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There is no doubt that football can become art, both on and off the pitch. Ahead of the start of the UEFA Women’s Champions League 2021/2022 season, UEFA has launched the ‘Queens of Football’ campaign, in which a team of female expressionists have turned the tournament into a street exhibit. A stunning exhibit, that is.

Ahead of the opening of the new 16-team group stage, some of the tournament’s stars appeared projected in the Turin Palace, an image that resembled a Renaissance painting. The city, known for its rich artistic and iconic architectural past, will host the final in May 2022.

Alexia Putellas (Barcelona), Asisat Oshoala (Barcelona), Christiane Endler (Lyon), Jordyn Huitema (Paris Saint-Germain), Shanice van de Sanden (Wolfsburg), Sarah Zadrazil (Bayern München), Sara Gama (Juventus), Sam Kerr (Chelsea) and Ji So-Yun (Chelsea) were the chosen names for this first work.

During the season, four artists will continue to get their inspiration from the players shining every week, and through fashion design, digital animation and 3D sculptures, they will come up with new works of art. They will show their work at an art exhibition ahead of the final.

The artists are Sophie Hird (UK), Tom Mimo (Philippines), Teresa Fogolari (Italy) and Giselle Fragmatista (Peru). “I was thrilled to be asked to be part of this project as I really believe the women’s game deserves to be elevated and celebrated in a unique way,” said Hird.

The clubs that will take part of the new 16-team group stage this season are: Servette, Juventus, Chelsea, Wolfsburg (Group A), Zhytlobud Kharkiv, Real Madrid, Breiđablik, Paris Saint-Germain (Group B), Barcelona, Arsenal, Benfica, Bayern München (Group C), Häcken, Lyon, Køge and Hoffenheim (Group D). Four of them (Barcelona, PSG, Chelsea, Bayern München) qualified directly, while the other 12 advanced after two qualifying rounds.

Each team plays their group opponents home and away, and the top two from each group advance to the next round (quarter-finals). The knockout stage begins in March.

UEFA has quadrupled the tournament prize money to €24m and announced the first global broadcast partnership with DAZN earlier this year, as the tournament’s recognition and prestige keep growing.

Showcasing some of its best players around the star emblem, which resembles a crown, was not just an excellent reminder of the tournament’s importance, but also a beautiful celebration of the Queens of Football, the players that are admired not only in Europe but around the world.

Source: Martin Mazur| AIPS Media

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