Arsenal forward Mead denied Ballon d’Or by history-maker Putellas who wins for second time

Barcelona and Spain midfielder Alexia Putellas has won the women’s Ballon d’Or for the second successive year.

The 28-year-old midfielder was Barcelona’s top scorer in the Champions League last season, scoring 11 goals in 10 games.

Putellas was hoping to lead Spain into the 2022 European Championships, but suffered a knee injury which ruled her out of the tournament.

“I’m very happy to be back here and pleased because a year ago I was able to win this prize and it pushed me to want to be even better,” Putellas said on collecting the trophy at a gala ceremony in Paris.

“Injuring my knee in July, I did not think it would be possible (to win this award).”

She added: “Without my team-mates this wouldn’t have been possible. I want to thank the technical staff and the coach as well. And to thank everyone involved at the club off the pitch.”

Putellas still faces a long lay-off and revealed at the ceremony that her battle with the injury is not over yet.

The Spaniard captained Barcelona to a domestic treble during the 2021/22 campaign.

The Catalan giants won all 30 of their league matches as Putellas helped her side to their third straight title.

As well as scoring 18 goals during the campaign, the midfielder also came up with 15 assists.

The player was also involved in two historic games at the Nou Camp. Both games saw over 90,000 fans in attendance during Champions League quarter-final and semi-final victories.

Putellas scored in the final of the European competition, though her side were denied a successive title after a 3-1 loss to Lyon.

Arsenal striker Beth Mead took the runner-up spot. The England star enjoyed a scintillating year and played a pivotal role behind this summer’s Euros triumph.

Mead went on to be top scorer and was named player of the tournament as the Lionesses soared to victory on home soil when they beat Germany in the final at Wembley.

England Euro 2022 winners Lucy Bronze and Millie Bright had also been nominated for the women’s prize, ranking 10th and 15th respectively in the France Football poll.

The Kopa Trophy for the best performing player under 21 went to Barcelona’s Gavi, with England and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham having also made the final shortlist.

The Socrates Award, named after Brazil’s 1982 World Cup captain, for the best social initiatives within the game went to Bayern Munich forward Sadio Mane, who has helped build hospitals and school in his homeland Senegal.

READ MORE: Ronaldo slumps to lowest Ballon d’Or ranking since 2005; still ends up higher than Kane

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