Spain's La Roja soccer star Aitana Bonmati has dedicated her UEFA award to her teammate Jenni Hermoso.
Bonmati won the UEFA Women's Player of the Year award on Thursday. Bonmati, who said she was “pissed off” in a loss to Japan, scored three goals and had two assists in the recently-concluded FIFA Women's World Cup. With Aitana Bonmati leading the charge, La Roja won its first-ever World Cup title.
Despite winning the prestigious individual accolade, Bonmati dedicated the award to Jenni Hermoso. The former said the controversy surrounding her teammate has overshadowed Spain's historic victory, per USA TODAY's Cydney Henderson.
Proud and honored to receive this award. Thanks to all my teammates and everybody who has been part of an extraordinary season 🏻 https://t.co/HlkCBzb2z2
— Aitana Bonmatí Conca (@AitanaBonmati) August 31, 2023
“Spanish soccer is going through bad moments right now. We won the World Cup, but we're not talking a lot about that because of some things I rather not ignore,” Bonmati said.
“As a society, we cannot allow the abuse of power in a working environment or disrespect. To all women who are suffering the same thing as Jenni, we're with you,” Bonmati continued.
On the other hand, England Lionesses manager Sarina Wiegman won UEFA's Women's Coach of the Year award. She, too, lent her support to Jenni Hermoso.
“We all know the issues around the Spanish team. It really hurts me as a coach, a mother of two daughters, as a wife, and human being,” Wiegman said.
Hermoso has been making headlines after Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales forcibly kissed her on the lips. The controversy happened after Spain beat England 1-0 in the FIFA Women's World Cup final on August 20.
Calls for Luis Rubiales' resignation had become rampant since then. He was a no-show at the UEFA awards gala on Thursday since FIFA suspended him for at least three months last week.