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Who would win a match between FC Barcelona men and Barcelona Femeni?

3 min read
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Defending UEFA Women's Champions League holders Barcelona Femeni are on top of the world in the ever-growing women's football scene.

They began the defence of their title on Tuesday with an emphatic 4-1 win over Arsenal, one of the best teams in the world today, and look a strong bet to go back-to-back in the 2021-22 season which airs live and exclusively on DAZN via their official YouTube channel.

Meanwhile, their male counterparts are having a rough time since the departure of all-time great Lionel Messi for Paris Saint-Germain.

Ronald Koeman's side are already falling off the early La Liga title pace, losing 2-0 to defending champions Atletico Madrid recently, and have been handily beaten 3-0 by both Bayern Munich and Benfica in their first two men's Champions League games this season.

It prompted some Twitter users to wonder aloud who would win if the two sides faced off against one another this season.

When it comes to bigger clubs, it's hard to look past the men's side in any such scenario. While the UWCL, international tournaments and domestic leagues are rapidly improving in skill and stature with each passing year, the men have enjoyed a huge headstart under the bright lights which means that when it comes to the likes of Barca, the men's squad is on a whole different level.

But there is no denying their current troubles, and how much of an effect they have had on not only their ability to field superstar XIs but their end product from whistle to whistle. Meanwhile, Jonatan Giráldez has the Femeni at the height of their confidence and creativity, and there is no set of eleven footballers in the present day that would find it easy dealing with their attacking possession and dogged press.

We know such a scenario will never actually happen, but as Andy Murray and Serena Williams have shown in years of light-hearted back-and-forth at various tennis press conferences, it makes for a fascinating hypothetical.

So, here's where we think a 90-minute football match between FC Barcelona's men and women would be won and lost in said hypothetical.

Momentum

As mentioned, if the game happened tomorrow it would be the women with the huge advantage. Their football is so crisp, so varied and so unrelenting right now. If Benfica can cruise to victory over Koeman's side, the best women's side in the world would compound their woes with long periods of mesmerising possession. Great form is the highest of highs for a professional athlete; conversely a slump is a heavy weight that can be really tough to finally liberate oneself from.

'Tiki-taka'

Remember when Pep Guardiola's Barcelona men redefined the sport in the 2000s and beyond? It is now Giráldez and the Femeni who are the must-watch side on the pitch, and when the ball is being moved around in the manner any Barca squad at their best prefers to, gender, big-stage experience and other factors can be rendered completely moot.

Making it physical

However football remains a contact sport, at least within reason. In such a match, it would be crucial that experienced players such as Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets used their physical attributes where possible to spoil the opposition's possession and only allow passing football to be played when it is they who are playing it. 

The high line

Barcelona Femeni played a very high line against Arsenal and worked the offside trap to neutralise the London club's main chance of hanging in there with the European champs: the counter-attack. The aforementioned big-game experience that the men's sides of big clubs have been able to accrue over the years would likely make this high line far more of a risk.

The 'Gavi factor'

Though Barcelona's male side is a shadow of the Messi years, it has allowed youngsters such as Gavi more pitch time. The 17-year-old has caught the eye so far this season, and was fantastic on his Spain debut against Euro 2020 winners Italy. Gavi is set to be a breath of fresh air in a very challenging season for Barca men, and would likely be a key factor in ensuring they were not overrun by a more confident midfield from their female counterparts.

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