On a night when Europe saw the new kings and queens of the continent’s footballing landscape being crowned, the sport itself emerged as the true winner as it saw honours being bestowed upon two young players. Erling Haaland and Aitana Bonmati were the faces of the youth in football in Monaco on Thursday, August 31 as they received the awards for the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year and UEFA Women’s Player of the Year, respectively, for the 2022-23 season.
Weeks after winning the highest prize in women’s football, the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Aitana Bonmati picked up the most prestigious individual honour in women’s football in Europe. With this award, Aitana Bonmati has won most of the major accolades the sport has to offer― in addition to winning a number of trophies with FC Barcelona, her club side, she has also received the Most Valuable Player award for the UEFA Women’s Champions League final in 2021 as well as the Golden Ball Award (awarded to the best player) at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
Right after winning the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year award, Aitana Bonmati, in her speech, dedicated the award to her teammate Jennifer Hermoso. “We cannot allow the abuse of power in an employment relationship. As a society we cannot allow the abuse of power, I dedicate it to Jennifer Hermoso and to all the women who suffer the same,” she said. For the unversed, Jennifer Hermoso was on the receiving end of a non-consensual kiss by the Spanish football federation chief Luis Rubiales after Spain won the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
At the tender age of 25, Aitana Bonmati’s trophy cabinet is glittering with some of the highest awards in the world of football. Her achievements are, indeed, enviable and worthy of appreciation. The future undoubtedly holds ever greater success for her if she keeps moving along this upward trajectory.
So, as we celebrate her incredible feat, we take a look at the highlights of Aitana Bonmati’s career so far, including her net worth, salary and other accomplishments.
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Deep diving into UEFA Women’s Player of the Year Aitana Bonmati’s career highlights
Her early days in the world of football
Hailing from Garraf in Catalonia, Aitana Bonmati took to playing football from the age of seven. She played in mixed teams with boys, with the first clubs she played football with, CD Ribes and CF Cubelles, being mixed-gender teams. Bonmati later said that her strength and intensity improved because she played football with boys.
At the age of 13, Bonmati joined FC Barcelona to play in their youth teams. She started her career with the club by playing for Juvenil-Cadet, the second-highest developmental team for girls at FC Barcelona. She won the respective league title with Juvenil-Cadet for consecutive years.
After two years with the developmental team, Aitana Bonmati was promoted to the FC Barcelona B team in 2014. The Spaniard played an important role in winning the Segunda Division, Group III for the first time in the club’s history by scoring 14 goals in the 2015-16 season. At the conclusion of the season, Bonmati was promoted to FC Barcelona’s first team by then-manager Xavi Llorens.
Bonmati’s initial years with FC Barcelona
Aitana Bonmati made her debut for FC Barcelona in the quarter-final of the 2016 Copa de la Reina against Real Sociedad. In her first appearance for the club, Bonmati provided an assist for a goal to Barbara Latorre. Her first senior title with the club came in the 2016 Copa Catalunya, which FC Barcelona won by defeating Espanyol by a huge margin of 6-0 in the final. Bonmati was used sparingly by the club in the 2016-17 season― she made 13 appearances for FC Barcelona in the league and scored on two occasions. In the 2017 Copa de la Reina final, Aitana Bonmati scored one of the goals that led to her team’s 4-1 win over Atletico Madrid.
In the following season, Aitana Bonmati continued making sparing appearances for FC Barcelona. Her only goal of the season came in a UEFA Women’s Champions League Match against Lithuanian club Gintra Universitetas. Bonmati capped off the season by winning her second Copa de la Reina title with the club.
Aitana Bonmati’s rise to glory
The 2018-19 season was a breakthrough year for Aitana Bonmati as she got opportunities to make first-team appearances consistently for FC Barcelona. She scored 12 goals that season, and on the back of her form, FC Barcelona made it to their first-ever UEFA Women’s Champions League final. The Spanish outfit eventually lost to Olympique Lyonnais by a margin of 4-1, but Bonmati got one of her footballing career’s most memorable moments in the title match when she outran Shanice van de Sanden down the right wing to prevent a counter-attack.
