Barcelona and Spain attacker Alexia Putellas is the first played to be named UEFA Women's Player of the Year twice in a row.
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Alexia Putellas has won the 2021/22 UEFA Women's Player of the Year award.
The Barcelona and Spain forward finished ahead of Beth Mead and Alex Popp in the voting, becoming the first player to claim the award two years running and joining Pernille Harder as a multiple winner. The result was announced during the 2022/23 men's UEFA Champions League draw ceremony in Istanbul.
Alexia said: "I feel very happy to win this award for the second consecutive year, especially right at this moment. Unfortunately I'm not able to do what I love doing most [due to long-term injury], so being here again motivates me. The coming year will be a tough one for me but I want to get back to playing and training and to be able to do my job, which is what I like doing most. I'm working towards that with my recovery every day.
"The most special moment [last season] was without doubt playing the two games at the Camp Nou. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank my club. I was able to fulfill a dream at all Culés have, which is to play at a sold-out Camp Nou.
"My role [in promoting women's football] is the same as that of my team. I'd like to thank all of my team-mates, the coaching staff, the backroom staff and everyone at the club and in the national team. I've no doubt that they all help me to continue growing and learning every day. It's also thanks to them that I'm receiving this award so I'd like to dedicate it to all of them."
1 Alexia Putellas (Barcelona/Spain) – 97 points
2 Beth Mead (Arsenal/England) – 84 points
3 Lena Oberdorf (Wolfsburg/Germany) – 47 points
4 Alex Popp (Wolfsburg/Germany) – 35 points
5 Aitana Bonmatí (Barcelona/Spain) – 25 points
6 Keira Walsh (Manchester City/England) – 18 points
7 Leah Williamson (Arsenal/England) – 17 points
8= Ada Hegerberg (Lyon/Norway) – 12 points
8= Wendie Renard (Lyon/France) – 12 points
10 Lina Magull (Bayern München/Germany) – 10 points
11 Delphine Cascarino (Lyon/France) – 9 points
12= Amandine Henry (Lyon) – 8 points
12= Mapi León (Barcelona/Spain) – 8 points
14 Tabea Wassmuth (Wolfsburg/Germany) – 6 points
15= Mary Earps (Manchester United/England) – 5 points
15= Selma Bacha (Lyon/France) – 5 points
17= Sakina Karchaoui (Paris Saint-Germain/France) – 4 points
17= Marie-Antoinette Katoto (Paris Saint-Germain/France) – 4 points
19 Merle Frohms (Eintracht Frankfurt, now Wolfsburg/Germany) – 2 points
20 Fridolina Rolfö (Barcelona/Sweden) – 1 point
21= Christiane Endler (Lyon/Chile)
21= Marina Hegering (Bayern München, now Wolfsburg/Germany)
Why Alexia won
The winner of this award last season, if anything Alexia had an ever better 2021/22 for Barcelona. She had the most prolific season of her club career with 34 goals as her side won a clean sweep of Spanish trophies and reached another UEFA Women's Champions League final.
Barcelona lost 3-1 to Lyon in Turin but Alexia's consolation was finishing as the 11-goal Top Scorer and being named the competition's Player of the Season. The goals also flowed for Spain, getting eight in 12 games as she became the first women to win 100 caps for her nation.
Her ACL injury on the eve of UEFA Women's EURO 2022 was a huge blow to Spain, and indeed Barcelona, likely to be without Alexia for most if not all next season.
Alexia's 2021/22 in numbers
UEFA Women's Champions League runner-up, Player of the Season and Top Scorer, Spanish champion, Spanish Cup winner
UEFA Women's Champions League
Player of the Match awards : 3
Barcelona 5-1 Wolfsburg
There are many candidates but Alexia's display in front of the world record 91,648 crowd in the first leg of the UEFA Women's Champions League semi-final might just be primus inter pares. She scored twice and inspired Barcelona throughout against a Wolfsburg team who were four down in 38 minutes.
A regular attender of matches at the Camp Nou as a child, Alexia rose to new heights in Barcelona's two European outings there last season; after the Real Madrid game she a drum to lead the fan celebrations and her displays at those historic fixtures were microcosms of her season as a whole, a feast of skills, finishing, athleticism and passion.
What is the UEFA Women's Player of the Year award?
For this award, players in Europe, irrespective of nationality, have been judged in regard to their performances over the whole season in all competitions – both domestically and internationally – at either club or national team level.
How were the players shortlisted?
An initial shortlist of 22 players was selected by UEFA's technical study group.
The top three nominees were voted for by a jury comprising the following:
• The coaches of the 16 clubs that participated in the group stage of the 2021/22 UEFA Women's Champions League
• The coaches of the 16 nations that played at UEFA Women's EURO 2022
• A group of journalists selected by the European Sports Media (ESM)
Jury members chose their top three players, with the first receiving five points, the second three and the third one. Coaches were not allowed to vote for players from their own team.
Roll of honour
2022: Alexia Putellas (Barcelona/Spain)
2021: Alexia Putellas (Barcelona/Spain)
2020: Pernille Harder (Wolfsburg/Denmark)
2019: Lucy Bronze (Lyon/England)
2018: Pernille Harder (Wolfsburg/Denmark)
2017: Lieke Martens (Linköping/Netherlands)
2016: Ada Hegerberg (Lyon/Norway)
2015: Célia Šašić (Frankfurt/Germany)
2014: Nadine Kessler (Wolfsburg/Germany)
2013: Nadine Angerer (Frankfurt/Germany)