Aitana Bonmati, the recently crowned Ballon d’Or winner, has experienced a whirlwind few months. At just 25 years old, she led Spain to victory in the Women’s World Cup and played a pivotal role in Barcelona’s second Champions League triumph. Her exceptional performance in both competitions earned her the title of the best player in the world, a distinction she shares with the legendary Lionel Messi.
Amid these incredible achievements, Spanish football faced its share of challenges. The former president of Spain’s soccer federation, Luis Rubiales, sparked controversy when he kissed forward Jenni Hermoso during the World Cup awards ceremony, diverting attention from the team’s historic victory. The Spanish national team, however, refused to stay silent, rebelling against their own federation to protest perceived discrimination within the governing body.
As world champions, the Spanish women’s team leveraged their newfound status to bring about significant changes. They successfully ousted Rubiales from his position and secured various improvements, such as enhanced support staff, improved travel arrangements, and better assistance for players with young children. As part of the federation’s transformation, the term “women’s” was removed from the national soccer team’s name, signaling a move towards equality by officially designating both the men’s and women’s teams as Spain’s national football teams.