The F League finally starts with FC Barcelona ready to extend its hegemony


The 2023-2024 F League will finally be able to start this Friday, a week later than expected due to the soccer players’ strike, with the attraction of being the championship of almost all of the current world champions, including the almost certain next Ballon d’Or, to have the ‘return’ of Alexia Putellas and the current European champion, a FC Barcelona that once again starts as the undisputed favorite for the title.

117 days after the first season of the league ended with its ‘professional’ status and 25 days after Spanish women’s football experienced the greatest success in its history with the conquest of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, the domestic championship. It will get underway at 9:00 p.m. at the Antonio Puchades with the duel between Valencia and Real Madrid.

The F League, still without a ‘title sponsor’ after the controversy with ‘Finetwork’, starts again late and altered by a new strike. Last year the first day could not be played due to the referees’ stoppage in protest over their salaries, and this time it was the footballers’ salary for the same reason.

One more problem in women’s soccer that seems to live in continuous turbulence since it became a professional and that has experienced turbulent days since what happened at the world title celebration with Luis Rubiales’ inappropriate kiss to Jenni Hermoso. The footballers, forceful in their condemnation of this behavior, will once again speak where they usually do best, on the field of play and in search of seeing a more competitive F League that can continue to grow to get closer to the best championships in Europe.

And in the Spanish league you can enjoy 19 of the 23 players who made history on August 20 in Sydney. The only ones not competing this season will be Jenni Hermoso, who is still at Mexican club Pachuca, forward Esther González, who did not renew with Real Madrid and headed to the American Gotham City, defender Laia Codina, signed by Arsenal from FC Barcelona, and, at the last minute, midfielder Irene Guerrero, transferred on Thursday from Atlético de Madrid to Manchester United.

The rest remain, eight of them in the great favorite, a FC Barcelona that seeks its fifth consecutive domestic title, which would mean a record in the competition. The Catalan team already dominated the league between 2011 and 2015, but then they gave it up until 2019 and it seems difficult that their reign will be discussed.

The European champion once again ruled with a firm hand last season, although they saw their tremendous streaks end, both in terms of victories, by drawing against Sevilla, leaving their mark at 62 in a row, and as being undefeated, by losing in the last game against Madrid CFF, its first setback since June 2021 (719 days).

The team led by Jonatan Giráldez maintains all its great references and hopes to gradually return to having the best version of Alexia Putellas, who with patience feels like a footballer again and who will face an important year in her search to get closer to the level that took her to be the best in the world.

At her side, her heir, at least in the Ballon d’Or award, an award that seems to go to Aitana Bonmatí on October 30 and will ratify the current strength of national women’s football. The winger Ona Batlle, outstanding in the last World Cup, is their main reinforcement to give more strength and offensive tone to the defense, along with the young Dutch forward Esme Brugts.


The alternatives to trying to stop the current champion as much as possible will once again be the same as always, surely led by Real Madrid, which continues in its race to shorten the distance and which last season was ‘only’ ten points behind the blaugranas.

The Madrid team, which was left with honey on its lips after winning its first title by losing the Queen’s Cup against Atlético de Madrid, also maintains its main figures, especially the Scottish Caroline Weir, to whom it has added three good pieces like the World Cup winger Oihane Hernández and two high-level forwards like the Danish Signe Bruun, who comes from Lyon, and the Australian Hayley Raso.

Levante and Atlético also want to make it clear that they do not want to be comparsas and express their great tradition in Spanish women’s football in the other great fight that the championship offers, such as the fight for places to play in the Champions League.

The ‘granotas’ were the ones who won that award last season after a brilliant performance and have strengthened themselves well to once again compete for top positions with players like Ángela Sosa, Anna Torrodá and Gabi Nunes who join a squad that maintains World Cup player Alba Redondo, top scorer last year with 28 goals.

Atlético will also want to carry over its great end to the season where it achieved the consistency that it had not had and that took it out of the fight too soon. The red and white team closed the campaign with the joy of the Queen’s Cup, a plus for a team that has been supported by the Swiss Ana-Marie Crnogorcevic, who arrives from Barça, or the Norwegian Vilde Boe Rise, and that hopes to recover to his injured Ludmila da Silva and Lucía Moral.

From there, from behind they will also want to close the gap with these teams: Real Sociedad, which could not be at the level it gave in 21-22 when it was runner-up, or Madrid CFF, which is holding on to the goals of Racheal Kundananji. UDG Tenerife, Athletic Club, Sevilla and Valencia will try to have a calm campaign and be as close to the noble positions, while the rest seem more destined to fight to avoid the hard relegation, among them the two new ones, SD Eibar and the grenade.