Alexia Putellas, the captain of Barcelona, has successfully defended her Women’s Ballon d’Or title, given to the year’s top female footballer.
The 28-year-old midfielder, who took home the honor the previous year, missed Spain’s Euro 2022 campaign due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury in the summer.
Putellas led Barcelona in goals scored in the Champions League last season with 11 goals in 10 games before suffering an injury.
Chelsea attacker Sam Kerr came in third, followed by Arsenal forward Beth Mead in second.
Mead of England won the Golden Boot, awarded to the competition’s top scorer, when the Lionesses won their first major trophy with a 2-1 victory against Germany at Wembley, earning her the title of Euros 2022’s best player.
Lucy Bronze and Millie Bright, the 27-year-international old’s teammates, were also nominated; Bronze, a defender for Barcelona, took 10th, while Bright, a center-back for Chelsea, took 15th.
Putellas, who was injured in training on the day of the Euros and faced a lengthy rehabilitation period of up to a year, said her recovery is progressing well, “but it’s obviously not a war that is won just yet.”
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During the 2021–22 season, she led Barca to a domestic triple and the club’s third consecutive Spanish league championship. Putellas led her team to 30 victories in league play, with 18 goals and 15 assists.
The Catalan team was denied a second straight championship when Lyon defeated them 3-1 in the Champions League final. She twice played and scored in front of record-breaking crowds of more than 90,000 spectators at the Nou Camp during triumphs.
Following her back-to-back Ballon d’Or victories, Putellas commented, “I’m extremely thrilled to be back here.” “I earned this reward a year ago, inspiring me to strive for tremendous success.
“couldn’t have done this without my teammates. I also want to thank the coach and the technical team. And to express my gratitude to all club members participating off the field.
The 29-year-old Australian also won several individual honors, including the PFA’s Players’ Player of the year, as she helped Chelsea win the FA Cup and an unprecedented third straight Women’s Super League championship while scoring 20 goals in 20 games.
Vivianne Miedema, a forward for Arsenal and the Netherlands, came in 11th place, narrowly outside the top 10.