In a triumphant moment for women’s football, Barcelona and Spain’s star midfielder, Aitana Bonmatí, has been honored with the prestigious Ballon d’Or Féminin following an extraordinary year filled with remarkable achievements both at the club and international levels.
At the age of 25, Bonmatí played an instrumental role in guiding Barcelona to victory in Liga F and the Champions League during the previous season. Furthermore, her leadership skills were on full display as she led Spain to a historic World Cup triumph in the summer.
Notably, Bonmatí was recognized as the Player of the Tournament during the World Cup held in Australia and New Zealand. Her outstanding contributions to the sport were further underscored as she was recently crowned UEFA Women’s Player of the Year.
In a thrilling Ballon d’Or Féminin awards ceremony in Paris, Bonmatí clinched the coveted accolade, surpassing formidable competitors such as Australia’s forward Sam Kerr and Spain’s talented winger Salma Paralluelo.
In a heartfelt acceptance speech, Bonmatí humbly acknowledged her fellow nominees, stating, “I want to congratulate all the nominees. All of them are great and inspiring footballers. As role models, we have a responsibility on and off the pitch. We should be more than athletes. Keep leading by example and keep fighting together for a better, peaceful, and equal world.”
The grand event in Paris also saw Barcelona being honored as the women’s team of the year. On behalf of the club, Bonmatí’s teammate Patri Guijarro and Barcelona’s president, Joan Laporta, received the esteemed recognition.
This marks the third consecutive year that a Barcelona player has claimed the Ballon d’Or Féminin, with Aitana Bonmatí succeeding her teammate, Alexia Putellas, who secured the honor in the previous two years.
“Spain has something unique. In recent years, we have achieved a lot with our clubs and the national team,” Bonmatí remarked. “It says a lot that we won the Ballon d’Or three times in a row. We are a country that lives football, and we work hard every day to be the best.”
While Bonmatí’s ascendancy to the Ballon d’Or comes after the consecutive wins of her teammate Alexia Putellas in 2021 and 2022, it’s worth noting that Putellas had to contend with an ACL injury that limited her appearances during the majority of last season. However, she made a triumphant return to contribute to Spain’s World Cup victory.
In Alexia Putellas’ absence, Bonmatí stepped into a more attacking role at Barcelona and took center stage. She showcased her prowess by netting nine goals and providing 10 assists in just 23 appearances, propelling Barcelona to their fourth consecutive Liga F title.
In addition to her domestic feats, Bonmatí delivered a standout performance in the Champions League, accumulating a competition-high 13 goal contributions – five goals and eight assists – across 11 appearances. Her exceptional contributions played a pivotal role in securing the Champions League title for Barcelona for the second time in the club’s history.
At the World Cup, Bonmatí’s impact was undeniable. She scored three goals and contributed two assists as Spain clinched the tournament for the first time, culminating in a thrilling 1-0 victory over England in the final held in Sydney.
Aitana Bonmatí’s journey with Barcelona began in 2016, and she has since made over 200 appearances for the club. Her list of accolades includes four league titles, two Champions League trophies, five Copas de le Reina, and three Spanish Super Cups.
Her international career took off in 2017 when she made her debut for Spain. To date, Bonmatí has earned 57 caps for her country and scored 21 goals.
Aitana Bonmatí’s remarkable achievements and contributions to women’s football have solidified her status as one of the sport’s leading figures, as she adds the Ballon d’Or Féminin to her growing list of accolades.