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Spanish star Alexia Putellas wins Ballon d’Or for second consecutive year

Alexia Putellas kisses the trophy after winning the Copa de La Reina with FC Barcelona. (Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Spanish star Alexia Putellas continues her reign as the world’s consensus No. 1 women’s soccer player, taking home the Ballon d’Or for the second consecutive year.

While the midfielder missed out on the Euros after injuring her ACL days before the start of the July tournament, she made the most of the first half of the year with FC Barcelona. She is expected to miss the entire 2022-23 season while recovering from the injury.

“I’m very happy to be back here,” Putellas said in her native Spanish. “I’m pleased. A year ago, I was able to win, and it pushed me to want to be better. Without my teammates this wouldn’t have been possible. I want to thank the team, the staff and the coach as well, and everyone involved with the club.”

Putellas had 18 goals and a league-high 15 assists for Barcelona as she led the team to its third-straight Primera División title.

The 28-year-old helped lead Barcelona to a perfect season, winning all 30 of their games.

She has played for the club since 2012, making 271 appearances and scoring 117 goals. Putellas has appeared in the second most matches in club history, behind Melanie Serrano, and is also second on the club’s all-time scoring list, behind Jennifer Hermoso.

In August, she became the first player to win back-to-back UEFA Women’s Player of the Year awards. She also soared to No. 1 in the FIFA 23 ratings after failing to crack the top 10 in the previous two versions of the game.

England’s Beth Mead finished second among the 20 nominees for the Ballon d’Or, followed by Australia’s Sam Kerr and Germany’s Lena Oberdorf.

As for the three American nominees, Catarina Macario placed ninth, Alex Morgan came in 13th and Trinity Rodman finished 18th.

Rodman was the youngest player on the nomination list, at 20 years old.

This is the fourth year of the award, as Norway’s Ada Hegerberg won the inaugural award in 2018, followed by Megan Rapinoe in 2019. The award was not given in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.