Barcelona and Spain midfielder Alexia Putellas took home a second consecutive Ballon d’Or on Monday and became the first two-time winner.
Putellas was recognized in 2021 after winning the Champions League with Barça before returning to the final this year.
Blaugrana lost to Lyon this time, but Putellas became the top scorer of the tournament and the best player of the season.
She was then denied the opportunity to compete at Women’s Euro 2022 due to an ACL tear on the eve of the final.
Despite missing the tournament, even though three of her four fellow Ballon d’Or finalists participated in it, Putellas was once again named World’s Best Player in Paris by France Football.
Beth Mead, England’s Euro-winning inspiration, finished second, but Putellas emerged as a popular winner and gave an emotional speech reflecting on a difficult period in her career.
“Thanks to France Football and the jury members,” she said. “April 5, I broke my knee and believed it was [winning the Ballon d’Or] it would have been impossible because I believed that the last European Championship would be remembered.
“My most sincere congratulations to the English Football Association for organizing the European Championship and for the impact they have on women’s football in this country. They are an example of how they do it.
“I hope the next time I have to compete it will be back on the pitch and I hope we see you there again.”
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) October 17, 2022