International breaks are, by simple coincidence or by absolute design, are here to bore the living hell out of us all. There’s transfer rumors that are either rehashed or completely out of the blue that they are just flat out hard to believe. And, with only a couple of days where there are actually international games being played, the chances to get your football fix are pretty limited.
This international break is not like others, though — and it’s not because of some wild kind of newfound piece of information about who Juventus will be signing this coming July.
Nah, none of that.
This is in-house business. This is business about Juve’s lovely and quite impressive house, Allianz Stadium, opening its doors to some of its own — Juventus Women.
It was earlier this month that we got word that Juventus’ women’s team was going to play its first-ever game at Allianz Stadium — a game that is not only free of charge for anybody who wants to attend, but one that could very well decide who goes on to win the Serie A Femminile title. Juventus Women, the reigning league champions, will enter Sunday’s historic game all of one point up on Fiorentina.
Basically, what I’m trying to say is that as not-close as the Serie A lead is on the men’s side of things, it’s the exact opposite for them women.
And, the best news in all of this is that there’s a growing indication that there will be a large group of people at Allianz Stadium to watch this Scudetto showdown.
As of a Thursday report from Turin-based newspaper Tuttosport, there have already been over 26,000 tickets sold. Seeing as its only Friday, there’s more than a fighter’s chance that Juventus-Fiorentina easily doubles the record for attendance at a women’s game in Italy, set in the semifinals of the UEFA Women’s Cup between Frankfurt and Bardolino Verona in April 2008.
I understand that the likes of Sara Gama, Laura Giuliani, Barbara Bonansea, Cristiana Girelli and the like aren’t household names for a lot of people are this blog simply because not everybody follows the Juve women like they do with the men. But, when the men’s team is on an international break and they’ve moved a game that is usually played in front of a crowd that is three or four figures deep to the best stadium Italy has to offer, it’s a big deal.
While Wojciech Szczesny just played for Poland on Thursday night and Mattia Perin and Federico Bernardeschi were trying on their new Armani suits — looking sharp, gents — Juventus Women’s players were hanging out at their new digs for the week. The same stadium where a lot of them were sitting in the upper level watching Juventus complete a second-leg comeback over Atlético Madrid earlier this month.
For the next few days at least, Allianz Stadium, not Juve’s new training center or the fields at Vinovo, will be theirs and theirs alone.
And, you know what? This team deserves it.
There are plenty of reasons as to why you should pay attention to Juventus’ women’s team. (And no, one of these reasons will not be something like “OMG LOOK AT HOW ATTRACTIVE THESE PLAYERS ARE!!) Here are a few:
- They’re good. Really, really good. Ever since they became a team, they’ve lost three league games. THREE! That’s it. Thirty-five wins, three losses and two draws. They’ve got one league title under their belt, and are closing in on a second in as many years of existence.
- Bonansea, Juventus Women’s leading scorer, is an absolute sniper:
- Juventus Women’s No. 8, Rosucci, is a Turin native in the same fashion of Juve’s old No. 8 who is now hanging out and posting lovely selfies to Instagram in Russia. (Miss you, Claudio.) Rosucci hasn’t played this season because of a serious knee injury — sounds familiar, doesn’t it? — but has recently returned to training. Her teammates are quite happy.
- Giorgio Chiellini isn’t the only economics nerd at the club.
- Juventus Women could easily be responsible for at least half of Italy’s starting lineup at the Women’s World Cup this summer. A strong Juventus means a strong Italy, right?
- Juventus Women also has a crazy Croatian on their roster.
My hope for this blog going forward is that we try to have more of a focus on Juve’s women’s team, one that is quite good even though it hasn’t even celebrated its second birthday yet. (It’s in the middle of June, by the way.) The women’s game is getting better — in Serie A, in Italy as a whole, all the way around Europe and the world as a whole. Juventus Women, especially domestically, has a big role in that — especially when you consider the fact that Italy will be at the Women’s World Cup for the first time in two decades this summer.
Juventus Women are, like Fiorentina, Roma, AC Milan and others, trying to make the women’s game better in Italy. Playing a game with this kind of magnitude is a sign that things are getting better all of two years into Juventus having a women’s team.
We talked about Juventus playing its Game of the Season two weeks ago when they hosted Atlético Madrid at Allianz Stadium. Well, Juventus Women are about to have their Game of the Season at the same place — and that’s a pretty damn cool thing to see happen.