Argentina and Germany the two superhouses will battle it out on Tuesday for a place in the showpiece final of the FIFA U17 World Cup 2023 – and the chance to claim that elusive title.
If you follow world football irrespective of gender, we assure you that you must have heard the name: Alexia Putellas. If we give you a gist of the player, then she is the one who has been ruling Women’s football for over three years.
The Spanish midfielder, Alexia Putellas, has been winning the Best Women’s Player of the Year twice in a row for both the years; 2021 and 2022. She has also been winning the Female Ballon d’Or twice during the same years.
Talking about such a talent who has been dominating women’s football in her way, making herself the first and the only contender to be talked about in world football award ceremonies. Then what happened to her in such a big event like the World Cup? Why is she seen sitting on the bench for Spain? Has her role only been limited to a substitute? Let’s dig into the topic and make people aware of a player carrying such brilliance.
As the Round of 16 of the FIFA Women’s World Cup has also taken off, the player, and Spanish fans from all around the world have been travelling to Australia. She has not been selected in a single starting 11, many questions have started arising now. Is Alexia not suitable enough to fit into this Spanish squad? Is she going through some injury? And many more. According to coach Jorge Vilda, the player experienced a severe knee injury last season which led him to knee surgery. After that incident, Vilda and the staff have been taking care of Putellas as the team knows his presence and his talent. This medical care has led the Spanish star to restrict herself from starting any match.
The player has been a die-hard Barcelona fan since childhood and has role models like Andreas Iniesta, Rivaldo, and Ronaldinho. She started playing basketball but later switched to Barcelona’s football camp, which was held in her school and is now run by Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez. At 16, she debuted at the senior level for Espanyol’s camp since no slots were available at Barcelona’s camp. The 29-year-old captained FC Barcelona to win the UEFA Champions League title in 2021 and became the season’s highest midfield goal scorer with 26 goals for the club. She led the team to another final in 2022 but unfortunately lost to Wolfsburg.
Now the first quarterfinals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup are going to be scheduled on the 11th of August which will be against Spain and the Netherlands. A match of utmost importance and carrying a high factor of do-or-die probability, will the Spanish squad start Putellas in their playing 11 against the mighty former finalist, Netherlands to give a strong face-off?