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Spain World Cup star Bonmati wins Women’s Ballon d’Or

Spain’s World Cup-winning star Aitana Bonmati won the Women’s Ballon d’Or at a ceremony in Paris on Monday.

Bonmati succeeds her international teammate Alexia Putellas as winner of the prize after inspiring Spain to glory at the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand earlier this year.

The 25-year-old midfielder was named the best player at the World Cup as the Spanish team overcame off-field turbulence, including protests against their national federation and coach Jorge Vilda, to lift the trophy.

Bonmati also starred as Barcelona won the Champions League last season and was recently named as the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year.

She was one of four members of the triumphant Spain team to feature among the 30 nominees for the prize, with Alba Redondo, Salma Paralluelo and full-back Olga Carmona, who netted the winner in the final, all shortlisted too.

Chelsea and Australia forward Sam Kerr came second in the final voting, with Paralluelo, a teammate of Bonmati’s at Barcelona, in third place.

Putellas, who also plays with Bonmati at Barcelona, was not nominated after missing almost all of last season with a serious knee injury.

Putellas had won the Ballon d’Or in each of the previous two campaigns. Norway’s Ada Hegerberg won the inaugural award in 2018 and USA star Megan Rapinoe succeeded her a year later.

There was no winner in 2020 due to the pandemic.

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