Women's Team

Leila Ouahabi: 10 things you didn't know

Spanish international Leila Ouahabi has become our second signing of the summer.

The 29-year-old has put pen to paper on a two-year deal at the Academy Stadium, and will officially join us from Barcelona on July 1 subject to international clearance.

Here are 10 things you may or may not know about our new arrival…

1. Record breaker

Leila took part in two games in front of more than 90,000 fans at Barcelona’s Camp Nou Stadium earlier this year that both set a new world record for a women’s attendance.

First, 91,553 fans were present for the women’s El Clasico between Barca and Real.

That was swiftly followed in April by an attendance of 91,648 for Barca’s UEFA Women’s Champions League clash with Wolfsburg.

“That was great. You feel you have the privilege as a player to live something like that and being part of it made me very happy,” said Ouahabi.

“I think that every football player would love to play a game in a stadium full of more the 90,000 people and I am feeling very proud of being part of that moment.”

2. High fives

Across two separate spells with Barcelona, Ouahabi won the Spanish Women’s Primera Division title five times, firstly in 2011-12 and 2012-13 and then on three more occasions in her second spell at the club in 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22.

3. First footing

Growing up, Leila spent a lot of time playing futsal with her brothers and such was her passion for the sport – which is renowned for developing excellent close control and individual technique on small indoor pitches – that at one stage she joined a futsal team along with eleven other boys!

4. Teen spirit

Ouahabi was aged just thirteen when she first joined Barcelona's youth set-up. After five years of progressing through the ranks at the Club, she subsequently made her senior debut for the Catalan club in 2011.

5. International bow

Having already been capped at Under-19 level, Ouahabi made her senior international debut for Spain early in 2016, starting a 0–0 friendly draw against Romania.

6. Golden goal

Leila’s first goal at international level proved to be an important one. It secured a 1-0 victory for Spain over Canada in the 2017 Algarve Cup final.

7. Silver salvo

All told, Ouahabi was part of a Barcelona squad that assembled 14 major trophies across her two separate spells at the Club, including tasting success in the Champions League final in 2021.

And Leila says she is hungry to add to that collection of silverware now that she has joined City.

“I want to keep winning trophies. I like winning and being competitive. I am coming here to win trophies for City,” she declared.

8. Numbers game

Though Leila does have a couple of favoured shirt numbers, she says she will be happy with whatever squad shirt is allocated here at City.

“I have always played with 5 or 15, I am not sure about which ones are available and I will wait and pick one. I do not have any problems with that,” she says.

9. Friends reunited

The move to City will also see Leila link up once more with former Barca and Spain team-mate Vicky Losada. And it’s a prospect she says she is relishing.

“Yes, Vicky and I have been in touch sometimes. Our relationship is very good, we have played together at Barça and in the Spanish and Catalan national teams also,” Ouahabi said.

“I have known her since I was 14 years old, and she is a very good friend of mine. Having someone like Vicky next to you is always helpful.”

10. Euros vision

Ouahabi is also in line to be part of the Spain squad that will compete in England at this summer’s European Championships.

The Spaniards are pitted in a tough group alongside Germany, Denmark and Finland – and the full-back says she is already looking forward to the showpiece occasion.

“I think it is going to be great,” she said. “We are looking forward for the moment to arrive and having the chance to enjoy an experience like this.

"I think it is going to be huge on media and very helpful for women’s football.”

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