Arsenal star Beth Mead hits out at 'token Ballon d’Or' award for women and criticises lack of female awards at ceremony
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Arsenal Women star Beth Mead has hit out at the “token Ballon d’Or” for female footballers after criticising the “set-up” for the award at the ceremony in Paris.
Mead finished second for the Women’s Ballon d’Or behind Barcelona Women star Alexia Putellas, who secured France Football’s sought-after prize for the second time.
The 27-year-old Gunners forward received 152 points in the race for the Women’s Ballon d’Or award, with Putellas coming out on top with a 178-point total.
Real Madrid captain Karim Benzema scooped the 2022 Ballon d’Or for men’s football on the night after beating both Sadio Mane and Kevin De Bruyne.
Mead also fell short of the Best FIFA Women’s Player award in February, with the England Women star only ranking third.
Putellas, who has won back-to-back Women’s Ballon d’Ors, took home the Best FIFA Women’s Player while United States star Alex Morgan finished ahead of Mead.
Mead has now revealed that she preferred the Best FIFA Football Awards 2022 in Paris ahead of the Ballon d’Or ceremony, despite claiming it was an “honour” to attend both.
“It was an honour to go to both,” she said on the Boots, Balls & Bras podcast.
“But I much preferred the Best Awards, I thought the Ballon d’Or was a token Ballon d’Or for women’s football -- and that’s all it was.
“The set-up wasn’t great. Alexia [Putellas] went up, they asked her a couple of questions and off she went.
“In between that they did [Robert] Lewandowski top scorer, goalkeeper of the year - no female goalkeeper of the year -- and a community award.
“They did three of four awards between the female Ballon d’Or and the men’s Ballon d’Or.
“And at the end it was Benzema who won, his full family was on stage taking pictures with him, all the journalists, and Alexia was sat on the front seat as if she wasn’t even there.”