Alexia Putellas Wins UEFA Women’s Player of the Year Award

Alexia Putellas is this year’s soccer star…

The 28-year-old Spanish professional footballer and Barcelona midfielder has won the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year award, beating England’s Beth Mead and Germany’s Lena Oberdorf to the top prize, while England head coach Sarina Wiegman was crowned coach of the year.

Alexia PutellasPutellas, who won award last year along with the Ballon d’Or Feminin, netted 34 goals for Barca last season as the club won all the domestic trophies and reached the Champions League final.

However, Putellas did not play at the Women’s Euro 2022 after tearing her knee ligaments in training and faced stiff competition in Mead, who won player of the tournament as well as finishing top scorer with six goals.

Meanwhile, Mead’s international boss Wiegman picked up another award on Thursday as she won coach of the year for her role in guiding England to their first major title in 56 years.

“It’s really nice to receive this great award, I’m very honored and humbled,” she said.

“This award is really for everyone involved with the England team, the FA, the staff and of course, most of all, the players. Thank you very much.”

The Football Association is planning to hold contract talks with Wiegman, who has been in the role since September 2021, over a contract extension as England hope to extend their success at next summer’s Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Camila Cabello Embraces Latin Roots in Champions League Final Opening Performance

Camila Cabello has embraced her Latin roots at the Champions League final…

The 25-year-old Mexican & Cuban singer gave futbol fans something to remember at the opening of the 2022 UEFA Champions League final on Saturday, May 28.

Camila CabelloPrior to the face-off between Liverpool and Real Madrid, Cabello delivered a colorful spectacle for thousands of fans at Stade de France in Paris.

The carnival-themed celebration, which Cabello paid homage to Cabello’s Latin heritage, featured a medley of “Senorita,” “Havana,” “Bam Bam” and “Don’t Go Yet.”

In a recent interview with Billboard, Cabello discussed weaving elements of her Latin culture into her new music and into every aspect of her life.

“My music, I always feel celebrates my heritage and my Cuban-Mexican heritage, so there’s going to be songs from Familia on there,” the singer said of the performance.

The performance was a natural fit for Cabello, who grew up watching the World Cup with her family every four years. “Out of every sport, it’s the only one I really understand and the one that gets me the most hyped,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to see a soccer game in person.”

Cabello has always been openly proud of her Latin culture, and on her recent studio album, Familia, that connection is deeply celebrated through vibrant instrumentals and a number of Spanish-language songs including “Celia,” “Hasta Los Dientes” featuring Maria Becerra and verses in “Lola” featuring Yotuel.

The UEFA Champions League final opening ceremony, presented by Pepsi, aired in more 200 countries and territories worldwide.

Camila Cabello to Perform at UEFA Champions League Opening Ceremony

Camila Cabello is in a (Champions) League of her own…

The 25-year-old Mexican and Cuban singer is set to headline the Opening Ceremony of the 2022 UEFA Champions League final.

Camila CabelloCabello announced the news with a colorful video in which she sings her 2017 smash “Havana” in a colorful, blossoming AI universe. In it, she struts across a stage before spinning around as her blue dress transforms into a flowing pink gown, and she transitions into her recent single “Bam Bam” as a virtual version of the champion’s cup floats high above her.

“I’m excited to announce that I’ll be performing at the UEFA @championsleague Final Opening Ceremony presented by @pepsiglobal #PepsiShow. I’ve got lots of surprises in store for you,” Cabello wrote in a message to fans. The showdown between Liverpool and Real Madrid will take place at Stade de France on May 28.

Marshmello headlined last year’s opening ceremony with a mind-bending six-minute virtual performance that was two years in the making.

On May 5, Cabello was honored at Variety’s Power of Women event for her work with the Movement Voter Fund to launch the Healing Justice Project, and used her time on the floor to discuss the Supreme Court’s leaked draft opinion that experts suspect could lead to an overturning of the seminal 1973 Roe v. Wade case that has guaranteed women the right to an abortion.

“It’s atrocious,” the 25-year-old singer said during her speech in which she also encouraged people to get involved by voting on the local level and donating to relevant causes. “Obviously it’s going to affect poor women the most, because women that have resources — even like me — will be able to handle things if if they’re needed. The idea of having one moment transform the course of a woman’s life is tragic. And it’s tragic [that] the people affected are not having a say.”

