_?

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4 hours ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

Yes, and that is a nice little facility, I've been many times, though never to see their women. I've watched Espanyol academy there, or promotion playoffs. 

How do you know that @_Vic_?

I've been out there a couple times too watching their youth teams. Pretty high quality compared to most places. I've been to see the men a few times, the last time was years ago against Sevilla up on Montjuic before they moved. I can't remember what system they play, but one of the interesting things about their youth teams was if the play was on the far wing, they had their opposite side wingers with their feet literally on the sideline paint.

The last time when I was leaving Dani Jarque it was a sunny late afternoon so I decided to walk over the train bridge and around the area and happened upon an outdoor roller hockey game with real nets and full equipment that blew my mind.

I haven't been to Barcelona for a couple years now but I really miss sitting outside all night and eating amazing food and just shooting the crap with friends while the world goes by. Pretty much every night. I imagine covid would have dented that but I hope everyone can get out soon.

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Wow, @_Vic_you really know it well then. And walking around that area--there are some parts that are not that safe. 

Espanyol has one of the top ten youth academies in the country, men and women. The men have just promoted to top flight again, the women, I don't know, spinning their wheels. It's a shame since Espanyol has more than enough money to fund a competitive women's team (you'd need, say, 3 million) and bring their academy players into it. This is one of the great virtues of Spanish women's football: there is not a single team, apart from Real Madrid who just created their team last year, that does not promote younger academy players into the top team, they all use that model, then complement with outside signings.

 

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We could really use that home-baked approach here in Canada. The elite youth player selection and free training for the best prospects and movement of them up through the ranks to the senior teams. I believe the Whitecaps were the first ones to do it but for some reason it never caught on. If the CPL ever arrives there it will really transform the game in Canada, as opposed to running efficient top of the pyramid teams.

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According to UEFA the Women's Champions League final this weekend will be on Barca TV, DAZN and UEFA.tv in Canada. And in Spain Barca TV, Gol TV, UEFA.tv and TV3 Catalunya. Very cool they are picking it up on public television locally.
 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/12/2021 at 7:08 AM, Olympique_de_Marseille said:

Germany is hosting Chile for a friendly match in June.

Germany on June 15.  I believe Germany is also playing France earlier.  There are rumors Chile may play another friendly with Switzerland or Austria.

Edited by The Ref
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On 5/12/2021 at 4:17 PM, _Vic_ said:

According to UEFA the Women's Champions League final this weekend will be on Barca TV, DAZN and UEFA.tv in Canada. And in Spain Barca TV, Gol TV, UEFA.tv and TV3 Catalunya. Very cool they are picking it up on public television locally.
 

So far, at the half, a massacre. No one expected this sort of result. 

I am pleased that the team is controlling possession, playing with high quality technique and positional play, that it is a total team effort. As a Barça fan I am proud of what it means for the club, and what it will mean for the international reputation of the players individually. Don't think Chelsea can turn it around, but I am not celebrating yet.

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Posted (edited)

Everyone recalls Barça suffered a similar result, being swept off the pitch in the first half two years ago vs. Lyon. Ended 4-1.

 I think that result was fair, we were behind that team, we had a lot of the same players, but needed more experience, and better mentality. I don't think the real difference between Chelsea and FCB is really reflected in the result, it went all in our favour but Chelsea is a better team than this, obviously. 

Folks have to remember that this is all very new, the SL in England, even having a professional status to football in Spain. When Melanie Serrano, who got late minutes today, started at Barça they were not even in the first division, they were behind so many others getting the women's team together and were in 2nd tier. No one was paid at that time regardless. Frankly, the players were treated poorly by the club, I'm talking about only 15 years ago. So it is a very fast path to this level of professional play. 

The best effect this could have in Spain is the extreme jealousy of Real Madrid, who just got into the women's game last year. If they put money and effort into it, and there is a legit rivalry, then TV, sponsors, fans, are all going to come on board, as will so many girls wanting to play.

Aitana Bonmati MVP, she is a great player, but today Leila, León as you say, Martens, Putellas who was injured, they were all good.

Edited by Unnamed Trialist
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Good point about RM. The more domestic money the better as long as they don't just buy a team of imports.

