Real Madrid Femenino did not have an easy path to qualifying for the UEFA Women’s Champions League group stages, as they needed to beat one of the best teams in the world across two legs, Manchester City. But they did just that, significantly outplaying the Citizens on the road last week despite losing in the league in the games around their UWCL triumph.
Now, Las Blancas are onto the UEFA Women’s Champions League group stages with PSG, Ukrainian side WFC Zhytlobud-1 Kharkiv, and Iceland’s Breidablik UBK in their group.
Here are three reasons why Real Madrid Femenino can make it to the knockout stages, which will feature two teams from each of the four groups for a total of eight teams.
Real Madrid Femenino showed they can meet the UWCL level
This was the most difficult task for Real Madrid. They needed to immediately show that they have what it takes to play in the UWCL and literally qualify for the group stages by beating an established. FA WSL title contender and Champions League mainstay. Manchester City boast some of the best players in the world, such as Steph Houghton and Janine Beckie, yet Las Blancs were able to beat them across two ties.
Real showed the heart and grit necessary to salvage a late equalizer in the first leg, and they were just as gutsy in a hard-won second leg. Las Blancas deserved their lead and worked hard to keep it, with captain Ivana Andres producing a heroic performance amidst a sea of heroic defending.
So Las Blancas belong at this stage. After passing that City test, they are more than ready for the knockout stages.