Alexia Putellas has hailed the atmosphere at the Nou Camp after a record crowd of 91,553 watched Barcelona thrash Real Madrid in the Women’s Champions League quarter-finals.
The occasion had long been predicted to be a historic night for women’s football and it did not disappoint as the two teams produced a game that will live long in the memory.
There were seven goals in total, five of which went to Barcelona, including one for the ever-impressive Putellas.
The Ballon d’Or winner, who grew up watching the men’s team at the Nou Camp, admitted she was “speechless” after the game.
“This has been utterly magical,” she said. “When the match finished the fans simply didn’t want to go home, there was such a connection between them and us while we celebrated.
“I saw a lot of girls, children with that spark in their eyes. It’s amazing to be part of history.”
A memorable occasion
The match was initially expected to break the domestic attendance record of 60,739, set back in 2019 when Atletico Madrid played Barcelona at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, but it went even further –– surpassing the all-time women’s football record of 90,195, set at the 1999 World Cup in the USA.
And the atmosphere was electric from start to finish. Even before the match had started, thousands had flocked outside the Nou Camp to watch the team buses arrive.
By the time Barca had scored their fourth, the stadium was jaw-droppingly deafening as long-term fans rejoiced, new supporters marvelled and neutrals admired what was a typically first-class performance from the home side.
The success of this match will no doubt have tempted other teams to offer similar opportunities to their women’s teams. If the biggest stadium in world football can be filled, there are no more excuses.
Amazing atmosphere at Camp Nou! 🏟 pic.twitter.com/Qvl65tKltv— Georgia Goulding 🌻 (@GJGoulding) March 30, 2022
Putellas shines again
It was Caroline Graham-Hansen who was named the Player of the Match, but Putellas was typically masterful throughout.
The reigning Ballon d’Or holder is, without doubt, the best women’s player in the world right now, and it would not have felt right had the Spaniard not grabbed her customary goal on the biggest night in her team’s history.
It was her 29th goal of the season, and while it was far from the most spectacular she’s scored, it will certainly be the most memorable.
Alexia Putellas actually takes a bow to Camp Nou, on Camp Nou. All the while ”Alexia, Alexia” echoing from the fans around the stadium. pic.twitter.com/fbLzuTpcLJ— Mia Eriksson (@mia_eriksson) March 30, 2022
After Putellas notched Barca’s fourth, the crowd rightly lauded the Spanish star and cries of “Alexia, Alexia” permeated the stadium.
This morning, it was confirmed that La Rambla has run out of the number ‘1’ because so many people requested Putellas’ name on the back of their shirt.
While many of Barcelona’s all-time greats from the men’s team are now long gone, the Nou Camp now has a new generational footballer to celebrate.