The 2023 Women’s Ballon d’Or: Who Will Succeed Alexia Putellas

Alexia Putellas with the Ballon d'Or

Just as it is in the men’s category, the women’s Ballon d’Or is just around the corner and we cannot help but wonder who succeeds the great Alexia Putellas, the Barcelona Femini star, who has won the prestigious award two years in a row. One may wonder why it’s so certain that she won’t retain her place as the queen of football for the third time. Well, wonder no more because she suffered an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury which ruled her out for almost the whole of the 2022/2023 season and the Euros as well. In this article we will be examining three major frontrunners for the award this year and how the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup will play a huge role in determining Alexia’s successor. 


First of all, we have Alexandra Popp. Alex Popp, as she is commonly known, is a German international who plays for Wolfsburg. She recorded 27 goals and seven assists in the 2022/23 season. She won the DFB-Pokal with her club side and bagged the Frauen Bundesliga Golden Boot award. She also led her club to the 2023 UEFA Women’s Champions League final where they lost 3-2 to an in-form and all-blazing Barcelona side, despite scoring the first two goals in that game. She netted four times in the ongoing World Cup for Germany but sadly that wasn’t enough to keep them in the tournament as they got knocked out in the group stages.


The next is Sam Kerr. She’s an Australian international and she plays her club football at Chelsea. She recorded a total of 33 goals and 10 assists in the 2022/2023 season. She won the Women’s FA Cup and the Women’s Super League (the female equivalent of the English Premier League). It is worthy of note that she didn’t just win these trophies, she played a very crucial role as she netted the only goal in the FA Cup final and two goals on the final day of the league to help Chelsea secure the crown. Her club side was knocked out by Barcelona in the Semi-final stage of the UEFA Women’s Champions League. She’s currently representing her country at the ongoing World Cup. She was injured at the start of the tournament but got her first minutes in her country’s 2-0 win over Denmark in the Round of 16.


Last but certainly not least is Aitana Bonmati. Bonmati is a Spanish international who plays football at Barcelona Femini. She recorded 16 goals and 19 assists in the 2022/23 season which are very impressive numbers for a midfielder. She won the Liga Femini (the female equivalent of the La Liga Santander), the Spanish Super Cup and the UEFA Women’s Champions League. She was the player who rose to the occasion and filled the big shoes of Alexia Putellas who was out for almost the entirety of the season due to an ACL injury. She recorded the highest number of goal contributions in Europe and created lots of chances for her club side, coming up with clutch moments game in, game out. She consequently won the Player of the Season award in the 2022/2023 UEFA Women’s Champions League tournament. She’s currently out there representing her nation at the ongoing World Cup. She’s on a hot streak, having scored three goals and helping her country to their first World Cup knockout win.

Having considered all these, we can only keep our fingers crossed as we wait for the ongoing World Cup to come to an end before we could draw any further conclusions.

Nmesomachi Okoronkwo

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