Ballon d’Or ceremony: Alexia Putellas makes history, Real Madrid men’s players take offense and boos for Mbappé?
Alexia Putellas won the Ballon d’Or in Spain as a kid, but has never won an award in her native country. She has been in the spotlight as a teenager and has been an ever-present for Real Madrid since her arrival in 2010.
“Every girl gets the chance to go to the Ballon d’Or,” says Putellas, who has now attended three of the biggest showpiece events for women. “The Ballon d’Or has always been for me.”
Born in the Basque region of Spain in 1988, Putellas was a child prodigy when the football was still played with handballs and the ball was in the air. Putellas scored some great goals for club and country, and was awarded the Golden Boy award by La Liga when she was just 14.
But it wasn’t until she was 19 when she won the Ballon d’Or as a member of Real Madrid.
“When I was 19, I left school and started training with three or four coaches. I was training every day, and there was no time for school. Sometimes I would come back later in the week.
“I trained hard, and they would say to me: ‘Now, girls, you need to work even harder.’ If you are in a country where football isn’t popular and it is a big club that needs to win, you have to work the hardest. I found that in Spain. It was more the club, the atmosphere. It was more about the club, the atmosphere.”
Putellas also won the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year award, and later, the Ballon d’Or in 2014. She plays for Real Almeria in Spain’s first division.
In her youth, she was a fan of a local football club that played