Women’s Football was strongly represented and celebrated in the Ballon d’Or awards in Paris on Monday.
A decade ago, female footballers were barely given a very small segment in these awards shows – with most of the spotlight on the world’s best male footballers.
But with time, much has changed. The popularity of women’s football is probably at an all-time high right now, with the likes of the UEFA Women’s Champions League, the FA Women’s Super League and the international competitions gaining quite a sharp rise in viewership.
The Women’s Ballon d’Or award was won by Barcelona Femini star Alexia Putellas.
The Spaniard, who is also incidentally the highest-rated player in FIFA 23, is a deserving winner – having scored 29 goals in 38 appearances for her side last season – helping them win the Spanish league title as well as the UEFA Women’s Champions League too.
Putellas made history by becoming the only player to win the Female’s Ballon d’Or award twice, that too on consecutive occasions.
She was given a lot of time to give an emotional speech, celebrating her success and how much Women’s Football has gained popularity over the last year or so.
But despite how many positive forward steps the female game takes, there will be some elements always looking to drag it down.
This actually popped up before the Ballon d’Or award show itself, when the female players all posed on the red carpet for the photo-ops.
The photographers all took a lot of pictures of the players looking very glamorous, wearing fashionable clothes and having that award ceremony vibe to their attires.
But it appears that not all the photographers were properly educated about the players who attended the ceremony, nor what they looked like.
Arsenal Women’s striker Beth Mead – who capped off a career-best season by grabbing the second place behind Putellas – was on the end of an embarrassing gaff by a photographer after the ceremony.
A photographer from the WireImage agency clicked a picture of Mead alongside her club teammate Vivianne Miedema – but seemingly had no idea of who the Arsenal no.9 really was.
In the caption of the photographer of Miedema and Mead together, it’s written: ‘PARIS, FRANCE – OCTOBER 17: Vivianne Miedema (L) and a GUEST attend the Ballon d’Or photocall in Paris on October 17, 2022 in Paris, France.’
This picture was taken by one photographer named Marc Piasecki, but it’s unclear whether it was he or someone else who made the error in the caption.
What is even more shocking is that nobody double-checked the error or even try to do a little research on who Miedema was standing alongside on the red carpet.
Miedema found this to be really funny, as she posted the picture on her Twitter account and wrote: “Happy I got to take my guest yesterday. @bmeado9.”
To her credit, Mead didn’t seem that mad about it as she is used to such things in Women’s Football. She just wrote ‘LOL’ in a fan’s post about the error, seemingly laughing it away.
The joke, in reality, is on the photographer’s agency and the photographer themselves for making themselves look foolish by disrespecting two of the best female players in England.
Though, it seems, Getty Images have corrected itself as the caption now reads Beath Mead instead of ‘guest’ on their official website –