loads has changed in ladies's football on the grounds that Germany's closing international Cup triumph in 2007.

but the gulf in high-quality at the pinnacle of the ladies's recreation has additionally narrowed and the match in France capabilities darkish horses which wouldn't have registered on fanatics' radars 12 years in the past. Spain are one of these teams.


girls's football in Spain has passed through a dramatic transformation and the anticipation in advance of this tournament changed into more than ever. Most effective four years ago, the ladies's league was severely lacking in nice and nevertheless a few manner from professionalization. Top gamers had been forced to head overseas to similarly their development, which includes Veronica Boquete, who became the primary Spaniard to win the Champions League with FFC Frankfurt in 2015 earlier than transferring to Bayern Munich.

Spain's current crop, but, is the country's pleasant ever, consisting predominantly of gamers from Atletico Madrid (five) and Barcelona (10). Of the current squad, handiest critical defender Irene Parades performs her football outdoor Spain with Paris Saint-Germain.

The celebrity of the crew is Jennifer Hermoso, the Atletico striker who scored 24 dreams in 28 video games for her membership final season and who netted two consequences as Spain got here from in the back of to conquer South Africa in their institution B opener on Saturday.

"The improvement in the ultimate to three years has been excellent," Boquete tells DW, reflecting on what has been a veritable renaissance of women's soccer in Spain spearheaded by way of a brand new girls's soccer association (ACFF), founded in November 2015.

professional systems

incorporated into the guys's professional soccer league (la Liga) in place of the Spanish FA (RFEF), the ACFF has developed quick under its president, Pedro Malabia, and essential sponsor Iberdrola – one of Spain's largest electric powered utilities companies. Television broadcast rights had been snapped up with the aid of pay tv channel BeIN and public broadcaster Gol, no longer best using up wages in the Liga Iberdrola however also "developing better systems and education facilities," as Malabia tells DW.

And it's operating; women's football is booming in Spain. Simplest France issued more new professional participant licenses to lady footballers ultimate 12 months and the wide variety of girls and ladies collaborating in organized football in Spain is up via sixty three percent from 2012.

In March 2019, the boom in popularity of the game was meditated in a file attendance for a Spanish league fit when 60,739 fanatics packed into the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid for a sport between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona. Only the women's world Cup very last in 1999 attracted extra, when ninety,000 crammed the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, u.S..

The excellent of football has stepped forward notably as well. Remaining season, Barcelona became the first ever Spanish crew to reach the girls's Champions League final – a huge fulfillment for Spanish soccer, even though the Catalans in the end misplaced 4-1 to Lyon, the powerhouse of ladies's soccer in Europe. "All of Europe can see that our difficult work is paying off at the pitch," says Malabia.

more to return 

The fulfillment is becoming more calmly unfold at home, too, with Atletico pipping Champions League finalists Barcelona to the league identify and the cup going to actual Sociedad – trends from which the national team is likewise benefitting.

France 2019 is handiest Spain's second look at a international Cup, coming simply two years after victory on the prestigious Algarve Cup in 2017. And performances at teenagers level are even extra incredible: in 2018, the Spanish below-17s have been crowned both european and world champions, the underneath-18s won a third ecu Championship and the under-20s reached the world Cup final, dropping to Japan.

The improvement of Spain's children team is ominously reminiscent of that in their male opposite numbers a decade in the past. That team went directly to win consecutive important tournaments in 2008, 2010 and 2012, and now the girls might be hoping to do the same.

Victory over Germany would be a massive declaration of cause from Spain – and evidence of just how much has modified in recent years.