Barcelona midfielder Alexia Putellas has won the Women’s Ballon d’Or for the second year running.
The Spain international won the trophy in 2021 and has become the first female player to scoop back-to-back Ballon d’Or’s since the award’s inception in 2018.
Putellas’s 2021-22 season saw her amass a whopping 18 goals and 15 assists in 26 Primera Division matches, helping Barcelona Women complete a perfect season of 30 wins from 30 to storm to the title.
The 28-year-old also came up with a record 11 goals in the Women’s Champions League, as well as two assists, as Barcelona lost to Lyon in the final.
Following the conclusion of the 2021-22 season, a host of personal accolades came Putellas’s way, as she was also crowned the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year and was named in the Champions League Team of the Season.
Putellas was expected to be a leading player for Spain at Euro 2022, but she suffered a serious ACL injury in the build-up to the tournament and was ruled out of the competition.
As a result of her injury, Putellas is yet to make an appearance for club or country in the 2022-23 season, and she will not be back on the pitch again for several months.
Nevertheless, the midfielder’s remarkable performances in the first half of the year saw her collect the prestigious prize in Paris, beating second-placed Beth Mead of Arsenal.
“I’m very happy to be back here, happy and pleased. A year ago I was able to win this prize and it pushed me to get even better. Without my teammates this wouldn’t have been possible, I want to thank the technical staff and my coach as well,” Putellas said after collecting her trophy.
When asked for an update on her recovery from her severe knee injury, Putellas added: “It’s going well, but it’s certainly not a battle that is won just yet.”
Putellas remains only the third player to have won the Ballon d’Or Féminin since 2018, with Ada Hegerberg collecting the inaugural award before Megan Rapinoe’s triumph in 2019.
Mead finished runner-up after scoring six goals during England’s run to the Euro 2022 trophy, while Chelsea forward Samantha Kerr placed third.
Lena Oberdorf and Aitana Bonmati ended in fourth and fifth respectively, while 2018 winner Hegerberg finished seventh, and Lucy Bronze also finished inside the top 10.
Mead’s Arsenal teammate Vivianne Miedema placed 11th, as Chelsea and England defender Millie Bright placed 15th, with 33-year-old Alex Morgan just ahead of her in 13th.