Lewandowski, Casillas, Xavi, Rapinoe: Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas praised by stars

Putellas, Lewandowski, Xavi

A number of footballers have offered congratulations to Alexia Putellas after the Barcelona captain won the Women’s Ballon d’Or –– awarded to the best female footballer in 2021.

Putellas ended last season as the highest-scoring midfielder in Europe and scored in the Champions League final as Barca beat Chelsea 4-0.

The 27-year-old finished above teammate Jenni Hermoso, while Chelsea striker Sam Kerr came third.

After the ceremony, a number of the world’s most renowned players, past and present, took to social media to praise the Spanish playmaker.

One of these was men’s Ballon d’Or runner-up, Robert Lewandowski. The Polish striker scored 54 goals in 45 games during 2021 but could only finish second to PSG’s Lionel Messi, who won the award for the seventh time.

ENTER GIVEAWAY

ENTER GIVEAWAY

Lewandowski was gracious in defeat, however, and took to Twitter to congratulate both Messi and Putellas.

“Congratulations Leo Messi and Alexia Putellas, winners of the Ballon d’Or 2021. Congratulations also to all nominated players! I won [the] Striker of the Year Award and no player can win an individual award without [the] strongest team and loyal fans behind him. Thank you for your support.”

Meanwhile, Putellas posted a photo to her Instagram, showing herself sitting on a plane holding the Ballon d’Or trophy.

Comments from other stars of the women’s game then began to flood in. Chelsea and Danish forward Pernille Harder, who finished seventh for this year’s award, said “congrats”, followed by a star face emoji.

Similarly, 2019 Ballon d’Or winner Megan Rapinoe, wrote the same message. Rapinoe helped the US win bronze at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but was not nominated for the award this year.

Some of Barcelona’s most famous players also took the chance to commend Putellas for her win.

Former captain Carlos Puyol commented the heart eyes and raising hands emoji. New Barca men’s head-coach Xavi echoed this sentiment, writing: “Moltes Felicitats crack,” which translates as “many congratulations.”

Spain’s Iker Casillas was another footballing icon to comment on Putellas’ post. The ex goalkeeper is Spain’s second most capped player ever, while Putellas is the all-time leading appearance maker for the women’s side.

Casillas wrote: “Enhorabuena” which can also mean “congratulations.”

The Spanish women’s national team also posted on their Twitter, to applaud the midfielder.

“This is the history of Spain,” the translated tweet read. “Alexia Putellas becomes the best player on the planet.

“We couldn’t be happier and more proud of you, Alexia.”

For Putellas, attention now turns back to Barcelona’s league game against Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, followed by a huge match against Arsenal at the Emirates in the Champions League next Thursday.

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