Alexia Putellas Claims This Year’s ‘The Best FIFA Women’s Player’ Award

It’s a special third for Alexia Putellas

The 27-year-old Spanish footballer, a midfielder for Barcelona and Spain, has won The Best FIFA Women’s Player award for 2022, marking her third individual award in the last six months.

Alexia PutellasPutellas previously won the Ballon d’Or Feminin in November and was named UEFA Women’s Player of the Year in August.

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes was awarded The Best FIFA Women’s Coach award after a year in which she won the domestic Treble and made it to the Champions League final.

Canada and Portland ThornsChristine Sinclair was awarded The Best FIFA Special award while Chile and Lyon‘s Christiane Endler was awarded The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper award.

“This belongs to everyone,” Putellas said after receiving the award. “I hope we can continue with the same or even more motivations this year and we can be very successful again.

“This is the work of many years. 2021 was perfect. We only hope to finish this year the same way.”

Putellas fought off strong competition from teammate Jennifer Hermoso and Chelsea’s Sam Kerr for Monday’s award — the same two finalists for the Ballon d’Or Feminin.

Putellas helped Barca to a Treble-winning 2020-21 season in which they won the Primera Divsion, the Copa de la Reina and took home the Champions League trophy for the first time in their history.

Meanwhile, several Latina players were named to the FIFA Women’s World XI team, including Endler, Argentina’s Estefania Banini and Brazil’s Marta.

FIFA Women’s World XI
Christiane Endler – Lyon, Chile
Lucy Bronze – Manchester City, England
Wendie Renard – Lyon, France
Millie Bright – Chelsea, England
Magdalena Eriksson – Chelsea, Sweden
Estefania Banini – Atletico Madrid, Argentina
Carli Lloyd – NJ/NY Gotham, United States
Barbara Bonansea – Juventus, Italy
Vivianne Miedema – Arsenal, Netherlands
Marta – Orlando Pride, Brazil
Alex Morgan – San Diego Wave, United States

Alexia Putellas Becomes First Spanish Ballon d’Or Winner Since 1960

Alexia Putellas has earned her place in Spanish sports history…

The 27-year-old Spanish footballer and Barcelona midfielder has become the first Spain international to win the Ballon d’Or since 1960 after leading her club to the Treble this year.

Alexia Putellas Putellas was named the best women’s player in the world on Monday as she received the Ballon d’Or Feminin.

Putellas, who was also named UEFA Women’s Player of the Year in August, is the first Spanish winner since Luis Suarez in 1960.

“Honestly, it is a bit emotional. Very special. It is great to be here with all my teammates. We’ve lived and experienced so much together, especially last season,” she said.

“I would like to thank all my teammates, all my teammates throughout my career and the ones I have right now. This is an individual prize but football is a team sport.

“I’d also like to thank the club of course. It is a real privilege to be here representing Barcelona.”

Barca teammate Jennifer Hermoso came in second place while Chelsea‘s Sam Kerr was voted third.

After a record-breaking year, Barca had an unmatched five players among the 20 finalists, with Hermoso, Lieke Martens, Sandra Panos and Irene Paredes also nominated for the award.

However, Putellas was deemed the outstanding player of a side, which won the Primera Division, the Copa de la Reina and the Champions League for the first time ever, beating Chelsea 4-0 in the final.

The midfielder becomes just the third woman to win the Ballon d’Or after Ada Hegerberg, the inaugural winner in 2018, and Megan Rapinoe, who won it in 2019. There was no award in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Putellas, 27, scored 26 goals last season as Barca clinched the Treble and she has continued her fine form into the current campaign, netting 14 goals in 13 appearances.

After spending one year at Barca’s youth academy when she was younger, Putellas spent her formative years at Espanyol, breaking into the first team at 16 before signing for Levante at 17.

In 2012, aged 18, she returned to Barca. Over the last decade, she has seen the team turn professional and played a key role as they have transformed into the best team in Europe.

She had made close to 400 appearances for the club and, after the departure of Vicky Losada to Manchester City in the summer, was recently named as the new first-team captain.

