Editor’s Note: This article was first published in September 2019 but updated on July 1 for the official launch of Real Madrid Femenino.
It may be the most valuable football club in the world, but it took until 2019 for Real Madrid to have its own women’s team.
After a meeting of the club’s socios at the end of 2019, the club agreed to have a women’s football team for the first-time next season.
Last year, the Spanish club approved the acquisition of Madrid-based women’s club CD Tacon for a reported €500,000 ($550,000). The purchase was approved at the general assembly of socios by an overwhelming majority – with 90.6% voting in favor.
It earned promotion to the La Liga Iberdrola – the top tier of Spanish women’s football – on May 19 for the first time after beating Santa Teresa in a playoff.
Tacon (which means ‘heel’ in Spanish) operated under their original name for the current season have finally been renamed to Real Madrid Femenino with the two clubs officially merging on July 1, 2020.
The club – which was only formed in 2013 – will train and play its matches at the training ground of the 13-time UEFA Champions League winners.
And like their male counterparts, Real Madrid was not slow in making signings.
Swedish international Kosovare Asllani became their first signing after leaving Linkopings in the summer and scoring three goals at the World Cup for Sweden, including in their third-place victory over England.
Going with the tide
Women’s football is enjoying an explosion of popularity, with the World Cup earlier this year just the latest success.
But even before that, women’s football was extremely popular in Spain.
At a game between city rivals Atletico Madrid and rivals Barcelona in March, 60,739 people watched the game in the Wanda Metrepolitano Stadium, breaking the attendance record for women’s club football.
Real Madrid has long been criticized for not having a women’s team while their Spanish rivals compete for titles.
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Atletico has won the last two Liga Iberdrola titles, while Barcelona reached the final of this season’s Champions League.
Real Sociedad, Athletic Club, Espanyol, Valencia, Sevilla, Real Betis and Levante also have teams in the Spanish top flight.