Her exploits in Spain earned Aitana Bonmati an offer from the German side Bayern Munich, but the Spaniard signed a new contract with FC Barcelona till 2022. For her impressive performances, Bonmati was also awarded the Catalan Women’s Player of the Year award with 68 per cent of the votes. While the 2019-20 season was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic that brought the entire world to a standstill, FC Barcelona were awarded the Primera Division, making it Bonmati’s first league title with the club.
In 2020-21, Aitana Bonmati scored a goal in the Copa de la Reina final against Logrono and helped her team win the title by a margin of 2-0. The Spaniard was awarded the MVP (Most Valuable Player) award in the final. However, this wasn’t her only significant MVP award that season. In the UEFA Women’s Champions League final against Chelsea, Bonmati scored off a pass from Alexia Putellas. FC Barcelona won the match by a resounding 4-0 margin, and Aitana Bonmati’s performance earned her the MVP award. She was also included in the UEFA Women’s Champions League Squad of the Season for the first time in her career.
Aitana Bonmati’s time in international football
Aitana Bonmati has played in every division of Spain’s women’s national football team, including the Under-17, Under-19 and Under-20 teams. She was also a part of the Spanish Under-17 team that won the 2015 UEFA Women’s U-17 Euro against Switzerland. Not only that, Bonmati also earned a place in the Team of the Tournament by virtue of her standout performances throughout the competition.
The Spaniard made her international debut for the Spanish women’s senior team under coach Jorge Vilda in a match against Austria in November 2017. Bonmati scored her first international goal in a friendly match against England in April 2019.
In the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, Aitana Bonmati scored her first goal of the tournament in Spain’s opening match against Costa Rica. She scored a brace and assisted for the goal on two more occasions in Spain’s Round of 16 match against Switzerland. The contest eventually finished with a scoreline of 5-1 in favour of the Spanish women. Bonmati was named the best player of the tournament as she received the Golden Ball award for her consistent performances throughout the World Cup. It was, without question, her fine form that helped pave the way for Spain to become world champions for the first time in women’s football.
A quick look at Aitana Bonmati’s career stats
Given her impressive career records, it is evident that Aitana Bonmati’s career stats will be commendable. In club football, Bonmati has played 226 matches to date, during which time she has scored 76 goals. The Spanish midfielder has already won 18 trophies with FC Barcelona, including four consecutive Primera Division titles (2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23) and two UEFA Women’s Champions League trophies (2020-21 and 2022-23).
For the Spanish national team, Aitana Bonmati has made 54 appearances and has found the back of the net 19 times. She has won the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023 with her national side.
How much is Aitana Bonmati’s net worth and salary?
Aitana Bonmati is arguably one of the best contemporary female football players in the world. At 25 years of age, she has carved a name for herself in the history of women’s football. As such, it is not surprising for her to have a healthy net worth. According to various reports, Aitana Bonmati, as of 2023, has a net worth of around USD 5 million. Aitana Bonmati is also active on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter and has thousands of followers on both.
Although her exact salary with FC Barcelona remains under the covers, various reports suggest that Aitana Bonmati earns around USD 216,915 per year. She ranks among the richest female football players in the Primera Division (also known as the Liga F) alongside teammates Alexia Putellas and Jennifer Hermoso.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
– Who won the UEFA Best Player award in 2023?
Erling Haaland and Aitana Bonmati received the awards for the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year and UEFA Women’s Player of the Year, respectively, for the 2022-23 season.
– How much does Aitana Bonmati earn annually?
Although her exact salary with FC Barcelona remains under the covers, various reports suggest that Aitana Bonmati earns around USD 216,915 per year.
(Main and Featured Images Credits: Courtesy Instagram/@Aitana Bonmati Conca)