WOMEN'S WORLD CUP 2023
Barcelona star Alexia Putellas makes Spain’s Women’s World Cup 2023 preliminary roster: what is her tournament record?
The two-time Ballon d’Or Féminin winner is expected to feature in Australia and New Zealand after a lengthy injury absence.
The Women’s World Cup 2023 is just around the corner and one of its brightest stars is expected to shine. Barcelona star Alexia Putellas has been selected for Spain’s preliminary roster for the tournament in Australia and New Zealand having completed her comeback from an ACL tear suffered just under a year ago.
Rewind to 5 July 2021 and Putellas, who had been set to spearhead the Spaniards’ European Championship challenge, crumbled to the ground in training as the team prepared for the opening group game of the competition in England. The diagnosis was that a ruptured knee ligament would see her miss between 10 and 12 months of action, a timeframe which she was able to cut ever so slightly.
Despite her absence, she still won a number of individual awards - including the Ballon d’Or Féminin for the second year running - for her performances prior to her injury.
Putellas steps up her injury comeback
Putellas stepped up her recovery in 2023 and was back on the field for the first time since last July on 30 April, coming on as a substitute in Barça’s league match against Sporting Huelva. Her comeback goal came three weeks later in a shock defeat to Madrid CFF, while she also made a late appearance from the bench in the Catalans’ Champions League final victory over Wolfsburg on 3 June.
Spain’s national team ‘mutiny’
Although Putellas has made just a handful of cameos over the course of the last six weeks or so, Spain boss Jorge Vilda has included her on his preliminary roster for the upcoming World Cup, as had been expected. The recall comes despite the 29-year-old publicly supporting 15 international teammates who refused to play for Spain due to “poor mental and physical health” caused by working under Vilda.
Three of those 15 players have been called onto the preliminary roster, namely Putellas’ Barcelona teammates Aitana Bonmatí and Mariona Caldentay, as well as Ona Battle of Manchester United. Pachuca’s Jenni Hermoso also makes the cut.
What is Alexia Putellas’ record at the Women’s World Cup?
Despite her huge success, both individually and collectively, in recent years, Putellas may feel she has some unfinished business at the World Cup. The Barça playmaker made her debut in the 2015 tournament in Canada, starting all three group games as Spain finished bottom of a section containing Costa Rica, Brazil and South Korea.
Four years later in France, she started three of Spain’s four matches, the last of which saw Spain eliminated from the tournament in the round of 16 at the hands of the USWNT, who went on to lift the trophy.
Putellas has yet to score a goal in any of her seven World Cup appearances. Should we expect that to change in Australia and New Zealand? Spain have been drawn in Group C alongside Costa Rica (21 July), Zambia (26 July and Japan (31 July).
Spain’s 2023 Women’s World Cup preliminary roster
Misa Rodríguez (Real Madrid)
Cata Coll (Barcelona)
Enith Salon (Valencia)
Elene Lete (Real Sociedad)
Ivana Andrés (Real Madrid)
Olga Carmona (Real Madrid)
Sheila García (Atlético de Madrid)
Irene Paredes (Barcelona)
Rocío Gálvez (Real Madrid)
Ona Batlle (Manchester United)
Laia Codina (Barcelona)
Paula Tomás (Levante)
Oihane Hernández (Athletic)
Claudia Zornoza (Real Madrid)
Irene Guerrero (Atlético de Madrid)
María Pérez (Barcelona)
Alexia Putellas (Barcelona)
Aitana Bonmatí (Barcelona)
Teresa Abelleira (Real Madrid)
Maite Oroz (Real Madrid)
Fiamma Benítez (Valencia)
Jenni Hermoso (Pachuca)
Esther González (Real Madrid)
Alba Redondo (Levante)
Athenea del Castillo (Real Madrid)
Marta Cardona (Atlético de Madrid)
Salma Paralluelo (Barcelona)
Eva Navarro (Atlético de Madrid)
Imma Gabarro (Sevilla)