Recently, the Dutch women’s football team played their biggest match yet in my hometown of Eindhoven. The game virtually sold out: over 30,000 spectators enjoyed a 6-0 win over Northern Ireland. I spent the game focusing on FC Barcelona superstar Lieke Martens and shot this short story.
One of my favourite things in sports is to zoom in (pun intended) on one athlete. I love to show how they experience a training session or an actual game. When the immensely popular Dutch women’s football team played a match in Eindhoven recently, I set out to document how one player experienced the game.
The women’s team had been enjoying increasing attention ever since they phenomenal win at the 2017 Euro Championships. Families were lining up to attend their games, which prompted the Dutch KNVB to schedule a game in their biggest stadium yet: the 35,000 PSV Eindhoven Philips Stadium.
Be sure to view the women’s glorious win over Denmark at the Euro Championships last year if you haven’t yet.
Lieke Martens – FC Barcelona’s star
Undoubtedly, the most popular and arguably best player of this team is Lieke Martens. The amount of young girls shouting her name at the start and end of the game was just insane. After last year’s tournament, Martens got on Spanish superclub FC Barcelona’s radar and made her dream move to Spain. Since then, she’s shared moments with the likes of Messi, for instance when traveling to Monaco for the Best Player award.
Psyched for another series focusing on one athlete? Here’s a recent story with Bram Verhofstad, a top Dutch gymnast
Martens was who I focused on for most of the game, and I must say I was impressed. Women’s football may have been considered slower and less professional than men’s football. While part of this difference can be attributed to the huge difference in budgets for development, I feel the difference has become far smaller. This team has won me over with their fighting spirit and professional execution, with Lieke Martens as the shining example.
Check out this series which I shot in the same exact stadium: one game with PSV Eindhoven’s Mexican superstar Hirving Lozano