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.

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“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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