Aitana Bonmatí: 1st Footballer To Bag Laureus Sportswoman Of The Year

Aitana Bonmatí, the reigning FIFA Women's World Cup Golden Ball winner, clinched the coveted Ballon d'Or award in a ceremony held at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris.

Oshi Saxena
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 Laureus Sportswoman Of The Year

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Spain's Aitana Bonmati was the standout athlete of the Laureus World Sports Awards, an event that honored the outstanding contributions of athletes from all over the world. Over the past year, Bonmati's journey from being a local hero to an international sensation has been truly remarkable, both with her club, FC Barcelona, and with the Spanish national team.


Bonmatí, the reigning FIFA Women's World Cup Golden Ball winner, also clinched the coveted Ballon d'Or award in a ceremony held at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on October 30, 2023, in the same breath as legendary Lionel Messi, her lifelong inspiration. Aitana emerged as the reigning champion of women's football, following her FC Barcelona teammate Alexia Putellas, who had won the title the previous two years.

A Season of Triumphs

Bonmati's rise to fame began with her stellar performance in the 2022–23 season with FC Barcelona. Helping her team secure their second UEFA Champions League title was just the beginning. She then took her talents to the global stage, where she dazzled audiences with her skills and determination. But Bonmati's impact goes beyond the field. At the Laureus World Sports Awards, she made history by becoming the first footballer, male or female, to win the prestigious Sportswoman of the Year award.  This achievement not only celebrates her individual success but also highlights the growing recognition of women's football on the global stage.

The Triumph of Aitana Bonmatí

Aitana outperformed her challengers, including the fierce Chelsea and Australia's Sam Kerr, as well as her FC Barcelona peers Salma Paralluelo and Fridolina Rolfö, who finished third and fourth, respectively, in a thrilling voting process.


Her acceptance speech resonated with a powerful message, emphasising the responsibility of athletes as role models, both on and off the pitch,"As role models we have a responsibility, we should be more than athletes. Keep leading by example and keep fighting together for a better, peaceful and equal world."

This momentous victory marked the third consecutive year that players from FC Barcelona and Spain had claimed the Ballon d'Or title. Spain's FIFA Women's World Cup triumph also made history, as the nation became the first to produce two different winners of the women's Ballon d'Or in its six-year history.

Bonmatí's Football Journey

Born on February 18, 1998, in Barcelona, Spain, Aitana Bonmatí emerged as a strong footballer from a tender age. Her early inspiration came from the genius of Lionel Messi. Aitana's journey from a young girl inspired by the great Lionel Messi to sharing the Ballon d'Or podium with him is a testament to her belief that football is for the smart and clever, not just the tall and strong. 


Aitana's dedication to the sport goes beyond her performances on the field. Despite her busy schedule, she's gearing up to represent Spain in the Nations League, displaying a true athlete's spirit. Her journey from Zürich to Paris for the Ballon d'Or ceremony, with special dispensation from the Spanish FA, exemplifies her commitment to both club and country.

Aitana's journey to the Ballon d'Or wasn't without its challenges. Last year, despite being one of the top five nominees, she chose to stay back in Spain for extra training due to an injury. Her perseverance and hard work bore fruit this year, as she not only claimed the award but also ranked among the best players in the world.

The Heroic Season

Aitana's performances in the UEFA Women's Champions League and the Women's World Cup made her an unstoppable force. During FC Barcelona's triumphant campaign, she was involved in more goals than any other player in the competition, with five goals and eight assists to her name.

Her social conscience shone through as well when she used her platform to raise awareness for migrant children with a powerful message: 'Change Your Mind - Welcome Refugees, Save Their Lives.' 


A Golden World Cup Victory

Aitana's brilliance extended to the grandest stage of all, the Women's World Cup. She played a pivotal role in Spain's historic victory, scoring three goals and providing two assists, ultimately earning the Golden Ball as the tournament's best player. Her contribution was instrumental in Spain lifting the coveted trophy for the first time.

The 2022–23 season was nothing short of legendary. She won every prize except the Copa de la Reina while representing her club and country. Her impact was undeniable, and she effortlessly took home the UEFA Women's Player of the Year Award.

The Essence Of Ballon d'Or

At the age of 25, Aitana stands as the second-youngest woman to ever win the Ballon d'Or Féminin award, introduced in 2018. Her incredible achievement reflects the essence of the Ballon d'Or, an award steeped in history and prestige, initially organized by France Football magazine in 1956 and expanded to include women in 2018. 

The award is based on three core criteria: individual performances and impressive character, collective performances and trophy victories, and a display of class and fair play. Aitana Bonmatí stands shoulder to shoulder with legends like Lionel Messi as a World Cup winner, a Ballon d'Or recipient, and undoubtedly one of the best players in the world. 

Beyond her accomplishments on the field, Bonmati has been a vocal advocate for equality and representation in football. She sees her success as an opportunity to inspire other women and girls to pursue their dreams in sports

With the Olympic Games on the horizon, Spain's footballing journey is far from over. Bonmati and her teammates are gearing up for their debut on the Olympic stage, aiming to add another accolade to their already impressive list of achievements.

Ballon d'Or Prize Female Football Players Aitana Bonmatí Women In FIFA