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'Never be a year like it': Ballon d'Or winner Bonmati

FC Barcelona's Spanish midfielder Aitana Bonmati reacts on stage holding her trophy as she receives the Woman Ballon d'Or award at the ceremony in Paris on October 30, 2023   -  
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Ballon d'Or

It's been a whirlwind few months for Aitana Bonmati, the newly crowned Ballon d’Or winner.

The 25-year-old led Spain to the Women’s World Cup title after helping Barcelona win the Champions League for a second time, while being named the best player for both competitions.

So it was no surprise that the midfielder was named the best player in the world along with Lionel Messi on Monday.

It has also been a fraught time for Spanish football when the now-former president of the nation’s soccer federation Luis Rubiales, kissed forward Jenni Hermoso during the World Cup awards ceremony, drawing attention away from their greatest achievement.

The Spanish team had to rebel against their own federation and refused to play to denounce what they considered to be discriminatory attitudes and practices inside the governing body.

Leveraging their new status as world champions, they were able to finally force the ousting of Rubiales, along with securing improvements in staff, travel and assistance for players with young children.

Part of the overhaul of the federation has included the removal of the term “women's" from its national soccer team.

Both the men's and women's teams are now called officially Spain's national football teams.