The 2023 UEFA Women’s Champions League (UWCL) final was a thriller, with Barcelona coming from two goals down to beat Wolfsburg - and off the pitch that passion was matched by a diverse mix of fans, who were showcased by tournament sponsor Heineken.
With a selection of 16 billboards spread across Eindhoven, which hosted the UWCL final on Saturday, Heineken’s ‘Cheers to You’ marketing celebrated the diversity and passion of women’s football fan culture.
All photography was captured in the UWCL semi-finals, when Barcelona and Wolfsburg defeated Chelsea and Arsenal respectively over two tense legs. The fan joy was beamed across the Dutch city, which had a fantastic atmosphere for a worthy European final.
Barcelona fans were the ones celebrating at the full-time whistle, collecting their second UWCL crown in three years and strengthening their case for being one of the best women’s football teams of all-time.
Patri Guijarro’s quickfire double shortly after half-time erased the deficit from Wolfsburg’s first-half salvo, with Fridolina Rolfo then capitalising on the German side’s defensive errors to claim the 70th-minute winner.
The Spanish champions’ triumph gave yet more joy to their travelling fans, many of whom were showcased in Heineken’s billboards - including Laura, who snubbed a holiday with her husband to be in Eindhoven to watch the love of her life defeat Wolfsburg.
Heineken captured the diversity with witty captions emphasising the unexpected nature of UWCL fandom, with real men and women overturning stereotypes of what it means to be a women’s football fan.
Heineken has established itself as one of the most inclusive sponsors in football in recent years, including its effort to eliminate gender bias from UEFA Champions League statistics with its Fresher Football website.
With an audience exceeding 50 million, the 2022-23 season was another record year for the UWCL, which is now established as the top annual competition for women’s football.