Aitana Bonmati poses with the World Cup trophy

Aitana Bonmati: Spain World Cup winner says women’s football must keep ‘fighting’ for equality

Aitana Bonmati poses with the World Cup trophyAitana Bonmati won the Golden Ball at this summer’s World Cup, having been named the best overall player across the tournament

Spanish World Cup winner Aitana Bonmati believes women’s players are still having to fight “to be treated as professionals”.

The Barcelona midfielder, 25, is favourite for this year’s Ballon d’Or.

Spain’s World Cup win was overshadowed by the fallout from Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales kissing Jenni Hermoso after the final, which she said was not consensual.

Bonmati said she and her team-mates “have to keep fighting for our rights”.

Asked if football still has a long way to go to achieve gender equality, Bonmati told the BBC World Service: “Yes, of course, [over] the past years we had a lot of changes but there is still a lot to improve.

“We are always building for equality to have good conditions, to be treated as professional footballers.

“I would like to keep fighting because I would like the next generation to have a better life than we have today and I think past generations fought for us to have a better life today.”

Spain forward Hermoso filed a legal complaint over the Rubiales kiss in September.

Rubiales claims the kiss was “mutual” and “consensual”, but in September was provisionally suspended by Fifa, football’s world governing body.

  • The kiss that shook Spanish and global football

In a statement in August, Bonmati and her 22 team-mates from Spain’s World Cup winning squad said they would not play for the team again while Rubiales was in charge.

Last week former Spain manager Jorge Vilda was appointed head coach of the Morocco women’s team.

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The 42-year-old was sacked within a month of Spain’s World Cup win amid the aftereffects from the Rubiales scandal.

Vilda – considered a close ally of Rubiales – is being investigated as part of the criminal case against the former Spanish football federation (RFEF) president.