Alexia Putellas and awards seem to go hand in hand at the moment. The 28-year-old is continuing to make her mark in world football, having just won the 2021/22 UEFA Women's Player of the Year Award. It's the second year in a row that she has won the award and a first in the history of the accolade. "I am very happy to receive this award for the second year in a row", said a beaming Alexia while holding the trophy.
"I can't wait to play again"
Alexia is currently rehabilitating after a long-term knee injury and said that the award would help spur on her recovery. She was a key component of the side that stormed to the domestic double, won the Spanish Super Cup and reached the Champions League Final. On being asked for her favourite moment, the Catalan was clear, stating "the two Champions League games in the Camp Nou, because I fulfilled a dream of every Barça fan, and now every female fan has the chance to experience it too".
She also topped the scoring charts both in the league (18) and in the Champions League (11), being named MVP of the UWCL. Alexia also received the highest honour from the Catalan Government, the Cross of Sant Jordi.
The Barça star was all smiles on collecting the trophy at the Haliz Congress Centre in Istanbul. The current Ballon D'Or and FIFA The Best award winner retained her UEFA award, with second and third place going to Beth Mead (Arsenal) and Lena Oberdorf (Wolfsburg) respectively. "I want to thank my teammates, the coaching staff, and everyone at the Club because they continually help me develop and learn", she added.
So, Alexia Putellas has retained her accolade - the first ever time in the history of the women's award. Only one other player has won it twice before - the Norwegian Pernille Harder in 2017/18 and 2019/20. While clutching the award, Barça's number 11 repeated her desire to return to the pitch. "I am recovering every day in order to get back to what I like doing most, playing football", she concluded.
Fifth award for Barça players
UEFA has been presenting this award to men and women since 2011 and 2013 respectively. This is the fifth time a Barça player has won the award after Messi won in 2011 and 2015, Iniesta in 2012 and Alexia won it herself 2021 and 2022. The Club is unique in the world for winning such notable awards in both men and women's football, and they also have a record five winners of this UEFA award.