Aitana Bonmatí and Lionel Messi, FIFA The Best 2024 awards for the best players of the year | Soccer | Sports

For Aitana Bonmatí there was a sweet touch to close a perfect season. The cherry that crowned the cake and closed the circle of footballing success arrived, once again, in the form of a trophy. And on stage at the Eventim Apollo Auditorium in London: Aitana is the best player in the world according to FIFA. He took over from his partner Alexia Putellas during a gala which exuded women’s football: all the awards were presented by women, in tribute to the recent World Cup in Australia and New Zealand; The legendary Marta, retired after the championship, was honored with a special award for her career, and the closing was given by Aitana who is already global, reflecting the success of the team she led the ‘last summer.

“It was an exceptional and unique year that I will remember for the rest of my life. Receiving this award is an honor, but I owe it to the teams I belonged to, Barça and the national team, to my teammates. Without you, I wouldn’t be here and I wouldn’t be the player I am either. I’m proud to be part of a group of players who are changing the rules of the game.”

The Barça player is the protagonist of this 2023, she is a footballer of the present and the future. She knows it and always wants more. “Ambition doesn’t stop there,” he declared the day after winning the Ballon d’Or, which he won on October 30. She still has some important and waiting achievements between her eyebrows: winning the absolute European Championship with the Spanish team and winning the gold medal at the Olympic Games. At 25, he has plenty of time – and physical fitness – to push his limits.

For her, the rewards are not a backpack, they do not weigh her down emotionally and she no longer has pressure. “I already demand enough of myself to concentrate on what is expected of me,” he explained in an interview with this media. Pure non-conformity and desire – now under control –, the legacy of Cruyff’s 14 on the pitch, an introvert who became the main attraction and center of interest, a literary footballer concerned with social inequalities. This is all Aitana, who started as the heavy favorite to win the prize. Behind her, Linda Caicedo and Jennifer Hermoso, teammate and ex-Azulgrana, were on the verge of winning the prize. The award recognizes achievements between August 1, 2022 and August 20, 2023, coinciding with the World Cup final where the Spanish team lifted the cup.

The showcase seems too small for Sant Pere de Ribes: Ballon d’Or, best UEFA player and MVP of the World Cup, in addition to having won the Spanish Super Cup, the Champions League (MVP in the two competitions) and the Spanish League. . . All in a season in which he added 37 games, 18 goals and 20 assists for Barcelona in official matches, although in his eight seasons at the Johan Cruyff Stadium he reached 247 games and 85 goals under the Barça colors. A long list of awards and achievements that he hopes to expand, because despite the end of his contract with Barcelona in 2025 and the club is focused on closing the files that end this season, his continuity is a priority.

A club that supported Aitana during the expedition to London. The Catalan got off the plane smiling, wearing a long jacket. There was no lack of representation on the board – with Xavi Puig and Elena Fort – and on the team – Jonathan Giráldez, finalist for best coach, Cata Coll, finalist for best goalkeeper; as well as Keira Walsh and Lucy Bronze, for their nomination to the FIFA ideal eleven. It’s best with foreign players feeling The Catalan inside the locker room. On the pitch, he clearly showed his footballing ties with Caroline Graham Hansen, the great forgotten individual awards, although she does not lack merit, and the team’s top scorer: between the two they created a duo scorer and dangerous in front of any defense. This season, so far, Aitana already has half as many goals for Barça as last year, i.e. nine.

After putting the icing on the cake and taking him from London to Sant Pere de Ribes, he will return to his daily routine and train to prepare for a big event: this Wednesday, FC Barcelona will face Real Madrid in the semi-final of the Spanish Championship. Women’s Super Cup. Aitana will surely want to repeat last year’s feat: winning and starting another gold cycle.

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