The lights of the football universe will point this Monday night to the Chatelet Theater in Paris. On the banks of the Seine and right between the Louvre Museum and Notre-Dame Cathedral, the luxurious Parisian auditorium will crown the best male and female player in the world in a Gala that will begin at 8pm. (Esport3, Barça TV, Mega and RTVE Play). Accustomed to the constant presence of FC Barcelona in the last decade, centered on the figure of a Leo Messi who will attend today as a local PSG player, the Barça roster will be widely represented this Monday night by the first women’s team. Sandra Paños, Irene Paredes, Jenni Hermoso, Alexia Putellas and Lieke Martens (in order of numbers) are five of the twenty finalists in the women’s category after the historic Champions League-Cup triplet won last year.
They are the reflection of the great success after the professionalization of the team for several years and today they aspire to repeat the historic photo of Messi, Xavi and Iniesta in 2010. Then the podium of the Golden Ball It was entirely Barça and this Monday history could be repeated with three women as protagonists, on the day that Barça turns 122 years old.
The five of them summoned a few days ago to the Estadi Johan Cruyff for a meeting with MD, they confessed to being excited and excited about the nomination. Jenni Beautiful, always smiling, she assured that “my hair will stand on end if three of us form the podium.” Alexia, a great favorite, replied that “I hope it happens, that there are five of us is something very special.”
Paños, for his part, stressed that “this is the beginning of many great things to come.” Lieke martens boasted that “we had a great year and it is incredible to see several colleagues as finalists.” The newcomer Irene Paredes, whose merits last year were with PSG, pointed out that “it is important that we are nominated, so that we continue to be a reference and that the girls who come know that it can be done, that they dream about it.”
The atmosphere was one of happiness without euphoria. The key to the success of this team is the hunger to compete, to win and especially not to be misled by praise and individual awards. They are there and they know that they are important, especially to make visible a women’s football that is cutting ground to the men’s, although still very far away, and they wore the smile of seeing finalists of the Ballon d’Or in the corridors of Estadi Johan, in the stands where the they cheer and look at a lawn on which they project the work and the good football that has taken them to the top.
Chelsea, also with five
Barça and Chelsea -Champion and runner-up in the Champions League- are the two teams with the most nominations, both with five players in the list of the twenty best.
On the individual level, Alexia putellas it is on everyone’s lips as the great favorite. After being the MVP of the last Champions League, it would be difficult to see how the Golden Ball Someone else takes it, but it is something that does not make the captain sleep. Months ago, in an interview with MD he confessed that “I don’t even know when it is delivered.” Well, you know, it’s today, starting at 8:00 p.m., in Paris. And whether she or any teammate wins, or none of them, the recognition of her Barça is the greatest prize. And what defines them the most is that at around midnight they will already be thinking about the next training session, the next game. Only then will they return to Paris next year.
CANDIDATES FOR THE WOMEN’S GOLDEN BALL
Sandra Paños (Barcelona / Spain)
Alexia Putellas (Barcelona / Spain)
Lieke Martens (Barcelona / Netherlands)
Jennifer Hermoso (Barcelona / Spain)
Irene Paredes (PSG-Barcelona / Spain)
Magdalena Eriksson (Chelsea / Sweden)
Sam Kerr (Chelsea / Australia)
Pernille Harder (Chelsea / Denmark)
Jessie Fleming (Chelsea / Canada)
Fran Kirby (Chelsea / England)
Marie-Antoinette Katoto (PSG / France)
Ashley Lawrence (PSG / Canada)
Kadidiatou Diani (PSG / France)
Christiane Endler (PSG-O. Lyon / Chile)
Wendie Renard (O. Lyon / France)
Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal / Netherlands)
Ellen White (Man. City / England)
Stina Blackstenius (Häcken / Sweden)
Samantha Mewis (N. Caroline Courage / USA)
Christine Sinclair (Portland Thorns / Canada)