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Atlético Femenino update: Record attendance at the Wanda

Last weekend, José Luis Sánchez’s women hosted Barcelona Femeni in a highly-anticipated clash.

Amanda Sampedro in action against Barcelona at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Barcelona Femeni threw the title race wide open after inflicting a 2-0 defeat on Atlético Femenino last Sunday, with the Catalan side cutting the gap to just three points with just six games left.

Asisat Oshoala broke the deadlock before England star Toni Duggan doubled the score to earn Barça three valuable points in the capital city.

However, Atlético fans can still be proud of their team — they formed part of an amazing crowd of 60,739 people at the Wanda Metropolitano. This is a record for a top-flight domestic women’s game in Europe.

The overall record attendance is 90,185, registered for the 1999 World Cup final between the United States and China at the Rose Bowl in California.

According to Atlético Madrid, the club broke a 99-year-old record set by Dick, Kerr Ladies versus St Helen’s Ladies, which took place on Boxing Day of 1920 in front of 53,000 spectators at Liverpool’s Goodison Park.

Atlético made sure to pump up its supporters with some exciting build-up that also witnessed three women players presented with an accolade and also a plaque around the Wanda Metropolitano.

Amanda Sampedro (102 games), Silva Meseguer (101) and Angela Sosa (100) are now among the 168 players with more than 100 games played for the colchoneros, and they are represented in their own section of the newly-built stadium.

Next, Atlético will travel to third-place Levante as they eye a victory to keep daylight between them and the Catalans.

In their next six matches they will face also Real Betis at home, Sporting Huelva and Espanyol in a double-header away before they return to Madrid to meet Valencia. Their final commitment will be against Real Sociedad on May 5.

International duty

During the international break, several Atleti players were called up by the Spanish national team to play in the annual Algarve Cup.

Spain placed seventh after beating Switzerland 2-0 in the ranking match. A positive start to the tournament had seen the Spanish side defeat the Netherlands 2-0 before losing 3-0 to Poland in their final group game.

Atleti stalwart Jenni Hermoso was among the team’s shining stars, as she topped the scorer’s list with three goals in three games.

Talks for new league

The Spanish Football Federation is thinking about shaking up the women’s football landscape with a new competition.

A draft has already been set and should it be approved at the next Extraordinary Assembly ie April, a new competition could be underway from next season.

The Federation is trying to shelve the current championship and instead replace it with a top-flight composed of 16 teams, and secondary divisions with a maximum of 32 teams divided into regional groups, each with a system of promotion and relegation.

According to the Federation, such a system would maximise the support and the relevance of women’s football in Spain in order for the clubs and national team to obtain more positive results at international level. They believe it would also stabilise the projection of the clubs and that more women would engage with the sport — and obviously that the sport becomes 100 percent professional across the country.