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.
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
- 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