Alexia Putellas has dedicated her Ballon d’Or win to her family, and in particular to her father. The FC Barcelona Femení and Spanish national team attacker capped off a banner year by being crowned the world’s best female player.
Putellas has talked over the years about her father, who died when she was a little girl, and was one of her main inspirations for taking up football.
“I want to dedicate - I’ll try not to get too emotional. At this time, to someone who is, and will always be, very important for me.”
She took a moment to collect her thoughts and people clapped.
She continued: “I do everything because of you. I hope you’re proud of your daughter, wherever you are, this is for you, dad.”
A few years ago, she told a Spanish newspaper that it was her father who first encouraged her to take up the sport.
“He gave me my start in football, he would take me to practices every day, for that reason, I would love it if he was still around.”
Putellas was born in Mollet del Vallès, in Catalonia, in 1994.
As a youth player she played with three of Catalonia’s biggest clubs: Sabadell, Barcelona, and Espanyol. It was with the latter that she broke through to first-team football, though she signed for Levante just one season after, before making another move after a single season again, this time to Barcelona.