May 24, 2024

Spain’s Bonmati wins Women’s Ballon d’Or for first time

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By Sedara Philip

 

Spain and Barcelona midfielder Aitana Bonmati has won the Women’s Ballon d’Or for the first time.

 

The 25-year-old enjoyed a hugely successful year as she helped her club triumph in the Spanish top flight and Champions League, and her country win the World Cup in the summer.

 

She was also crowned Uefa’s player of the year in August.

 

England goalkeeper Mary Earps achieved a fifth place finish while team-mate Rachel Daly was 10th.

 

Fellow Lionesses Millie Bright and Georgia Stanway were also among the nominees.

 

Sam Kerr of Chelsea and Australia finished second, Barcelona and Spain teenager Salma Paralluelo was third, and Fridolina Rolfo of Barcelona and Sweden finished fourth.

 

“I’m very proud to win the Ballon d’Or,” Bonmati said.

 

“Football is a collective sport so I’d like to extend this prize to my team-mates and staff.”

 

She added at the end of her speech in English: “Finally congratulations to the other nominees. They’re great footballers.

 

“As role models we have a responsibility on and off the pitch. We should be more than athletes and keep leading by example and fighting together for a better, peaceful and equal world.”

 

Spain’s World Cup win was overshadowed by the fallout from Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales kissing Jenni Hermoso after the final, which she said was not consensual.

 

Bonmati scored three goals at the tournament in Australia and New Zealand as Spain went on to beat England in the final.

 

She has now won four league titles with Barcelona and two Champions Leagues.

 

This was the fifth edition of the Women’s Ballon d’Or, with Bonmati’s Spain and Barcelona team-mate Alexia Putellas winning the past two.

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