Aitana Bonmati, who powered Spain to its first-ever Women’s World Cup in August, won the Ballon d’Or Feminin on Monday.
The 25-year-old dethrones Spanish compatriot and Barcelona teammate Alexia Putellas, who won consecutive Ballons d’Or before rupturing her ACL in July 2022.
Named the World Cup’s best player, Bonmati scored three goals and laid on two assists during Spain’s triumphant campaign in Australia and New Zealand.
The creative midfielder also took home the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year award, beating out Australia’s Sam Kerr and Spain’s Olga Carmona, who scored the only goal in the World Cup final against England.
But Bonmati had already established herself as one of the best players in the women’s game before the World Cup kicked off. In the absence of Putellas, who missed the majority of the 2022-23 season, Bonmati helped Barcelona win the Women’s Champions League with five goals and eight assists in the competition.
Aitana is just the fourth woman to win the Ballon d’Or after Ada Hegerberg, Megan Rapinoe, and Putellas. None of the previous recipients were shortlisted this year.
Kerr, who missed a chunk of the World Cup through injury, and Spanish teammate Salma Paralluelo finished second and third in voting. Barcelona forward Fridolina Rolfo and Manchester United and England goalkeeper Mary Earps ended up fourth and fifth.