Futbol Club Barcelona Femeni were founded in 1970 and incorporated into the main club in 2002.
After mixed fortunes, the team have won multiple trophies over the past decade.
Now they are set to emerge as the greatest women’s team of the current era.
Futbol Club Barcelona Femeni is the women’s football team for Barcelona FC, a journey that began with 17-year-old Inmaculada Cabecerán Soler, who fought for Barcelona to have a women’s team over fifty years ago, despite huge opposition.
They were initially known as Penya Femenina Barcelonista, and it was not until 2002 that Barcelona FC finally incorporated the team into the main club.
They experienced plenty of highs and lows for decades after their birth in 1970, with their first cup secured in 1985 and some relative success in the early 1990s.
What followed though was a significant decline, and it was their first league title in 2012 that changed the course of their history, along with turning professional in 2015.
This decision, combined with a greater focus on the Women’s Champions League, has helped them arguably become the best women’s team in the world, picking up plenty of silverware along the way.
After a decade littered with many triumphs, Futbol Club Barcelona Femeni are easily Spain’s most successful women’s club ever, both domestically and internationally, and it is pertinent too that they are outperforming their male counterparts right now.
As of the start of the 2021/22 season, they have won six league titles, eight Copas De La Reina, a Spanish Supercup plus a Champions League.
After their first Copa De La Reina triumph in 1994 however, they had a long wait for more silverware, their recent success beginning by winning that same cup for the second time in 2011.
The following season they secured their first league title and they have rarely looked back since.
They won the next three league titles but suffered a dip before picking up successive titles in 2020 and 2021. During this period the Copa De La Reina was won a further six times, and the Supercopa de España in 2020.
Unsurprisingly they had a vice-like grip on the Copa Catalunya, a cup for clubs in the Catalonia region, but their crowning glory was their inaugural Champions League triumph in 2021, thrashing Chelsea 4-0.
They could at last claim to be the greatest side in the world, as part of a treble season during which they won 33 of their 34 league games. Those betting on football may want to back Barcelona remaining top of the pile for many years to come.
While the current Barcelona squad may be its greatest ever, the club has been blessed with some world-class talent down the years, both from Spain and around the world.
As you may expect, much of their greatest talent has come from close to home and there is no better example than Vicky Losada, a key component of Barcelona’s rise to the top during multiple spells at the club.
The midfielder who moved to Manchester City in 2021 made over 300 appearances for her childhood club after her debut in 2006.
Elsewhere, the talented forward Olga García made over 150 appearances over two spells from 2010 to 2018, becoming top scorer in her debut season and scoring the winning goal in a cup final for good measure.
Protecting the defence between 2012 and 2015 was Virginia Torrecilla in midfield, a key component in the side’s rise to prominence as they won multiple trophies before turning professional. Her immense talent saw her capped 66 times by Spain.
But much of Barcelona’s past success has been achieved with great players from around the world.
One such star is English winger and forward Toni Duggan, who was at the club for just two years, but played a big part in their resurgence, while French midfielder Kheira Hamraoui spent three highly successful years at Barcelona before moving on to PSG, stating she had achieved all she could with the team.
With the current collective at their peak, many of their most famous players are still part of the set-up, and most bets predict that continuing for the foreseeable future.
Best Current Players
It was a clear sign of just how many world-class players represent Barcelona Femeni when they swept the awards at the UEFA gala in August 2021.
Alexia Putellas was named overall Player of the Year, a staple for her club side for almost a decade, scoring 26 goals in all competitions from midfield the previous season, and considered by many to be a future Ballon D’Or winner.
Her teammates Jennifer Hermoso and Lieke Martens meanwhile took the runner-up spots. Hermoso, a stalwart of the Spain side for a decade, was also announced as best striker, notching 31 goals domestically plus six more in the Champions League.
To complete the rout, Sandra Paños was named best keeper, conceding a paltry five goals on route to European glory, while Irene Paredes was named best defender.
Admittedly she was at PSG at the time, but Barcelona have since snapped up her services.
But frankly if you wanted to name the team’s best players, you could probably list many of the squad. There is Aitana Bonmatí in midfield, a young talent with the world at her feet, while behind her, the legendary Marta Torrejón is a steady hand in defence.
Having brought in three more top players in the summer of 2021 on free transfers, most La Liga predictions back them for more triumphs in the coming years.
Barcelona Women Rivals
As Barcelona developed into the best team in the world, they inevitably collected rivals along the way, though Real Madrid women’s team are not truly in that bracket yet despite finishing second in the 2020/21 season.
Instead, a domestic rivalry with Atlético Madrid has gathered pace in recent years with Barcelona finishing runners-up to Atlético in three consecutive league seasons back in the early 2000s.
In recent times though Barcelona have been streets ahead of their domestic rivals as the gap has grown, La Liga odds suggesting a comfortable league title in the 2021/22 season, with many of the highest paid female footballers eager to secure more trophies at Barcelona.
In Europe, rivalries intensified as Barcelona grew in stature. None could be bigger than the one with Olympique Lyonnais Féminin, a team that has set new standards in the game.
In 2019, Barcelona lost 4-1 to Lyon in the Champions League final. It took two years to exorcise their demons and claim the trophy they so cherished, finally becoming the team to beat.
Expect many new rivals to emerge in the coming years as the landscape changes once more.
*Credit for all of the photos in this article belongs to AP Photo*