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Alexia Putellas has won the Ballon d’Or 2021. The midfielder was named as the world player of the year in Paris on Monday night, where she was joined four team-mates who were also among the nominees (Paños, Paredes, Hermoso and Martens). It is the first time that France Football has ever given the honour to a member of the Barça women’s team. The evening was a memorable one with Pedri winning the Kopa Trophy for best young player and Leo Messi claiming his seventh Ballon d'Or title.
Thrilled to win, the midfielder said "I want to thank my team-mates. This is an individual award but it is unquestionably a team prize. To all the coaches that have believed in me, the fans, who I hope continue to enjoy what we do, the club, on its 122nd anniversary, and the destiny that has brought me to lift this trophy today ... and to my family."
But the person she wanted to remember the most was her father: "I hope you are proud of your daughter" she said. "This is for you daddy, wherever you are."
After the 2020 edition was cancelled due to Covid-19, Alexia follows in the steps of Megan Rapinoe (2019) and Ada Hegerberg (2018) as she becomes the first ever Catalan winner, male or female, and only the second Spaniard after Luis Suárez, also of Barça and 61 years ago in 1960.
Other Barça players, all men, who have previously collected the accolade are Johan Cruyff (1973 & 1974), Hristo Stoichkov (1994), Rivaldo (1999), Ronaldinho (2005) and Leo Messi (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 & 2019).
Alexia’s award tops a remarkable treble-winning year for the Catalan club. She scored the second of the goals in Gothenburg to win the team’s maiden Champions League, and was MVP of the Copa de la Reina final which Barça also won to complete the domestic double. In 44 games, Alexia scored 26 goals, and already has 13 from 13 games played so far this term.
Now a club icon and an example for women players in the country, she has the third highest number of appearances for the team (364) and the second biggest all-time goal tally (157). She scored the first ever goal at the Estadi Johan Cruyff and also the first of modern times for a female player at Camp Nou.
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