Yesterday at the FIFA ‘Best’ Awards, Aitana Bonmatí and Sarina Wiegman were named as the 2023 Best Women’s Player and the Best Women’s Coach respectively.
Aitana Bonmatí carried on FC Barcelona’s streak as Alexia Putellas had won the award on two previous occassions, 2021 and 2022. She, along with Barcelona, completed a domestic treble and then went on to win their second UEFA Women’s Champions League title. Bonmatí then went to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup with Spain, producing sterling performances to help her team not only reach the final for the first time but to also record a historic win against England once there.
In her speech, Bonmatí stated that she was “feeling nostalgic” about 2023 due to how well she did for both club and country, and for everything she had achieved but she also felt “very proud” to start off the year with winning the award for Best Women’s Player in 2023. She also thanked her teammates at Barcelona and Spain for their contributions and ended her speed with stating that she was “proud to be a part of a generation of women changing the game and the world.”
Throughout the award ceremony, she was also the only person to shed light on what had happened in Spain with former RFEF president Luis Rubiales which tarnished the shine of Spain’s first ever World Cup title.
Sarina Wiegman has now won the award four times, in 2017 and 2020 for her work with the Netherlands, and in 2022 and now for her management achievements with England. This time around, Wiegman managed England as they reached the World Cup final for the first time in their history, and despite ultimately losing to Spain, the voters still felt that Weigman had done an incredible job with England throughout the year.
Wiegman said she was “very privileged and humbled” to have won the award again and she wanted to thank “everyone involved in the big performances with England and the FA for the big support.” Wiegman finished off by thanking the players who had played in the UEFA Women’s European Championship in 2021 and then the Finalissima in April 2023 to then compete in the World Cup. She said that “lots of things were thrown” in front of them and they had all done “really well” to achieve so much in that time period.
In another award announced at the ceremony, Marta was handed a lifetime achievement award, and also received an award named after her to be given to the best goal in women’s football that year.