They wanted to get people out into the street and the street did not disappoint. Carmona was Iniesta in Australia and Spain jumped in 90 minutes from 2010 to 2023. “Champions, champions!” The fans made the World Cup their own on a special Sunday for the team in Barcelona. More than a thousand people attended the Vall d’Hebron pavilion in the city, one of the meeting points set up throughout the country. Since the 2010 men’s final, the Barcelona city council had not installed a screen to watch a national team match.
There are strictly sporting triumphs, others more transversal, few as intergenerational as this World Cup. The path traveled by the national team consolidates the growth of women’s football. New benchmarks for new generations. “If it weren’t for Alexia, Aitana and this whole group of players, I probably wouldn’t be here,” admits 14-year-old Alba, sitting with a group of three friends. “We like sports and I play soccer in high school, but they don’t,” she says. The rest of the girls smile and nod. Accompanying Alba and watching the game seems like a good plan for a Sunday in August. “If it was the men’s final we would not have come because the environment is different,” she says.
An hour and a half before the start of the game there are already about 200 people queuing to enter. The atmosphere is familiar and youthful, with a large percentage of women. T-shirts of the national team, blaugranas and other youth youth football teams in the city. “It is a good time to come with the children. It is a family plan ”, understands Marta, who comes with her husband, two children and a ball. “Keep it in the backpack or we won’t be able to get it in,” she warns.
Marta isn’t much of a soccer fan, she says, but her children are. And soccer, she remarks, is no longer just their thing. “Coming to see the women’s team has a pedagogical, normalizing component,” she defends. “This is about football, but also about women. I had never thought of coming with my family to see a women’s soccer final. And if we win, better.
The first applause at midday goes to Iniesta. The man from La Mancha appears on the screen to send a message of encouragement to the soccer players and the public expresses itself with restraint. Nobody is contained, however, with Carmona’s whiplash half an hour into the game that leads Spain. “How good it is,” says a young man from the first row. The selection hooks.
In the second half, the penalty in the English area becomes a suspense script. Uncertainty. Expectation. Frustration. A man in the front row covers his face so as not to see the outcome. He intuits Hermoso’s failure from the reaction of his environment. The applause returns. The breath can sometimes be transmitted to the other part of the world.
Alexia enters the field and the pavilion collapses. There are only a few minutes left for the final stage. 13 minutes of added time. whistles. Corner for England. The rival goalkeeper, Earps, goes up to finish off. “Hit already!”. Cata Coll catches the ball. Final. Ecstasy in Vall d’Hebron.
“It is important to celebrate the victories, but also to explain what is behind it,” says Marta. Her children are still jumping around some corner of the pavilion. Alba smiles and claps. “Who was going to say it with the mess of 15, right?”
The City Council began to consider installing a giant screen once the selection passed the quarterfinals. He ruled out adapting a space in the semifinals due to the bad dates, in the middle of August, but activated the plan for the final, according to a senior city council official. “In the middle of the holiday season it is not easy to fill a large space, but with this game it was important to do so,” he adds. Collboni announced the giant screen on August 16, a day after the PP leader in the consistory, Daniel Sirera, requested it.
It had been more than a decade, since 2010, that the Barcelona City Council had not installed a screen to follow a national team match, despite requests from some entities such as Barcelona with the national team. “It was already playing,” remarks a spokeswoman for the association. Since then, neither Xavier Trias nor Ada Colau have set up other spaces, although the former mayor did allow the pro-selection entity to set up in Barcelona, with private funds and sponsors, a big screen in 2018 to follow the men’s World Cup, five years before Carmona was Iniesta in Barcelona.
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