Alexia Putellas has been named the 2021 Ballon d’Or winner, the third woman to win the award since its inception in 2018, after leading her hometown team FC Barcelona to a historic treble last season. The Spanish midfielder was instrumental in Barcelona’s UEFA Women’s Champions League win, the Primera Iberdrola title and the Copa de la Reina win last season.
Putellas finished ahead of teammate Jenni Hermoso by 102 points and became the first Spaniard and Barcelona player to take home the award.
The Spanish international was the first Barcelona player to reach ten goals in the Copa de la Reina, scored and provided an assist in Barcelona’s 4-0 win over Chelsea in the Champions League final, and scored 18 goals as Barcelona dominated proceedings in the league.
Putellas thanked her family, friends and teammates for helping her achieve the award while also stating that she fully believes she won’t be the last Barcelona player to win this award.
“This is only the beginning.”
She has every right to think so as Barcelona had three players in the top five, with Jenni Hermoso and Lieke Martens joining Putellas at the top of the list. Irene Paredes, who played with Paris Saint-Germain last season and is now with Barcelona, made it into the top 15 of the players nominated for the Ballon d’Or. Barcelona are currently leading the way both in Europe and domestically, and look set to have another treble winning season. They also have a number of younger players in and around the first team right now who could go on to be just as impressive as Putellas is and has been. Barcelona’s dominance in the women’s game is poised to happen and it could carry on for a long while yet, especially with Putellas in the sort of form she currently is in.
Representing the NWSL were Christine Sinclair and Sam Mewis in the top 20 female players according to France Football. Sinclair’s achievements with the Portland Thorns and with Canada at the Olympics saw her finish sixth in the voting while Mewis’ performances with Manchester City, North Carolina Courage and the USWNT saw her ranked 14th overall.
Alexia Putellas was a worthy winner of the Ballon d’Or this year due to her exploits with her club last season, and if everything goes the way she wants it to next summer at the 2020 European Championship with Spain, it wouldn’t be surprising to see her become the first female player to win consecutive Ballon d’Ors.
1 Alexia Putellas (Spain, Barcelona): 186 points
2 Jenni Hermoso (Spain, Barcelona): 84 points
3 = Sam Kerr (Australia, Chelsea): 46 points
3 = Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands, Arsenal): 46 points
5 Lieke Martens (Netherlands, Barcelona): 40 points
6 Christine Sinclair (Canada, Portland Thorns): 36 points
7 Pernille Harder (Denmark, Chelsea): 33 points
8 Ashley Lawrence (Canada, Paris Saint-Germain): 26 poinsts
9 Jessie Fleming (Canada, Chelsea): 25 points
10 Fran Kirby (England, Chelsea): 22 points
11 Magdalena Eriksson (Sweden, Chelsea): 20 points
12 Christiane Endler (Costa Rica, Paris Saint-Germain/Lyon): 19 points
13 Stina Blackstenius (Sweden, BK Häcken): 10 points
14 = Sam Mewis (USA, Manchester City/NC Courage): 8 points
14 = Irene Paredes (Spain, Paris Saint-Germain/Barcelona): 8 points
16 Ellen White (England, Manchester City): 4 points
17 = Kadidiatou Diani (France, Paris Saint-Germain): 3 points
17 = Marie-Antoinette Katoto (France, Paris Saint-Germain): 3 points
17 = Sandra Paños (Spain, Barcelona): 3 points
20 Wendie Renard (France, Lyon): 2 points