Real Madrid have finally launched their own women’s team – a decision hailed as “a huge positive”.
Los Blancos completed a 300,000 euros (£271,000) buyout of Madrid-based club Tacon, which has now been officially renamed Real Madrid Femenino.
In a statement Real said it wanted to “contribute to the sport’s development and growth”.
Real president Florentino Perez said: “The time has come to build a team that you will all be very proud of.”
Real were one of the only major football clubs in Europe that didn’t have a women’s team.
Lyon forward Ada Hegerberg, the first winner of the Women’s Ballon d’Or in 2018, said the creation was “a huge positive”.
The 24-year-old added: “I’m hoping they will stabilise the investment over a long period and that they have a long-term perspective because it can’t happen overnight.”
Tacon, formed in 2014, went on a recruitment drive after promotion to the Spanish women’s top flight last season, knowing there was the likelihood of a takeover.
They signed Sweden internationals Kosovare Asllani and Sofia Jakobsson, who was nominated for the 2019 Women’s Ballon d’Or, and Brazil midfielder Thaisa from AC Milan.
Why Real may find it hard to go straight to the top – Analysis
Tom Garry, BBC Sport
The long-awaited arrival of the Real Madrid brand in women’s football leaves German club Borussia Dortmund as arguably the biggest European outfit not to have a senior women’s team to their name, and one of the few remaining absentees from across all the continent’s top men’s divisions.
Real’s move came after several other giants of the men’s game took similar decisions to invest in women’s football in recent years, including Manchester United’s 2018 re-formation of their women’s team and Italian giants Juventus’ move to set up a female side in 2017.
Those teams have enjoyed relatively quick success – United finishing fourth in England’s top tier in their second season, while Juve have quickly raced on to lift three consecutive Women’s Series A titles.
However, dominance in Spain won’t come easily for Los Blancos, with their rivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid already having well-established, world-class teams and an ongoing battle for trophies between themselves.