Alexia Putellas, with the 2021 Ballon d'Or. / AFP

Alexia Putellas is crowned the best footballer in the world

The Barcelona and Spain captain is the first female Spanish player to win the Ballon d'Or, 61 years after Luis Suárez

AMADOR GÓMEZ

Alexia Putellas was crowned the best female footballer in the world after leading Barcelona to a historic treble and captaining Spain. The Catalan midfielder is the first Spanish woman to win this award, which has not been given to a Spaniard in 61 years after Luis Suárez in 1960.

Putellas, who is leading the female football revolution in Spain, was the clear favourite to win the award over teammates Jennifer Hermoso, Irene Paredes and Sandra Paños, and over Dutch player Lieke Martens. Putellas won the league, the Champions League and the cup, as well as scoring 26 and assisting 23 times.

The 27-year-old is also a key player for her country, playing 92 times for Spain and helping the team reach the top ten in the world.

The midfielder dedicated her award to her late father, who died when she was just 18. "He always was, is and will be very special to me, I do everything for him. I hope you're proud of your daughter. Wherever you are, this is for you, dad," she said in her speech.

In this third edition of the women's Ballon d'Or, she joined Ada Hegerberg and Megan Rapinoe on the winners list and cemented herself in the Spanish football history books.