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Alexia Putellas Determined To Carry On Playing For Several More Years

After signing a new contract at FC Barcelona, Alexia Putellas says she has no immediate plans to retire from the game insisting she wants to play on into her late thirties.

With her contract at FC Barcelona due to expire on June 30, there had been speculation that the two-time Ballon D’Or winner, a player who would walk into any other side in the world, may seek to continue her career at another club having lost her first team place for the majority of the past season.

However, last Tuesday, the 30-year-old signed a contract extention which will keep the club’s record appearance maker (425) and record goalscorer (125) at the European champions until June 30, 2026 with an option to extend for a further year. That will take Alexia’s stay at FC Barcelona to 14 years in which she has won a remarkable 30 titles at the club.

Speaking to the official club channel and despite achieving everything possible in the game, Alexia said she has desire to stop playing for some time. “I see myself playing for quite a few years, because I love my job very much. So this passion I think leads you to have energy every day. Now I’m 30, which I consider to be still a mature age – between young and old – to be a footballer. If I have to tell you a number, I don’t know, I maybe see myself playing up to 37 or 38.”

Alexia came off the bench to score the clinching goal in Saturday’s UEFA Women’s Champions League final. After also scoring in 2021 and 2022, she became only the fifth woman to score in three Champions League finals, joining an illustrious list of greats of the game – Marta, Ada Hegerberg, Éugenie Le Sommer and Alexandra Popp. Despite not starting the game, as club captain, she lifted the trophy for the third time in four seasons.

However, since her anterior cruciate ligament injury which she suffered on the very eve of the UEFA Women’s Euro in July 2022, she has struggled to reclaim her starting position in the FC Barcelona and Spain starting line-ups. The other goalscorer in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Olympique Lyonnas was Aitana Bonmatí, the player who has moved forward to take Putellas’ playmaker role and succeeded her as the winner of the women’s Ballon d’Or in 2023.

Alexia has started 12 league games this season compared to 19 two seasons before. During that stellar 2021/22 season, she also started ten Champions League games compared to just two starts this season. Aitana has meanwhile started all eleven matches in the competition.

She admitted that “when you are injured it is very difficult. It’s hard because in the end you want to contribute and injury prevents you from doing so. Then it is how to find a way you can help and feel that way part of the team.”

“Yes, it was a very abrupt change, because I was used to playing every minute, so to be in the stands because of the injury mentally was hard, until in the end I assimilated it and understood that it is a process to compete again at the highest level. And the truth is that I am very happy and I am feeling very, very good.”

She would however not be drawn on whether she one day sees herself playing for another club. “Obviously we don’t know what will happen, because you never know in the world of football, but I feel I have a lot of energy to keep carrying my mind and my body to the limit every day and as long as it goes on like this, I’m not going to set a date to end it. I hope I will be a long time here, at Barça, to do the renewals. As soon as I don’t feel like that, well I know what it means to wear that shirt, I will raise my hand take a step to the side.”

“As long as I continue to have that energy to take me to the limit physically obviously, but mentally to keep wanting to win every game, all the titles and all the exercises in training, because in the end of the day this is how our day to day is, I will continue to serve the team and the club.”

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