The other half of the game

Love football? You might only be getting 50% of the story

Football is the most followed sport the world has ever seen. And it’s only getting started.

In April, over 91,000 fans packed into Camp Nou to watch Barcelona’s women take on Wolfsburg. The match was the most attended Women's Champions League game of all time, breaking the record Blaugrana set just a month prior.

There’s momentum in the women’s game, and significant gains have been made in terms of attention and publicity. But there’s still progress to be made. Only 14.1% of Gen Z Men’s World Cup fans will watch the women’s 2023 tournament.

There’s an open goal for inspiration, joy, and passion in half a year’s time, yet so many are potentially missing out. If you don’t watch women’s football, you’re missing half the game – half the goals, half the rivalries, half the upsets, half the inspiration...

There’s some pretty incredible stuff happening all across the women’s game. Take a look at the next World Cup in Australia and New Zealand alone.

The United States is looking to become the first-ever team (in men’s and women’s football history) to go back-to-back-to-back champions. That’s right, a three-peat. But there’s a whole world of top-class talent standing in their way.

Vivianne Miedema, Netherland’s all-time leading goal scorer, is aiming to help better her team’s 2019 second-place finish. When she’s not breaking records at the national level, she’s slashing them in the professional game. Last year, the then 25-year-old became the first player to score against every Women’s Super League team she faced, and this year she became the first to score 100 goals.

Christine Sinclair, the world’s all-time leading goal scorer with 190 goals to her name, wants to help her team rise to the top. She captained Canada to gold in Tokyo and the Portland Thorns to the NWSL Championship winner’s podium this year.

Co-hosts Australia, with Sam Kerr, the backflip celly queen with Golden Boots from three different leagues on three different continents, leading charge would like nothing more than for the World Cup trophy to call Down Under its permanent home.

And these are just a sliver of the storylines at a quadrennial tournament. Throughout the year, women are balling out in leagues across the world, fighting for the Champions League trophy and domestic glory.

Why then are some people missing this exciting part of the game?

The good news is: more and more people in football are committed to advancing 100% of the game.

Tessel Middag, Rangers midfielder and Common Goal member, reflects on the future of women’s game in this opinion piece.

adidas  are using Sunday’s World Cup final to drive attention to the upcoming Women’s World Cup and help create opportunities for the next generation of girls to represent their country. 1% of their 2022 World Cup ball net sales will go to Common Goal’s Global Goal 5 Accelerator – a collective project helping increase participation, representation, and leadership of women and girls in football.

We want to ensure everyone sees their role in contributing to this future and the direct benefit of doing so.  By watching both halves of the game, you get to experience 100% of football and help progress the game and its impact forward.

It’s important everyone from football fans to the grassroots level to professional clubs to the media does their part. No matter who you are, you can make a difference.

So if you love football, there’s a whole game out there. Don’t limit yourself to half of it. Enjoy both halves.