Barcelona midfielder Alexia Putellas has won the Ballon d’Or Feminin for the second time, becoming the first woman to win the award twice since it launched in 2018.
Putellas was named the best women’s player in the world at the Monday gala in Paris despite being sidelined since June with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. She finished ahead of Arsenal’s Beth Mead and Chelsea’s Sam Kerr, who were second and third, respectively.
“Without my teammates, this would not have been possible,” Putellas said after receiving the award. “I want to thank the staff and the coach and everyone involved at Barcelona. “I’m very happy to be back here and pleased because a year ago I was able to win this prize and it pushed me to want to be even better.”
After receiving the trophy from the great Andriy Shevchenko, Putellas said “when I won a year ago I told myself I had to get even better and serve the team. I’d like to thank all my teammates, the staff, president Joan Laporta, the board, everyone who works at the club and of course my family for always being at my side and being a part of this prize. I’m proud to play for Barça, my lifetime club.”
This was the fourth time that there has been an award not only for the best men’s player in the world but also for the best woman. Norway’s Ada Hegerberg was the inaugural winner in 2018 and Megan Rapinoe of the US collected the trophy in 2019. After the 2020 edition was cancelled due to Covid-19, Alexia now has a record two wins to her name.
She is the first-ever Catalan winner in either the men’s or women’s categories. Alexia was also named UEFA European Player of the Year for the second time earlier in the year.
Alexia was a key feature of the Barça team that didn’t manage to defend its Champions League trophy, losing the final to Lyon, but did complete a magnificent league and cup double in Spain without losing a single game, and also won the Spanish Super Cup.
She was the top scorer in the league with 18 goals, topped the UWCL charts with 11 despite playing in midfield, and was named MVP of the continental competition. This year she also received the highest distinction in Catalonian society, the Cross of Sant Jordi, but sadly missed out on the European Championships in England due to the knee injury that is still keeping her side-lined.
Credits: FC Barcelona