Martens eyes Barcelona Champions League double

Barcelona forward Lieke Martens wants the club to make it a Champions League double by winning both the men’s and women’s tournaments this season as reward for the work they are doing in women’s football.

Barca’s female side take a 1-0 lead into their semi-final second leg at home to Bayern Munich on Sunday while the men’s team begin their own bid to reach the final against Liverpool next week.

“It would be amazing for the club if both teams win the Champions League,” Martens told AFP.

“I think that it’s so great that a big club like Barcelona is putting so much into women’s football, it’s what we need. Women’s football is getting bigger and bigger and Barcelona really get it.”

In a World Cup year, women’s football has enjoyed extra prominence in Spain this season after a record crowd of 60,739 turned out to watch Atletico Madrid play Barcelona in March, just over a month after 48,121 watched Athletic Bilbao play Atletico at San Mames.

The drive has been for women’s teams to become more visible to supporters, a trend that would be enhanced by Barcelona winning the Champions League for the first time this season.

“It will be a tough game against Bayern, we all know that, but it’s also a big opportunity,” said Martens, whose side are also competing with Atletico for the Spanish title.

“I think we are in a good period now, we feel very confident, we’ve had good results in the last few months and the mood in the squad is great.”

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