Alexia Putellas: a doublet almost at a discount

Alexia Putellas: a doublet almost at a discount

Named Ballon d’Or for the second time, Alexia Putellas became the first player to achieve such a feat on Monday night. If gossip questions offering such a reward to an athlete injured since July 5, her performances remind us that she was simply too far behind for everyone else, including Beth Mead and her slew of European Championship goals.

If we went back in time, few would have bet on Alexia Putellas being the Ballon d’Or again this Monday, October 17. Not even the Barça player herself. “The truth is that on July 5, when I broke my knee, I didn’t think it was possible, because I thought the last European Championship would be remembered” , recognizes at the end of her speech as the new winner of the precious trophy, underlining the benefits of the changes in criteria for the Ballon d’Or. The first Spanish woman to win it since Luis Suárez in 1960, the midfielder raises the bar a little higher and becomes the first to win this women’s Ballon d’Or twice, out of the four that are awarded. The one who spent time scratching her knees on the ground floor patio of her house is now 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 Suárez wrote to me and told me a phrase that remained engraved in my heart: “This Ballon d’Or is not your goal, but your way out.” I was inspired by him to try to improve and be more efficient” adds a few minutes later in a press conference that the one who is only called Alexia in the Iberian Peninsula.

less than a player

Because if the neophytes of women’s football most expected to see an Englishwoman on the stage of the Théâtre du Châtelet, thanks in particular to her victory in the last European Championship at home, it was still difficult to ignore the madness of Putellas that terrifies the stands and the counters Last season, Alexia Putellas was crowned after a thunderous season: 49 games, 21 goals and 27 assists. A year later, the native of Mollet del Vallès recorded even crazier statistics, far ahead of all those who were by her side on the podium: 55 games, 42 goals and 23 assists. Alexia even closes the 2021-2022 financial year with the status of top scorer in the Champions League, a competition in which Barça lost in the final against Lyon, captain of a Barça champion of Spain being undefeated, with 18 goals scored, and another named best player by UEFA. Again the first to achieve it. back to back. All this being a midfielder and having missed the European Championship, THE competition was supposed to make a difference, due to a torn cruciate ligament just before the start of it. Since then, the one that was projected into the light as the definitive model for all the girls who dream of being a professional player has been discreet, content to go and cheer on her teammates at home games. And she faces what is undoubtedly the biggest test of her career, at 28 years old.

“I hope that the next time I have to speak it will be on the pitch again, to win the way I like” he concluded, with tears in his eyes. But if she wanted “feel like a new footballer” Alexia also does things very well off the pitch. Always attached to the constant development of women’s football, the Barcelonan took advantage of her speech to salute the work of the English federation “for the organization it has shown, for winning the European Championship and for the impact it has had on women’s football” , a small contraption supported by its own federation, still tormented since the last truce. a situation that “makes you sad” by his own confession, and which he did not want to talk about on this day of glory, but he did want to take advantage of the visibility offered by the event to remember some fundamentals: “The feeling was that we needed opportunities to play. And now we need professional structures to do our job really well and for the fans to enjoy it. The way has been found, but we have many years to catch up. » Preaching for his parish in his conflict with the federation, the now double Ballon d’Or wants his status as “privileged” in a club like Barça it is no longer an exception, but a common place. So that the next one to lift this golden award in the sky of Paris no longer has to talk about anything other than football.

By Anna Carreau


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