Atlético Baleares women team. | Richie Prior


Something that isn’t talked about enough here on the island is women’s football. I have highlighted it in the past, and it is definitely time to talk about it again. I was watching my youngest Jude training in CD San Francisco in Palma this past week, and I met up with some friends who were bringing their daughter to do some training with the girls team there. It’s so good to see girls and women’s football thriving on the island. In fact, our other professional team on the island, Atlético Baleares are the ones leading the way.

Despite only being formed in 2018, they have made their way from local leagues to the “Primera Federación de Fútbol Femenino”, which in women’s football is equivalent to the second division. It’s an amazing achievement, and they are now only one promotion from the highest women’s league in Spain. This week, the Government held a reception for the whole team in Palma to celebrate their promotion. The women’s football pyramid in Spain is set up like this;

  • Primera División de fútbol femenino
  • Primera Federación de Fútbol Femenino
  • Segunda Federación de Fútbol Femenino
  • Tercera Federación de Fútbol Femenino
  • Conectabalear Femenina autonómica
  • Femenina Regional Mallorca
  • Fútbol 7 Alevin/Infantil Groups A and B

The top division contains the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona. In the Primera Federación next season, Baleares will play the likes of the B teams of the big clubs. Mallorca’s next representatives are in the Tercera FDFF, UD Collerense, AD Son Sardina and the Baleares B team, who all finished in the top ten this season. The local leagues contain teams from all over the island, so there are plenty of opportunities. These are divided into women’s and girls teams. The Alevin and infantil teams can take girls up to the age of 14, and then they must take the step to the amateur women’s teams. That has been a problem as it’s quite a big step, but apparently, this coming season the Federation will add a “F7 Cadete” category for girls aged 14–16 years that are not quite ready or comfortable competing with amateurs. No matter where you are on the island, I’m sure there will be a club near you that will be looking for players. Where I live in Calvia there are two clubs with girls/women’s teams. Platges de Calvia have 1 team in Autonomica and one in Regional, as well as 2 teams in Alevin/Infantil. Sporting Son Ferrer has 1 team in Regional and 2 teams in Alevin/Infantil. Both clubs are looking for experienced or entrance level players for the coming season for all those teams.

Now the elephant in the room here is, where is Real Mallorca in all of this? The biggest club on the island doesn’t have a female team? That’s not good enough, really, particularly when you see the success of Atletico Baleares. I would have thought that a female team would be an obligation for a team in La Liga. What I’m hearing from people in the game that may well be coming in. They have dipped their toes in a few years ago, but apparently it didn’t work due to a lack of quality and interest.

That has all changed now when Spain won the World Cup last year. As you may remember, they beat England in the Women’s World Cup Final last year. More interesting for me is that three of their players come from Mallorca. The goalkeeper Cata Coll was born in Portol. She played previously for Sant Marcel, Cide, Marratxí and Collerense here on the island and was bought by Barcelona and sent out on loan to Sevilla. She’s now back in Barcelona and, after a bad injury, is now Spain’s first choice. Whilst here on the island, she was training at the Pablo Roca goalkeeping school, where my youngest son Jude goes. She has also trained with Jude a few times too. Forward Mariona Caldenty was born in Felanitx where she began her career. That was followed by Cide, Collerense and in 2014 she joined Barcelona.

Another player from Mallorca, Patri Guijarro, was one of the players who boycotted the Spanish squad before the last World Cup tournament. She was born in Palma where she played for UD Collerense and at the age of 17 she joined Barcelona and has been there ever since.

All three of the above played for Barcelona last weekend in the final of the Women’s Champions League, beating Lyon 2-0.Hopefully all three will inspire more girls on the island to play football and to become World Cup and Champions League winners in the future.