Brilliant Spain midfielder is making an impact on and off the pitch and deserves all the accolades coming her way

It was never in doubt, was it? As Aitana Bonmatí’s name was read out in Paris on Monday night, there was a collective sigh of relief that the Spain midfielder, arguably the world’s best player by some distance in the past 12 months, had been crowned the 2023 Women’s Ballon d’Or winner. It is yet another accolade to add to her growing collection as the 25-year-old became the second youngest recipient of the award. It means she has picked up almost every prize available for club and country, collectively and individually, over the 2022-23 season.

Being able to watch and enjoy Bonmatí play football is a privilege. Whether she is in action for Barcelona or Spain, and despite her being surrounded by indisputable stars, one’s eye is automatically drawn to the diminutive figure at the heart of midfield. She has received praise from her peers, male and female, while Pep Guardiola, one of her idols, has lauded her achievements. “Aitana Bonmatí is a football player who has me completely in love with her for the way she plays,” he remarked. “I would say she is like the women’s [Andrés] Iniesta playing for Barcelona.”

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