SoccerBible Volumes: ‘All Power’ edition has dropped with a bang, landing as the ultimate companion piece to a summer that’s set to be dominated by the women’s game. Turning the focus on to female champions – in every respect of the word – it’s Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas who features as the cover star.

Is there an added pressure that comes with being the best? If there is, then Alexia Putellas certainly hasn’t felt it since winning the UEFA Women's Player of the Year Award, the Ballon d'Or Féminin, and The Best FIFA Women's Player in 2021, instead spearheading her Barcelona Femení on to a historic double, in which the side picked up 90 points out of a possible 90, winning all 30 of their league matches. 

Taking the success in her stride, she emanates power, despite the fact that her poetry on the pitch simply comes from a pure love of the game; her position is her passion and her privilege, all rolled into one, and her play is there to inspire all. Having an enormous impact on the game is one thing, but performing week-in, week-out with freedom, expression and dedication to her craft is quite another. It’s this feeling, this aura and this energy that is to be embraced and celebrated. Whatever Alexia Putellas achieves next, we know it will be bold yet humble, considered yet already heroic.

Take us back to those early memories, that first introduction to football. Can you set the scene for us? Can you remember being a six year old and finding a love for football?

I remember when I was six years old, I would go everywhere with a football. We would go out for dinner with my family and I would take the ball, in the school break I would play football and basically the ball was part of me. It’s been something that has been connected to me for as long as I can remember.

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What about your family, how much strength have they given you?

My parents have given me the principles I have today, the education they have given me… I believe it is the best in the world. I will always be thankful for what they have given me, the lessons they have taught me and their guidance. Their support has been everything in getting me where I am today.

Nala. Your rock. She’s amazing. Through a pandemic, all this success. We asked you to bring her to the shoot as she’s a bit of a symbol for where you find strength…Tell us about her?

Nala is… well the pandemic meant I was able to spend a lot of time with her when we had to stay at home. Now, she lives partly in my house and partly in my mum’s house. My job requires a lot of travelling so I can’t always be home. But for me she is someone very special and every time she’s home I enjoy her a lot. That company, it’s something we may easily take for granted but it’s so important for your mind to have a connection like that.

Take us back to your childhood – What kind of kid were you? Were you obsessed with football?

I wouldn't say I was obsessed but I used to play football all day. My love of football comes from when I was little for sure though. You play with freedom as a kid, fearless freedom. Just playing with a smile on your face, there’s nothing serious about it – you’re playing purely to enjoy the game. I’ve tried to keep that feeling with me throughout my career.

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How do you think your experiences can help the new generation of players?

It’s very important that all these little girls and boys that are watching us have the opportunity to play. I would like their future to be full of experiences that we are having now. Sold out stadiums, huge support – I hope that what we are doing now makes things bigger and better for the next generation.

You’ve played in games perhaps with a very small crowd and at a time where there was far less funding or professionalism. And now, you’re selling out the Camp Nou. Tell us about how far things have moved…

So many things have changed since I started playing. I believe the match in the Camp Nou was the start of a new era. It gave visibility all over the world and since Barça is a worldwide brand, there’s no greater platform than the one we have. I believe that game and everything around it helped little girls all over the world to have a new dream, a new goal, which is to play in the Camp Nou. Beyond that, it shows the industry and the sport that there is a hunger for our game. It was a real statement.

91,553. What does that number mean to you? Surely worth at tattoo...

It’s certainly not a number I will forget. It's all the people that came to watch us play against Real Madrid in the Champions and it is historical. I hope we keep setting new records.

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You’re part of history for so many reasons. How good does it feel to have literally changed the game?

If I’m honest, I don't feel like I have changed the game. I just do what I love and I take that passion outside onto the field. I don’t know if it's selfish but in the simplest way, I get to do what I love for a living. If I can push the game forward at the same time then that’s great.

“More than empowerment” was written in the Camp Nou with fans holding up paper. Can you tell us about what that statement meant to you?

I think it’s a strong message but I’d also say we shouldn’t forget about the game itself. We’re professional athletes and I’d like us to be looked at like that. Yes, we’re role models because of the position we’re in but I hope those messages in the future can be about the game we’re playing in. I would write something about football next time.

When we look at your success – winning trebles, all the silverware and a Ballon d’or – does it ever feel like you’re living in a dreamworld?

Yes but not for winning the treble or the Ballon d’Or or anything like that. The dream goes even before all of that. I am living a life where I get to do what I love for a living. That in itself is a dream. I love that the most and I feel so lucky.

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Coming back on that plane when you had just won the Ballon d’Or. That must have been such an incredible moment. Have you had a chance to process that?

It was a bit of a weird feeling because it was in the middle of a meeting with the National Team and the next day we had a match so it was all really quick and the next day it was back to playing like nothing happened. Football is funny like that. It’s fast but the memories are precious for sure.

Let’s talk about dedication and your effort to keep building and bettering yourself. What’s it like inside your mind when it comes to levelling up constantly?

For me, it’s all about challenging yourself and seeing if you can overcome the hurdles in front of you or not. I started challenging myself and working to overcome any milestones from an early age and that’s something I’m still doing to this day. I don’t want to get comfortable, I want to get better all the time. That goes for everything I do, both on and off the pitch.

Finally, we have a European Championships ahead of us. What would it do for the future players in Spain to achieve success with the national team?

It would be an amazing success. It would of course be very difficult, but it would be another turning point for Spanish football. I think it would have a huge impact. Whether we win or not, the visibility on a stage like that will be enormous. I’ll be doing everything I can to perform.

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