2021 Ballon d’Or Feminin rankings

  1. Alexia Putellas
    2. Jennifer Hermoso
    3. Sam Kerr
    4. Vivianne Miedema
    5. Lieke Martens
    6. Christine Sinclair
    7. Pernille Harder
    8. Ashley Lawrence
    9. Jessie Fleming
    10. Fran Kirby
    11. Magda Eriksson
    12. Christiane Endler
    13. Stina Blackstenius
    14. Sam Mewis
    15. Irene Paredes
    16. Ellen White
    17. Kadidiatou Diani
    18. Marie-Antoinette Katoto
    19. Sandra Panos
    20. Wendie Renard

Messi Makes the UEFA’s Shortlist for the 2015-16 Goal of the Season Award

Lionel Messi is gol oriented.…

The 29-year-oldArgentine soccer player and FC Barcelona star is among the 10 players who’ve made the UEFA‘s shortlist for the 2015-16 Goal of the Season award, covering last season’s European club competitions and the Euro 2016 finals.

Lionel Messi

Messi’s flick past Roma goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny after a team move involving Neymar and Luis Suarez in the 6-1 Champions League group-stage victory is on the list alongside Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez‘s solo effort against Bayern Munich in the semifinal first leg.

Gonzalo Higuain‘s solo run and fierce strike for Napoli against Legia Warsaw in the Europa League is also a contender, with spectacular efforts from Juan Cuadrado and Stephan Lichtsteiner for Juventus also recognised.

The goals chosen from Euro 2016 are Xherdan Shaqiri‘s acrobatic late equalizer for Switzerland against Poland and Marek Hamsik‘s strike for Slovakia against Russia.

Lionel Messi

That means Zoltan Gera‘s strike for Hungary against Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo‘s header for Portugal against Wales — voted first and second respectively by fans for Euro 2016’s Goal of the Tournament award — are not under consideration.

Also nominated for the Goal of the Season award are Barcelona youngster Carlos Alena‘s mazy dribble against Roma in the UEFA Youth League, Camille Abily‘s overhead kick for Lyon against Sparta Prague in the Women’s Champions League and Ricardinho‘s special strike for Portugal against Serbia at Futsal EURO 2016.

Fans can vote online at UEFA.com until Aug. 23 to choose their favorite goal from the shortlist chosen by UEFA‘s expert panel.

A similar online vote has been launched allowing supporters to choose their Save of the Season.

Suárez Among Contendors For This Year’s UEFA Best Player in Europe Award

Luis Suárez is getting a second chance to take down his teammate…

The 29-year-old Uruguayan professional footballer, a striker for Futbol Club Barcelona, has made it to the shortlist for Union of European Football AssociationsBest Player in Europe Award.

Luis Suárez

Suárez, the winner of Europe’s Golden Boot after his 40-goal season in La Liga, finished in second place for the coveted UEFA award last year, losing to fellow teammate Lionel Messi.

This year, Suárez was also Barça‘s top scorer in the Champions League, even though the teamcouldn’t get past the quarterfinals, losing to the eventual runner-up, Atlético Madrid.

Messi, the only player in history to have won the award twice, first in 2011 and then in 2015, is up for the award again this year.

But Suárez and Messi aren’t the only Latino players to make the 10-man list.

Real Madrid’s Pepe has made the cut for the second the year in a row. The 33-year-old Brazilian soccer star, a defender for Portugal, is included after a season in which he won the Champions League with Los Blancos before winning Euro 2016 with Portugal.

In addition to Suárez, Messi and Pepe, the shortlist is compiled using votes from journalists across UEFA‘s 55 member associations and includes Gareth Bale, Gianluigi Buffon, Antoine Griezmann, Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer and Cristian Ronaldo.

The winner will be announced at the Champions League group stage draw in Monaco on August 25.

Messi a Finalist for UEFA’s Best Player in Europe Award

Lionel Messi is the among best of the best in Europe this year…

The 28-year-old Argentine soccer star was named one of the three finalists nominated for the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award of the 2014-2015 season, alongside Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Uruguay’s Luis Suarez.

Lionel Messi

Journalists from each of the 54 UEFA associations gave a list of their top five players, after which the top players were given five points, the second were given four, and so on.

The 10 players with the most points entered a second ballot, which on Wednesday pared down the list to three finalists: two players from Barcelona and one from Real Madrid.

Next, jury members will submit their selection from among the finalists, and will meet the winner during the draw for the group stage of the 2015-2016 Champions League in Monaco.

