Sold-out Champions League final in Eindhoven, hotels and restaurants full
The women’s Champions League final will be played in a sold-out PSV stadium in Eindhoven this afternoon. Never before have so many people attended a women’s soccer match in the Netherlands: nearly 35,000 people are in Eindhoven to see Wolfsburg and Barcelona decide which club can call itself the best in Europe.
The city has been crowded with fans of the German and Spanish clubs since yesterday evening. Hotel rooms are fully booked and in most restaurants there is no more table to reserve. Tickets for the final cost between 20 and 25 euros, much less than tickets for men’s soccer.
At least this 85-year-old supporter for Barcelona is looking forward to it:
‘Barça mom’ in Eindhoven: ‘I travel with the supporters as if I were twenty’
The municipality started three years ago to bring in the event. Organizing the final costs the city 170,000 euros, and it’s “more than worth it,” said alderman Maes van Lanschot (CDA) in the NOS Radio 1 News. “We are so happy that the final will be played here.”
Appreciate top performance
The sold-out final is an example of the increased popularity of women’s soccer. Therefore, the match not only counts as an important calling card for the city, Van Lanschot said, but also for women’s soccer. “There are dozens of additional applications for girls’ soccer clubs here in the city,” he said.
Discussions about the appreciation of women’s soccer flared up in recent weeks when the Ajax women were not given an official tribute after their championship in the Eredivisie. That decision by the club and the City of Amsterdam generated outraged reactions.
Van Lanschot: “Here in Eindhoven we appreciate every top performance. If the ladies become champions here, they are welcome on the flat cart.”
‘Expect Barcelona to dominate’
Sarina Wiegman, current England national coach, expects the match to be high-level. “Wolfsburg is a top club in Germany and Barcelona have been dominating at home and in Europe for a long time.”
The fact that the match is sold out says something about the status of women’s soccer at the moment, according to Wiegman. “Perhaps more people would have liked to come. I heard a lot around me if there were still tickets. That’s where we want to go.”