Alexia Putellas of Spain won the women’s Ballon d’Or on Monday for the second year in a row. She received the honor following a season in which she led all scorers as her side Barcelona advanced to the Champions League final.
After a season in which Barcelona also won the domestic league and cup, the 28-year-old Putellas triumphed over fierce competition, most notably from three stars of the England side that won the European Championship.
The award, which was given out at a celebrity-studded ceremony at the Chatelet Theatre in the heart of Paris, is a solace for Putellas, who is presently recovering from a catastrophic knee injury.
She missed the July Euro in England due to an injury, and it is unlikely that she will play any football this year.
“It makes me even more annoyed to be injured, but I am very happy to be here,” Putellas said.
“To retain the trophy is much harder. When I injured my knee I thought my chances of winning it had gone but in the end the jury based their decision on the whole of last season, of which I only missed one month.”
Putellas had 11 goals in the Champions League last year, helping the league’s champion Barcelona advance to the final but lose to Lyon.
A women’s Ballon d’Or has only been given out four times, with Norway’s Ada Hegerberg taking up the inaugural trophy in 2018 and American sensation Megan Rapinoe succeeding her in 2019.
Before Putellas won it for the first time last year after assisting Barca to Women’s Champions League triumph for the first time in their history, there was no Ballon d’Or gala in 2020 because to the epidemic.
In August, Putellas had already taken home the UEFA Player of the Year award.
While Karim Benzema of Real Madrid is the overwhelming favourite to win the men’s prize later, the identity of the women’s winner appeared far less certain.
After helping England win their first major tournament on home soil by scoring six goals, Beth Mead was a strong contender.
Hegerberg, who assisted Lyon defeat Barcelona in the Champions League final, and her England colleagues Lucy Bronze and Millie Bright had also received nominations.