Barcelona Under 12's Girls Team Entered The Boys League And Dominated
For years, Barcelona's youth system has been lauded for the talent it has produced.
Dubbed 'La Masia', the academy has produced world superstars such as Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi amongst more.
Now, it seems the current girls youth team setup is also thriving.
Barca's hierarchy made the decision to insert their U-12's and U-14's girls teams into their respective age groups male leagues.
The result? Complete and utter domination from the U-12 squad.
As reported in The New York Times, the girls ran havoc throughout the season, winning the league at a canter with a gap of fourteen points.
This season, for the first time, Barcelona entered its under-12 and under-14 girls' teams in local boys' soccer leagues. If anything, the results this season suggest the girls met the challenge too easily. https://t.co/G59fYVErlQ- The New York Times (@nytimes) June 6, 2019
The side recorded a 100% winning ratio, with 30 wins in 30 as well as notching 329 goals throughout the season.
Celia Segura scored 121 goals in this period, which is more than twice as many for her nearest challenger.
One standout result saw a 16-1 victory against Santboia.
Spanish football rules state that until players reach the under-16 age group, players of all genders are able to mix.
Speaking to The New York Times, the overseer of Barcelona women's football Maria Teixidor explained how the genders interacting on the pitch has improved their performances.
"For the boys, it helps to normalise girls playing soccer at the same level as them. For the girls, it empowers them that there is no reason that they cannot play at the same level."
Teixdor also states there is potential for shared training for all genders in the future.
It is a stark comparison to the way women's football has been viewed in the past, with it often being seen as an afterthought compared to the men's game.
One staggering claim in the article claims that a player was told that football is 'not a suitable pastime for a girl' by a teacher at school.
The Blaugrana are not the only Spanish team to invest heavily into their women's team, as it has become more prominent in recent years.
Back in March, Barca and Atletico Madrid's senior women's teams set the attendance record for a female game when they met at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Congratulations to @AtletiFemenino on a wonderful atmosphere at the Wanda. You have done Spanish women's football proud. Your promotion of the whole event, your marketing - the belief in your team - it was all first class.- Michele Taylor (@BarcaWomen) March 17, 2019
Barca won the game 2-0 in from of a crowd exceeding 60,000, with England international Toni Duggan managing to get on the score-sheet.
With the Women's World Cup due to kick off in the next few days, the exposure for the women's game is at an all time high.
Who do you think will win the Women's World Cup? Let us know in the comments below.