The sports sector in Spain is celebrating since Alexia Putellas was recently awarded the Ballon d’Or for being considered the best female football player in the world.
The Woman Post | Catalina Mejía Pizano
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The last time that a Spanish football player obtained such recognition, was in 1960 when Luis Suárez Miramonte, won the Ballon d’Or as a player of FC Barcelona.
Alexia Putellas Segura was born in Mollet del Valles in 1994 and is a majestic midfielder at FC Barcelona. She scored 18 goals and 12 assists in the 4-0 Champions League victory against the WSL champions Chelsea. Her career began at lower division clubs such as CE Sabadell and RCD Espanyol de Barcelona. Then she became a player at FC Barcelona in the year 2012. Since then she has scored 157 goals in 364 games for Barcelona. She has already been named UEFA’s Women’s Player of the Year for her impressive performances and with a great opening to this campaign, which includes a four-minute hat-trick against Valencia.
From a more global perspective, she has won along with Spain, two European under 17 championships (2011 and 2011) and forms part of the national team since 2013. Since she has been a player on the national team, she has played the Canadian World Cup 2015 and France 2019 as well as in the feminine Eurocup 2017. In 2021, she became the female player with more international games played, overcoming the 90 matches played by Marta Torrejon. It is worth highlighting that after 5 league titles, 6 Copa de la Reina victories, and 1 Champions League Title, the team is starting to resemble the style of their male counterparts, and Alexia is crucial to the long-term development of their team.
During her Ballon d’Or speech, Alexia said some emotive words, dedicating her triumph to her father, Jaume, with whom she used to visit the Camp Nou as a child, but who passed away when she was 18, during the same eve in which she competed in the Under-19 Euros, joining Barcelona. "I hope you are proud of your daughter. This is for you daddy, wherever you are," she said.
Putellas was also emphatic on mentioning that although the Ballon d’Or prize is individual, it was also a team prize. "I want to thank my teammates. This is an individual award but it is unquestionably a team prize," she said. But even though her words were accurate and fair, there is no doubt that she also deserves the individual award, since she has been at the center of many important moves, with her tight control, tricks, and her amazing abilities. Alexia has become Barcelona’s second-highest goal-scorer behind Hermoso. After receiving the award, Alexia expressed her gratitude to all the coaches that had believed in her.
Alexia Putellas is now an example of how women can achieve their dreams with hard work and perseverance. The emotive ceremony of the 2021 Ballon d’Or, where Messi was also crowned, represents a new victory in her career, as well as a collective success of her team, as she was proud to mention during her speech. With her recent triumph, Alexia Putellas becomes the third women's football player to be awarded a Ballon d’Or, the first woman from Spain to obtain such a recognition, and the second Ballon d’Or for Spain, after Luis Suarez in 1960.