Friday 21 July 2023, 12:00

Alexia Putellas: The best thing about football is seeing how we stir emotions and inspire others

“Football is magical. The emotions unite us, the sense of community and love for football that the fans have. That’s a magical relationship.”

In a time marked by conflict and crisis, the world is divided. But through the power of football, the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ will bring people together, allowing them to unite - discovering new cultures, being part of a worldwide community and celebrating together.

FIFA’s flagship campaign, Football Unites the World is a global movement that will inspire, unite and drive development through football, with FIFA Legends sharing stories of what football’s uniting power means to them.

Just before the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™ got underway, we asked Alexia Putellas to share some of her favourite memories.

To speak of women’s football in Spain is to speak of Alexia. Winner of The Best FIFA Women’s Player 2021 and 2022, and of the last two women’s Ballons d’Or, she will travel to Australia and New Zealand to play in her third straight Women’s World Cup, after Canada 2015 and France 2019. It has been a difficult season for Alexia, recovering from a serious injury suffered on the eve of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, but she was able to return to the field in time to help her club side FC Barcelona lift the Spanish Liga F and the UEFA Women’s Champions League. Now her aim is to arrive at the game’s biggest tournament in the best shape possible.

“I think it will be the best World Cup in history. A lot of young girls will have the chance to dream of one day being footballers and being able to play in a tournament like this one. They’ll see something of themselves in the players on the pitch and dream of becoming one of them one day,” she said.

In a friendly against Italy in July 2022, Alexia became the first woman to reach 100 caps with the Spanish national team, with 27 goals scored along the way. She is already assured of her place in women’s football history and is aware that she has become a role model for women and girls worldwide: “I always say that the best thing about my job is seeing how we can stir emotions, and how we can inspire other people just by doing what we’re good at and what we love. That’s a really amazing thing for me.”

“Football helped me understand the power of my voice when speaking about issues such as mental health awareness. Because it affects us all. Your courage can change the world. Be brave!”