While the trophy seemed promised to an Englishwoman after the triumph of the “Lionesses” at the last Euro, the magazine France Soccer chose to award the Women’s Golden Ball to the Spaniard Alexia Putellas, Monday, October 17, during an evening organized at the Châtelet theater in Paris. The second in a row for this legend of the round ball.
Wounded but above the others
Last summer, however, the attacking midfielder had to forfeit Euro 2022 due to a ruptured cruciate ligament. “To be honest, on July 5, when I broke my knee, I didn’t think it would be possible, because I thought the last Euros would be remembered,” she, herself, confided when coming to collect her trophy.
Indispensable to FC Barcelona, the one who scored, during the last exercise, the whopping 42 goals and delivered 22 assists in the Primera Division, however, had solid arguments. The native of Mollet del Vallès, a small town in the province of Barcelona, even ended the 2021-2022 season with the status of top scorer in the Champions League, a competition where FC Barcelona finally lost in the final against Olympique Lyonnais.
In the new formula for awarding Ballon d’Or points, implemented this year, the collective trophies obtained have moved to second place, behind personal statistics. An element that therefore smiled on Alexia Putellas, to the detriment of English players like Beth Mead, crowned European champion with her selection this summer and co-top scorer in the competition with six goals.
A player who became a legend
The Catalan is now alone on her cloud. First Spaniard to win it since Luis Suarez in 1960, the one who spent her time “scratching her knees in the yard downstairs from her house” is officially the best player in the world, twice. “When I won the first Ballon d’Or, when it was already a dream to be a professional, Luis Suarez wrote to me and said a sentence that remained engraved in my heart: “This Ballon d’Or is not your goal, but your way out. confided the interested party in a press conference, at the end of the ceremony. And to add: “I was inspired by it to try to improve and perform better. »
“Staying at the top is much more difficult than getting there,” believes the new icon of women’s football. At 28, the most capped player in the history of the Spanish selection has already proven that she has the resources.
Briton playing at Arsenal Beth Mead ranks second. As in 2021, Australian Chelsea player Sam Kerr completes the podium after achieving the Cup-Championship double with her club.
First French, the captain of the Bleues and Olympique Lyonnais Wendie Renard ranks eighth. This is his third best ranking. She finished seventh in 2018 and sixth in 2019. She is the only Frenchwoman appearing in the top 10.