Aitana Bonmatí: Barça’s brightest star wins 2023 Ballon d’Or Féminin

Monday 30th October 2023. Aitana Bonmatí Conca has been named as the winner of the fifth Ballon d’Or Féminin at Paris’ glorious Théâtre du Châtelet. It’s been years in the making for the midfield maestro, capitulated with the most successful season she could have ever imagined.

Hailing from the quaint Catalan town of Sant Pere de Ribes, she becomes just the fourth woman to ever lift the illustrious prize in the French capital – etching her name into a historic lineup that contains Ada Hegerberg, Megan Rapinoe and Alexia Putellas.

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Yet there is a growing feeling amongst women’s football aficionados that Aitana Bonmatí may just be the best of the best – and when you look at her list of achievements over the course of the last year, it would be almost impossible to disagree.

With her Barcelona side, she was instrumental as the Blaugrana won Liga F, the Supercopa de España, and perhaps most importantly, the UEFA Women’s Champions League. Donning the colours of the Spanish national team, she was pivotal as la Roja secured their first FIFA Women’s World Cup title.

‘I’m very proud to receive this Ballon d’Or tonight. It’s been a quite unique level, football-wise. It’s an individual award but football is a team sport so I’d like to extend this prize to my team-mates, the staff, everyone involved at Barcelona, all my international team-mates as well. I wouldn’t be here without them, I wouldn’t have the same success thanks to them.’

Aitana Bonmatí Conca

Of course, she wasn’t the only player to achieve those feats – but she was the only player to be crowned as the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year and the UEFA Women’s Champions League Player of the Season, whilst also picking up the FIFA Women’s World Cup Golden Ball.

Her style of play has drawn comparisons with Andrés Iniesta – perhaps most notably from Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola. ‘Guardiola is an idol for me,’ Bonmatí replied when questioned about the comments during Monday’s ceremony, ‘I didn’t see him play, but I did live through his glorious period as Barça coach. They were the best years of my life. Pep comparing me to players like Iniesta, Xavi and co is special.’