Football is a game of numbers. Players wearing numbers, number of goals scored (or not scored), number of goals conceded (or not conceded), number of players on the pitch, number of defenders in a formation, to name a few. And no Pythagorean theorem, rather components of statistics and data. If we were to get into detail of people’s jobs in the football industry using numbers that would not limit but include scouts and analysts, coaching staff and management, physiotherapists and dietitians. In the case of FC Barcelona Femeni, who have rushed like a bull in a china shop this season with five victories in five matches played, numbers are meant to be built up and then break down records.
Head coach Jonathan Giraldez commonly wears a Nike polo top with an FC Barcelona crest ironed on the heart’s side, gesturing hand motions and shouting repetitive adlibs to his team; the number one ranked Spanish club and defending European women’s champions. No introduction needed for FCB Femeni. Having come off of a most recent win over Atletico de Madrid on October 15th, FC Barcelona are all in. All in and all over the Liga F Primera Division table, Spain’s highest tier of women’s professional football. The sheer talent and tenacity of FCB Femeni is proven not just on paper but on the football pitch. Five games licked and five victories sealed so far. The modern growth of women’s football looks up to the Catalonian club. And why is that? Because numbers don’t lie.
Up until October 15th 2023, FCB Femeni’s all-time leading goal scorer was former Culer Jennifer Hermoso. Jenni’s tenure with FC Barcelona came in the form of two stints, the first from 2013-2017 and the second from 2019-2022. In that time, Jenni accumulated 181 goals for club playing as a forward. In that period, many trophies were lifted and multiple boundaries were battered. Jenni’s legacy is honored in fan culture and team history, as she now plays in Mexico for Pachuca.
When you’re the best women’s team in the world, what motivation is there other than to remain number one and stay on the top? In the case of the 2023-2024 season for FCB Femeni, five victories won’t guarantee anything, although the Blaugrana club are on early track to retain their Liga F title and to rumble the rest of Europe. Captain Alexia Putellas is paving the perfect path for that. After a devastating anterior crucial ligament (ACL) tear in the summer of 2022, Alexia was sidelined for the 2022-2023 season and only really returned to competitive competition in the World Cup this July. A humble leader and 2x Ballon D’or winner, Alexia is inevitable. That came in the form of scoring 182 goals for FCB Femeni in a crucial 1-0 triumph. Celebrating with her teammates following fans blowing up social media, La Reina took the goalscoring crown. 182 goals. Numbers are special.
This is just the beginning, as FC Barcelona will remain in league and European play until May 2024. Just like anything evolving, numbers will change, and hopefully for the best. FCB Femeni is set to take on Granada on October 21st and for those who are interested in watching record breaking moments, FC Barcelona TV online or DAZN YouTube would be good starting points. Until next time, Som-hi.