Barcelona-Real Madrid Women's Champions League clash at Camp Nou set to break club attendance record

Barcelona's Women's Champions League quarterfinal against Clasico rivals Real Madrid in March has sold out, the Catalan club announced on Monday, with over 80,000 tickets snapped up in just three days.

Barca usually play their home games at the 6,000-seat Estadi Johan Cruyff at the club's training ground, but the second leg of their European tie against Madrid on March 28 has been moved to Camp Nou.

It will be just the second time the European champions have played a competitive game at the 99,354-capacity stadium and the first time with fans. Last season's 5-0 win over Espanyol was also played at Camp Nou, but it was played behind closed doors due to coronavirus restrictions.

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March's fixture against Madrid is set to break the attendance record for a women's club game. The existing high is 60,739, set when Atletico Madrid hosted Barca at the Wanda Metropolitano in 2019.

Officially, the record crowd for a women's game is 90,185 for the 1999 World Cup final between the United States and China at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. If Camp Nou is full on the day of the game, it will also break that record.

However, some estimates suggest 110,000 people attended Denmark's win over Mexico at the Azteca Stadium in the 1971 World Cup final, a tournament that was not officially sanctioned.

Barca initially made only 70,000 tickets available for the Clasico in March due to existing restrictions on attendances in Spain caused by the spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19.

Members were given exclusive access to those tickets Wednesday, with at least 35,000 being given away for free. On Thursday, the tickets went on general sale and by Friday, all 70,000 had gone, leading to an additional "10,000 to 15,000" being made available, per a spokesman at the club.

Those tickets soon went as well, with Barca optimistic there will be no restrictions in place when the game is played in two months. The club say a limited number of tickets could be made available closer to the game if Real Madrid, UEFA, sponsors or players return any of their allocations.

Barca have been the dominant team in Spain and Europe over the past 18 months, winning the Treble last season, including a first-ever Champions League trophy. They have won all 23 games they have played this season.

Madrid, meanwhile, are relatively new to the women's game, having absorbed CD Tacon in 2019. However, they finished second in the league last season and are already emerging as one of Barca's biggest rivals in Spain.