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Barcelona captain Putellas wins 2021 Women's Ballon d'Or


Barcelona captain Alexia Putellas won the 2021 Women's Ballon d'Or award on Monday, capping a dominant year with another accolade.

The Spanish superstar, 27, led Barca to a treble-winning campaign last season, scoring in the 4-0 victory over Chelsea in the Champions League final. All told, she registered 26 goals in 46 matches, finishing the 2020-21 term as the highest-scoring midfielder in Europe.

She's carried that outstanding form into the new campaign, too, delivering 14 goals in 13 appearances thus far.

Putellas, who also claimed the UEFA women's player of the year title in August, is the first Spaniard to win the Ballon d'Or since Luis Suarez took home the men's award in 1960.

"I'm very emotional, it's a very special moment," she said at Monday's ceremony in Paris, through a translator. "I would like to start by thanking all my teammates, especially my current (Barcelona) teammates. For me, it's a collective success."

Putellas was one of five Barca players nominated.

Teammate and compatriot Jennifer Hermoso finished second in the voting, while Chelsea forward Sam Kerr rounded out the top three. Lieke Martens, Sandra Panos, and Irene Paredes were the other Barcelona players in the running.

Megan Rapinoe won the trophy in 2019, while Ada Hegerberg won the inaugural edition of the honor in 2018. The Ballon d'Or wasn't awarded last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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