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Alexia Putellas won the women’s Ballon d’Or for the first time on Monday after an exceptional season with Barcelona and Spain.
The 27-year-old midfielder helped Barca win the treble and scored 26 goals and 16 assists in 42 games in total. She scored in the Champions League final against Chelsea and, in August, she was named UEFA’s player of the year.
“I am very moved, it is a very special moment”, she declared during the Parisian ceremony through an interpreter. “I would like to start by thanking all my teammates, especially my current one [Barcelona] teammates. For me, it’s a collective success. “
The only previous female award winners are Norwegian striker Ada Hegerberg in 2018 and US striker Megan Rapinoe in 2019. The 2020 awards have been canceled as the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the season.
Christine Sinclair, Ashley Lawrence and Jessie Fleming, three mainstays of Canada’s Olympic gold medalist team in Tokyo last summer, were in the running to be named the world’s best soccer player – the first time that Canadians have been nominated for this prestigious award.
Putellas collected 186 points to finish far ahead of club and country teammate Jenni Hermoso with 84.
Hermoso scored 31 goals to climb to the top of the Spanish Premier League scorers’ table for a third consecutive season. Hermoso was the Champions League co-top scorer with Chelsea’s Fran Kirby with six goals.
Chelsea and Australia striker Sam Kerr came third in the ballot after 21 goals in the English Women’s Super League, followed by six for Australia at the Tokyo Games. Kerr has maintained his excellent form with 13 goals in 12 games this season.
WATCH | CBC Sports’ Signa Butler discusses the Canadian nominees:
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