As of late, the UEFA prize was awarded to Messi in 2011, Andres Iniesta in 2012, Franck Ribery in 2013, and Cristiano Ronaldo in 2014.

Messi and Ronaldo are both looking to win the award for a second time, while Suarez is still aiming for his first.

The fourth favorite nominee was Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, and Brazil’s Neymar came in fifth.

The winner will be announced on August 27.

Messi Named Best International Athlete at This Year’s ESPY Awards

Lionel Messi is the best of the best…

The 28-year-old Argentine soccer star picked up the Best International Athlete prize at this year’s ESPY Awards.

Lionel Messi

Messi, a forward for Spanish club FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team, beat Real Madrid‘s Cristiano Ronaldo, tennis player Novak Djokovic, golfer Lydia Ko and F1 driver Lewis Hamilton.

Messi became the all-time leading scorer in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League. He helped Barcelona claim the 2014-15 Champions League title as the joint top scorer (10) and the assists leader (6).

It’s Messi’s second Best International Athlete win. He previously took home the award in 2012.

But the soccer star wasn’t the only Latino athlete honored at this year’s awards show…

Victor Espinoza took home the award for Best Jockey…

The 43-year-old Mexican jockey won the Triple Crown in 2015 on American Pharoah. Espinoza helped end the longest streak without a Triple Crown winner in the history of American horse racing, with 13 horses losing in the Belmont Stakes after winning the first two races in the series.

Here’s a look at this year’s ESPY Award winners:

Best Team: U.S. Women’s Soccer – FIFA
Best Male Athlete: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Best Play (bracket-style): Odell Beckham catch vs. 16. Albany goalie lacrosse goal
Best Comeback Athlete: Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
Best Female Athlete: Ronda Rousey, MMA
Best Moment: Lauren Hill
Jimmy V Award for Perseverance: Devon and Leah Still
Pat Tillman Award for Service:
Danielle Green
Icon Award: Derek Jeter
Arthur Ashe Award for Courage: Caitlyn Jenner
Best Championship Performance:LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
Best Male College Athlete: Marcus Mariota, Oregon Football
Best Breakthrough Athlete:Mo’ne Davis, Little League Baseball
Best NBA Player: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Best Record-Breaking Performance:Peyton Manning throws record-509th touchdown pass
Best Upset:Mississippi over Alabama, FBS
Best Fighter:Ronda Rousey, MMA
Best Jockey:Victor Espinoza
Best Game:Patriots vs. Seahawks, Super Bowl
Best Coach/Manager: Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors
Best Comeback Athlete: Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
Best International Athlete:
Lionel Messi, Barcelona/Argentina
Best NFL Player:Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Best MLB Player: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
Best NHL Player: Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Best Driver: Kevin Harvick, NASCAR
Best WNBA Player: Skylar Diggins, Tulsa
Best Male Golfer:Jordan Spieth
Best Female Golfer: Lydia Ko
Best Male Tennis Player: Novak Djokovic
Best Female Tennis Player: Serena Williams
Best Female College Athlete: Missy Franklin, Cal Swimming
Best Male Action Sports Athlete: Ryan Dungey, Motocross
Best Female Action Sports Athlete:Kelly Clark, Snowboarding
Best Male Athlete with a Disability:Krige Schabort, Triathlon
Best Female Athlete with a Disability:Becca Meyers, Swimming
Best Bowler: Jason Belmonte
Best MLS Player: Robbie Keane, Los Angeles Galaxy

Messi: Best Player in Europe Award Finalist

He’s already been named the best international athlete at the Espy Awards… And now Lionel Messi could be named the best fútbol player in Europe.

The 25-year-old Argentine soccer sensation, who has won FIFA’s Ballon d’Or for three years in a row, has been shortlisted for the 2011-12 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. He’ll face-off against his Futbol Club Barcelona teammate Andrés Iniesta and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
Lionel Messi
The three soccer stars gained the most points in a vote among 53 sports journalists representing each of the European soccer governing body’s member associations. The finalists are all being recognized for their great performance overall performance last season.

Juventus playmaker Andrea Pirlo came in fourth in the election, while Barcelona’s Xavi, who finished second in last year’s edition of the award, rounded out the top five.

The remaining three players will now go into a deciding vote in Monaco during the Champions League group stage draw on August 30.

Messi was the last year’s winner.