After experiencing heartbreak in the 2019-20 UEFA Women’s Champions League semifinal against Wolfsburg, Barça Femení emerged in the 2020-21 season with a different kind of hunger to succeed. After many months of an overcrowded schedule, playing through a pandemic, conflicts with the Spanish Football Federation, and a lot of mental and physical hardships, Barcelona came out on top in every possible way. In this article, we recap the club’s greatest ever season, going through each of their four major trophy campaigns.
2020 Summer Transfer Window
Compared to most other top European teams, Barcelona had a relatively quiet transfer window in the summer of 2020. With only two (permanent) departures and one arrival. One of the departures in question was Stefanie van der Gragt. The Dutch international and former Euro champion struggled with multiple long-term injuries in her two seasons at the club. The other departure was Pamela Tajonar, a former Mexican international and Barcelona’s backup keeper. Tajonar left to La Rioja’s capital to play for EdF Logroño. Van der Gragt went back home to the Netherlands to play for Ajax.
From La Masia, the club loaned out three players-Clàudia Pina and Carla Armengol to Sevilla, and Candela Andújar to Valencia. Clàudia and Candela both had very positive seasons in their first full senior-team campaigns. They played over 4,800 combined minutes and becoming essential parts of their teams. Clàudia’s season was particularly outstanding. She played in her natural “10” role, directly contributing to nearly 40% of all of Sevilla’s league goals. On the other hand, Carla Armengol got the short end of the stick with her loan deal. She could never manage to solidify herself as either a starting left back or a starting left-winger.
Keeping the La Masia starts at home
The club also extended the contracts of three major La Masia players, Laia Codina, Jana Fernández and Bruna Vilamala. More rotations from the crowded schedule saw the emergence of each player. Laia Codina played most of her minutes in the beginning and end of the season, with a mid-season injury requiring surgery and keeping her out for a few months. She showed herself at the end of the season to be a player with a leadership mentality and maturity well beyond her age. Jana emerged in a similar way as a frequent end-of-season rotation for Marta Torrejón. The defender demonstrated both her intelligence and versatility, being able to play as both a center back and a left back.
Easily the most impressive of the three was Bruna Vilamala, who erupted onto the scene late into the season. The 19-year-old scored her first league goal of her career in October of 2020. She didn’t score another until she returned to the first team in March of 2021 after a period of injury. But when she started scoring, she refused to stop. She scored 5 times in the month of April, and in May, she scored the match winner against UDG Tenerife. Her goal saw Barcelona through to securing the league title after Levante drew later that day. In total, Bruna scored 12 league goals on the season, an average of a goal every 60 minutes. If there’s any young player to watch out for next season, it’ll be her.
Introducing Giovana Queiroz
The summer only saw one arrival, Giovana Queiroz, a 16 year-old with experience in the Primera División, as well as with the USA, Spain and Brazil youth national teams. She was introduced to the club as a player who was meant to be involved in the first-team dynamics, but her chances were disrupted by some injuries. Gio trained only on occasion with the first team, and played all of her matches with the B team where she scored 7 goals. She is expected to make her debut this coming season, especially considering that she’s already a full Brazil international and will be heading to the Tokyo Olympics as an alternate in their squad.