Aitana Bonmatí Conca has had the best season of her career and is the leading candidate to win the Ballon d’Or. While playing her seventh season for FC Barcelona’s first team, she has become their leader after the injury of Alexia Putellas.
The Catalan player has taken a step forward and had a stratospheric season. Her numbers speak for themselves, as she has scored 16 goals and produced 19 assists as a midfielder. Playing closer to the opponent’s goal has freed Aitana from defensive duties and allowed her to perform at her best.
It seems like this season her work has finally been valued when it comes to being considered individual awards. Aitana was named MVP of the UWCL after winning the final against Wolfsburg. She was also MVP in the Spanish Super Cup final, where she scored a brace to crown FC Barcelona as champions against Real Sociedad.
In the meantime, Bonmatí won LaLiga while achieving record breaking numbers, as she has been the cornerstone of Jona Giráldez’s system in the domestic competition. She also just missed out on a perfect season, since the ‘azulgranas’ were eliminated from the Copa de la Reina in a case of improper alingment.
There were many doubts surrounding Barça’s performance with the absence of Alexia Putellas. Aitana Bonmatí took the lead without the armband (although she has had to wear it from time to time) and managed to carry the team in a brilliant manner. Beginning from the start of the play, to the very end of it. The Catalan plays and makes her team play with her magic. She is special and watching her live is a real visual pleasure.
She is only 25 years old and has already won 14 titles with Barça, although she is not satisfied and wants more. Aitana defines herself as a very competitive player and wants to find a way to improve every day.
Her performance has a lot of work behind it, such as extra training sessions, talking to her coaches about her mistakes after every game, changes in her nutrition or the study of psychological factors. She is under contract until 2025 and Barça knows that they have a diamond in their hands for seasons to come.
Aitana Bonmatí is crazy for soccer and it is no coincidence that she wears the ’14’ on her back. She wears the legendary number of Johan Cruyff, his philosophy and love for the club are her inspiration. The midfielder is a clear reflection of the ‘azulgrana’ DNA in the way she gives her all for the team of her life every game.
Before the UWCL final in Gothenburg in 2021, Aitana tweeted the Dutchman’s mythical phrase “go out and enjoy yourselves”. A sign of superstition? That day, FC Barcelona won the European competition for the first time and Aitana was the MVP of the final.
At the moment, one of the most important and decisive stages of the season, the World Cup, is approaching. Over the course of the competition, many players have a chance to showcase themselves to the big teams and for individual award considerations. The race for the Ballon d’Or can be decided in the championship that takes place from the 20th of July to the 20th of August in Australia and New Zealand.
This World Cup arrives at Aitana Bonmatí’s prime. Perhaps the conditions are not the best, since her return to the national team has been surrounded by controversy after the conflict between ‘Las 15’ and Jorge Vilda.
In spite of everything, her desire to win has not been lost and she wants to lift a trophy with Spain. It is her World Cup and the spotlight will be on her in every game. Back in the 2022 Euros, she already was the best player on the team, earning MVP in practically every game.
Very few players can currently come close to Aitana’s level. Last season she ranked fifth in the Ballon d’Or rankings. She probably did not manage to finish higher because she is not the most marketable player for the media. Bonmatí goes about her business and talks on the pitch. She does not need advertising to prove that she is the best.
Besides being a great soccer player, Aitana is a great role model for her fans. She never comes across with bad words or gestures and is always ready to spend as much time as necessary after each match to take care of her supporters. At the same time, she is involved in many social causes that she does not need to publish in her social media.
The Ballon d’Or should be an award that brings together all the qualities that a player like Aitana Bonmatí has. Sooner or later, she will recieve it.
Translated by Nuño Alonso.
Main image: @FCBfemeni.