Aitana Bonmati Winner W11 2023

Aitana Bonmati: "The recognition of fellow players is the most beautiful thing in football"

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Aitana Bonmati Winner W11 2023
  • The Spanish star had a night to remember at The Best FIFA Football Awards gala in London, England

  • For the first time in her career, Bonmati was voted into the FIFA FIFPRO Women's World 11 by professional footballers from around the globe

  • "Being part of the World 11 is a source of pride for me," said the Barcelona and Spain midfielder 

Aitana Bonmati hasn't stopped winning awards since she became a world champion at the 2023 Women's World Cup. This time the Barcelona and Spain midfielder won two individual accolades at the FIFA Football Awards: a place in the FIFA FIFPRO Women's World 11 and The Best FIFA Women's Player award.

Bonmati, who won the Golden Ball at the 2023 Women's World Cup, was the second most-voted player in the Women's World 11 (2,534 votes), behind England's Mary Earps.

She is also one of seven newcomers to the team, which was voted for by 6,075 women's football players from all over the world.

"Being part of the World 11 is a source of pride for me. To be part of the best 11 in the world says a lot with the level there is. It has been a great collective year and I value it very much," Bonmati told FIFPRO.

What makes being part of the World 11 special for Bonmati is the fact that it is voted for by her peers. 

She said: "I always say that one of the things I'm going to take away from football, before the awards, is the recognition you get from your team-mates or your opponents. I think that's the most beautiful thing about football."

The World 11's Barça flavour

Barcelona were also represented in the Women's World 11 by England's Lucy Bronze – making her sixth appearance in the world team of the year – and Keira Walsh, Bonmati's midfield partner.

"[Lucy] is a very experienced player already," said Bonmati. "Imagine she's been [in the World 11] six times! She has a long career with a lot of collective titles. She's played in great teams. She's a great full-back, unique in the world. She is an example for many. And she's a great person too."

Bonmati also showered Walsh with praise, a sign of how well they are in tune on and off the pitch.

"I get on great with Keira. She's a great person but also a great player. She brings us her quality, her understanding of the game, how she moves the ball and how she reads the filtered passes she makes.

"Keira also has a very good shot on the ball. For me it's a pleasure to play with her because we understand each other perfectly."

A legacy for future generations

Beyond the football her talent generates, Bonmati is aware that she is part of a collective that is making history for women's football.

So when asked by FIFPRO what is the best thing about being a professional footballer, her answer had nothing to do with the game itself.

"It's difficult to choose just one thing, but I would choose the legacy we are leaving for the next generations and also for the world in general. I think we are part of a change in this society and I am proud to be part of this generation."

Proud but not conformist, Bonmati believes that "there are still many things to do".

She said: "We still don't have the equality we deserve. There is still a long way to go and I hope that with our struggle we can also contribute to this going up."