Barcelona star Alexia Putellas has dedicated her Ballon d’Or Feminin triumph to her late father, who sadly passed away almost a decade ago when she was just a teenager.
Putellas became only the third ever female recipient of the Ballon d’Or on Monday night at the 2021 ceremony in Paris, following in the footsteps of Ada Hegerberg and Megan Rapinoe.
Having been the central figure in Barcelona’s 2020/21 success - including a first Champions League triumph - she was always the clear favourite to win and fended off competition from Chelsea striker Sam Kerr and Blaugrana and Spain teammate Jenni Hermoso.
On stage, she was grateful to her colleague, coaches, fans and family, showcasing a humble side when she insisted it was ‘unquestionably a team prize’.
“I want to thank my teammates,” she said.
“This is an individual award but it is unquestionably a team prize. To all the coaches that have believed in me, the fans, who I hope continue to enjoy what we do, the club, on its 122nd anniversary, and the destiny that has brought me to lift this trophy today...and to my family.”
But the person she wanted to dedicate the award to was her father Jaume, who passed away in 2012. Putellas had only recently turned 18 at the time and was about to represent Spain in the Under-19 European Championship that summer.
“I hope you are proud of your daughter. This is for you daddy, wherever you are,” she said.
Despite her family being more into basketball when she was young, Putellas has previously credited her father with introducing her to football and making her career possible by taking her to daily training sessions.