The History of Women's Football

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100 million Brazilians attended the 2019 Women's World Cup. For many, this was the pinnacle of football in the country. But it wasn't easy getting there.

The year was 2019. All restaurants, bars, convenience stores, beauty salons and waiting rooms tuned to the televisions in one program: the Women's World Cup. Brazil was the country that recorded the highest audience of that World Cup. The match between Brazil and France had 59 million spectators worldwide. 100 million Brazilians attended that World Cup.

For many, that World Cup was the pinnacle of women's football in Brazil. A little less than 6 years earlier, in 2013, the Brazilian Football Confederation announced the Brazilian Women's Soccer Championship, the largest competition of the sport in the country.

The path to these achievements was not short. It is surprising that until 1983, just 30 years before, the sport was forbidden for women. This ban, which lasted more than 50 years, prevented many girls from fulfilling the dream of playing football.

These dates serve to build the history of women's football. Check out the infographic we produced about it:​​

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​Organized since 2013, the Brazilian Women's Championship has already been won by major clubs such as Flamengo (in 2016), Santos (2017) and Corinthians (2018 and 2020), and is currently broadcast live on YouTube and Rede Bandeirantes.



Women were precluded from playing soccer until 1983.

Marta was elected the BEST SOCCER PLAYER OF THE YEAR for 5 consecutive years.

NO WOMAN is ranked among the 100 highest paid athletes in the world.



1881, the first-ever international women's friendly match took place: England x Scotland, in Edinburgh. The match was suspended and the modality was forbidden.

1884, with soccer still forbidden for women, a group of women gathered together and founded the first British Ladies Football Club.

 1885, the brave Englishwomen took to the field in a match that brought together representatives from North and South London. The match was a public success, with an attendance of 10,000 people.

1917, in the midst of the Great War, women soccer was a highlight. In the Challenge Cup grand final, 22,000 people watched top scorer Jennie Morgan who scored two goals just after taking off her wedding dress, hours after getting married.

1921, soccer was again forbidden for women. European federations would only look favorably upon it exactly 50 years later, in 1971.

1940, Pacaembu stadium hosted the first women's games in Brazil.

1983, the modality was finally regulated in Brazil, with friendly matches in stadiums, beach tournaments, calendars, practice in schools.

1986 was a great year for women's soccer. the first Brazilian women's soccer team took the field that year. The pioneers were: Sidnéia (Lica), Rosa, Mary, Jurema e Fanta; Danda, Fia, Cenira e Pelezinha; Lúcia and Elzinha. In addition, future goal scorer Marta Vieira da Silva was also born in Alagoas.

1988, Fifa promoted the first tournament with women's national teams. Brazil won the bronze medal.

1991, the first Fifa Word Cup of Women's soccer took place, won by the United States;

1999, Brazil wins its first podium at a World Cup, with bronze in the USA.

2003, Brazil, with Marta, wins gold at the Pan in Santo Domingo.

2007, Marta was already the best player in the world, and Brazil showed that: in the Rio Pan American Games, Brazil 5-0 against the USA in the gold medal final. In the World Cup, Brazil wins silver in the grand final against Germany.

2013, CBF launches the Women's National Championship, with 20 clubs in the first edition.

2015, Brazilian team is gold again, at the Pan in Canada.

2019, now it's the clubs' turn: FIFA and Conmebol require clubs that wish to compete in the men's Libertadores and South American Championships to have women's teams as well.

2021, Neoenergia takes the field with the Brazilian team to help the sport reach the next level.


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