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Ciao, Bilbao

FC Barcelona draw record-breaking Norwegian novelists SK Brann in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Women’s Champions League

Adidas Pro Ball Bilbao 2024 / UEFA

Seeing Sevilla out the door two times in one week, Barcelona Femeni are hunting for a harvest. Back to back, last Wednesday and Friday, February 7th and February 10th, Jonatan Giráldez’s commanding Culers laced up their boots as Sevilla stood on the other side of the stadium swept away with deja vu. Routing the red team 7-0 the first game with goals galore from Salma Paralluelo, Aitana Bonmati, Caroline Graham Hansen and Mariona Caldentey, FC Barcelona hence continue to the semi-finals of the country’s Copa de la Reina competition. After that, as part of league play and three days later, FCB Femeni sealed the Sevilla coffin, capturing the flag 3-0 and keeping a clean sheet. Still ranked at #1 atop Liga F, any attempted resistance to the Barcelona Blaugrana by antagonists or rivals is almost absurd. In Spain, a 16-team league is the limit. Although more importantly, on a continental scale, the girls were handed their first honor for the quarterfinals of the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

As shown above, “Adidas Pro Ball Bilbao” was recently revealed and will be used as the official match ball during the UEFA Women’s Champions League knockout stages. The final, in Bilbao, is scheduled for May 25th 2024, only once two teams remain, hopefully one of them being Barcelona. Mentioned before and manifested often, this isn’t their first Champions League rodeo. In a bracket draw designed by UEFA and hand-picked out of a glass basin by England former International Karen Carney, FCB Femeni are matched to meet Norway’s SK Brann in two legs to determine who goes on into the semi-finals. Head-to-head, Barcelona and Brann have never met due to living in different leagues (Norway and Spain) but Brann have never had a stunning siege this far into the UEFA Women’s Champions League. But don’t take size or skill for granted, with only one loss in their past six, Brann’s recent form is at the least extremely impressive. And don’t forget that Barcelona had a bit of a stumble tying Portugal’s Benfica during the last match of the UWCL group stage. FCB Femeni boast both Norwegians Caroline Graham Hansen and Ingrid Syrstad Engen, who are familiar with national teammates who represent SK Brann. The key will be patience, preparation, and popcorn ready for March 20th. Enjoy.

Quarterfinal Matchup / DAZN