An Introduction to Europe's Top Five Women's Football Leagues
While the NWSL and Liga MX are about to wrap up their seasons, European football is gearing up to begin. It’s an exciting time for women’s football in Europe as the 2023 World Cup has boosted visibility across the globe. With Spain winning their first World Cup and the English Lionesses making the World Cup final for the first time, there are set to be record-breaking attendances throughout the season.
September 8: Liga F in Spain
2022/23 Champions: Barcelona
New additions: Eibar and Granada
Spain is coming off a World Cup win but there was a lot more than just a World Cup win involved. Now they are looking to transition into the Liga F season, starting on September 8. Barcelona are the current champions, having won their fourth straight title last season. The team is also the reigning Champions League winners and are the ones to beat this year. Real Madrid had an excellent 22/23 campaign, finishing ten points behind Barcelona. The two teams will look to battle it out again this season, as they have both added new firepower. Levante and Atletico Madrid finished in third and fourth, respectively and both teams will be looking to take points off the two powerhouses. The first game of the Liga F season was set to be on September 8, between Sevilla and Granadilla Tenerife at 3 PM EST. But players are striking the first two matchweeks due to poor pay and not being able to come to an agreement with the league over minimum wage. Matchweek three will kick off with Granada and Eibar on September 30 at 6:00 AM EST. Games can be streamed through DAZN in the US.
September 15: Frauen Bundesliga in Germany
2022/23 Champions: Bayern Munich
New additions: Nürnberg and RB Leipzig
Germany has one of the most competitive and technical leagues in the world: the Bundesliga. The title usually flips between Bayern Munich and VfL Wolfsburg, with Bayern edging out the 21/22 champions last season by two points. Six-time Frauen-Bundesliga Champions, 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam, were relegated for the first time last season, showing the growth in competition in the league. Behind Bayern and Wolfsburg, you can commonly find Eintracht Frankfurt who finished only three points behind Wolfsburg last season and will be sure to challenge to knock one of the powerhouses out of the top two spots this season. The opening game of the Bundesliga will be on September 15 at 12:15 PM EST, between Freiburg and Bayern Munich. Selected matches can be watched via nbcsports.com and the NBC Sports App in the US.
September 15: D1 Arkema in France
2022/23 Champions: Lyon
New additions: LOSC Lille and Saint-Étienne
The French league has a reputation for not being nearly as competitive as some of the other leagues, but they have some of the best players in the world and are only improving. Olympique Lyonnais are one of the most successful teams in the world, having won five Champions League titles in a row from 2016 to 2020. They frequently dominate the standings in D1 Arkema, with the last time Paris Saint Germain won the title coming in 2020/21. With some of the best players and a strong fan base, the D1 Arkema is only looking to get better and stronger through more commitment to women’s football in France. The opening game of the D1 season will take place between Le Havre and Lyon on September 15 at 3 PM EST. Fans in the United States can see select games on nbcsports.com and the NBC Sports App.
September 16: Serie A in Italy
2022/23 Champions: Roma
New addition: Napoli
The Italian league has a structure unlike any other in European football, with a relegation playoff as well as a championship playoff. Starting last year, the teams played 18 matches to decide the top five and the bottom five before going into a round-robin style tournament with the five teams in their bracket. They play an additional eight games, keeping the points from the 18 previously, to decide the Champion of Italy as well as who will be relegated for the upcoming season. Last season, Roma, Juventus, Milan, Fiorentina, and Internazionale, all made the Championship bracket. Roma came out on top, with a total of 67 points in 26 matches. Juventus finished second and will look to compete for the top spot this season. The opening game of the Serie A season will be between AC Milan and AS Roma on September 16 at 8:30 AM EST. Fans in the United States can watch games through ATA Football.
October 1: WSL in England
2022/23 Champions: Chelsea
New addition: Bristol City
One of the fastest-growing and most competitive leagues in Europe, the Women’s Super League in England is set to have another big season. With the English Lionesses making the country’s first World Cup final since the men won the country’s only title in 1966, one year after their Euros win, the buzz of the Lionesses is bound to continue to help the growth of the WSL. Chelsea are the current champions, winning their fourth straight title last season. Manchester United made it into Champions League qualifying in only their fourth season in the league. Arsenal and Manchester City went down to the wire on who would take the last Champions League spot, with Arsenal edging City on goal differential. The opening game of the WSL season is on October 1 at 7:30 AM EST between Aston Villa and Manchester United. Select games in the United States can be watched on Paramount+, while other games can be seen on The FA Player.