The Barcelona wide defenders today were 31 and 28. Love it. And I'm a fan of Melanie Serrano and knew of her history too.

I've been around the women's game for almost half a century and seen many countries try and sell the women's game by throwing money at it. It works to some extent but it takes a lot and a lot of time. But nothing sells the game as powerful and as fast as those smiles they had on their faces at the end of the game and in the half hour ceremony after. If that was covered on TV3 every girl who watched it has had a life-altering moment.

Hopefully it gets lots of press domestically because it could be a real watershed moment.

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TV share in Catalonia, which is just over 7 million: 

Pushing 800,000 viewers, distributed over 3 channels that had the game, 31% of the share.

The prime time, at 9 pm, and the failures these weeks of the men's team, surely helped put the focus on this match and bring in Barça fans.

I think I read that the audience in the US for the recent Challenge Cup, Thorns vs. Gotham was similar for the entire US.

El Barça femenino también gana en las audiencias (elperiodico.com)

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On 5/15/2021 at 6:17 PM, The Ref said:

Germany on June 15.  I believe Germany is also playing France earlier.  There are rumors Chile may play another friendly with Switzerland or Austria.

Updating my post, Chile women will play Slovakia on June 10 prior to the 15 with Germany.

 

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Japan won the World Cup in 2011 and were runners up in the Olympics in 2012 and everyone thought it would be a dynasty but they never quite did much after. The last World Cup in 2019 they were beaten by England and the Dutch while barely getting past Scotland 2-1. A year ago in the SheBelieves they went 0-3 losing to England, Spain and the USA.

They've won just 2/13 games in 2019-20. Probably playing lightweights to get their confidence up.

Olympic probability market down a bit to 73%. Hasn't really moved much in a couple months.

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12 hours ago, _Vic_ said:

Japan won the World Cup in 2011 and were runners up in the Olympics in 2012 and everyone thought it would be a dynasty but they never quite did much after.

I find that they have "over-performed" relative to the skill level of the individual players because they are well coached and play very good collective passing football.

---

Australia will play a friendly vs Sweden, despite the two teams being in the same group!

https://www.matildas.com.au/news/westfield-matildas-bound-sweden-continue-games-preparations

 

The longer things go without a friendly match announcement on our part, the more likely it is that I think we will play Brazil again.

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  • 1 month later...

Barça coach Lluís Cortés has been forced out of the team after winning the treble, including the first Champions League. Though reports say he resigned, there was a mutiny from many of the historical players, who did not seem to like his work methods. Especially the local players. Reports even say they criticized him for working them too hard and not rotating the squad enough. But the results were spectacular. 

I think it is a very bad day when players get to choose their coaches. It sets a bad precedent. Caving in to them is also poor management. Cortés resigned in the face of this lack good faith. As a club member I am pretty bothered by the attitude of the players, which we get from Messi sometimes too: it is better to have a coach they have no rapport with but gets results and makes them better players, than having someone they like and lets them get away with being mediocre.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2021/jun/27/barcelona-women-coach-lluis-cortes-resigns-despite-winning-treble

I'm sure someone with their head on straight, from one of the major nations or clubs, will soon sign Cortés: he's excellent.

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Posted (edited)

I read that was likely coming after the Champions League win. It was in a couple Spanish papers and picked up internationally.

It's not unusual for high performing women's teams to have a power clique that is in conflict with the coach. Not that common either but you see it frequently enough. Usually success quiets it all down and puts it all back into the background.

The whole thing is a bit Shakespearian and you can't help but wonder if it's personal and not professional more than anything. There's is definitely more to it, the spoken reasons exist on pretty much every team in the sport past amateur.

Curious if the club saw his limited salary as the easiest way out. Or if there were some questionable actions that were best left unspoken. 

You have to feel for Cortés, caught between needing to find work and support his family and on the other hand could probably use a good lawyer.

Hope he finds a good home and equally good compensation and players to work with.

Edited by _Vic_
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Just read this - "On Friday 2 July, it became clear that assistant Jonatan Giráldez (29) will take over the main responsibility." [In Barcelona]

Wonder if there was some Shakespearean plotting and a knife in the back?

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