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Aitana Bonmati is quietly having a standout season at Barcelona, starring in midfield and leading her team to countless victories.
When Alexia Putellas suffered an ACL injury ahead of the 2022 UEFA Euro competition, the general narrative heading into the domestic season was that Barcelona would struggle without the Ballon d’Or Feminin winner.
But even without Putellas in the lineup, Barca have continued to dominate the domestic league. This season they’ve won every single match they’ve played in Liga F, Copa de la Reina, and Supercopa de Espana, the latter of which they won for a record third time. In the Champions League, they recorded victories in all but one of their group stage matches against Bayern Munich, and are expected to take on Roma in the quarter-finals of the competition.
In Putellas’ absence, Bonmati has stepped up in her role, showing off her versatility, and her ability to adapt to different positions on the pitch. As one of the main contributors to Barcelona’s attack, Bonmati has proven time and time again her ability to drive with the ball, her dribbling skills, her shot accuracy, and overall creative ability.
Most recently, Barcelona defeated Levante in the league, with Bonmati scoring a brace to take her overall goal tally to the season up to 16, two less than the total she finished with last season. She is the club’s second top goal scorer this season – behind striker Asisat Oshoala – and leading the assists with 13 thus far.
“I’m in the club that bets the most on women and women’s football. When I started, I would never have imagined that I would have all the conditions of a professional player,” Bonmati recently said in an interview honouring International Women’s Day.
“Life goes by so fast that you don’t even realize it. There are times when I remember that ten years ago I played for Cubelles or Ribes and I had no expectation of the future. Women’s football wasn’t relevant and you couldn’t dedicate yourself to it professionally. But the road has taken me here and the truth is that I am very proud.”
Last season, Barcelona fell just short in the Champions League, losing to Olympique Lyonnais in the final 3-1. With the form that she is in, Bonmati could be key to helping Barcelona over that hurdle of winning their second CL trophy this year.
“We didn’t win but it was beautiful to be able to live it. This year the goal is to reach the Champions League final again and try to win it. The road is difficult, but we will fight to achieve it and to achieve it we need the fans.”