Aitana Bonmati: "All the difficult moments I've been through have made me better"

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Aitana Bonmati: "All the difficult moments I've been through have made me better"

Aitana talks to the fans at a meet and greet in Barcelona
Aitana talks to the fans at a meet and greet in Barcelona@FCBfemeni
Barcelona's Aitana Bonmati (25) took time out this Thursday at the official shop on Paseo de Gracia, where the club organised a meet and greet for their Ballon d'Or winner.

Bonmati attended the event alongside the award she collected on Monday in Paris. She took photos, signed autographs and gave the occasional hug during a very special afternoon for the hundreds of fans who attended. The event was announced on the day and still drew a good crowd of fans. The rain did not stop a long queue from forming outside the establishment either.

The midfielder spoke to the club's official media: "It's a source of pride to win this trophy with Barca. In the end, 12 years have gone by very quickly. Right now I'm not aware that I've been at the club for so long. I remember when I started in the cadet category, when I was 13, and now I'm 25.

"We've won a lot of things: two Champions League titles, a lot of Leagues, Cups, Super Cups... and on an individual level I've also grown a lot. So for me it's an honour to be part of La Masia and to be recognised as a player who has come through the youth ranks.

"I am the same, but I have achieved many things. I've always considered myself an ambitious person and it's true that when I was little I had little patience. So maybe I would tell her that it's all very well to have ambition, the desire to improve or to be the best, but maybe she should have a little more patience. For those who work hard and know how to wait for their time, everything comes.

"And especially that, that the perseverance and demand have been worth it and that all the difficult moments I have gone through have made me better because they have made me see that there is still a long way to go and that in the end everything can change", she said.

"Pioneer and reference"

Aitana, who defined the new mural in Sant Pere de Ribes that praises her figure as "beautiful", praised Barcelona: "It has been a pioneer and now it is a world reference.

"I am 100% grateful. When we say that it is 'Mes que un Club', it is because of things like this. It tries to include everyone, like for example the team, and it has given us the opportunity to be professional footballers.

"And I think we have responded. We have all fought for this crest and we continue to fight as if there is no tomorrow. We are proud to wear it all over the world.

"The times I have been able to play at the Camp Nou have been the most important days of my life. They have been unique moments because the whole stadium was full and we fulfilled a dream.

"We have always had a very good harmony between players and fans, and I think they have helped us to win. But let's not forget the Johan Cruyff stadium either, which is our fortress.

"We haven't lost a home game yet and we're always very grateful to the fans, who come to help us and cheer us on," explained the world's best player during the interview.

Bonmati also commented that she still hasn't been able to digest the accolade and that she doesn't know "how much time" she will need because "it's all very big". The award, he believes, is positive when it comes to "generating equality".

After receiving it at the beginning of the week, she has not yet been able to "look at anything", although she did mention the congratulations from Xavi, Iniesta and Puyol, who are "childhood idols". In short, she is "very proud" of such a distinction and, of course, to see that there are "girls, boys and adults" who follow it.

"Winning team"

"We have been reaching the Champions League final for three years now, which is very complicated, and we have won two. If the team wins, then come the individual awards. But all this comes after a lot of effort and hard work. A few years ago, we had the talent, but now we have a team that helps us win.

"This mentality is very strong and whenever we start the season we know what our goals are and why we work and train every day. This is very important. The physical improvements we have made over the last few years are of course also," he said.

Aitana Bonmati's statistics
Aitana Bonmati's statisticsFlashscore

Finally, Bonmati put the focus on continuing to progress: "You have to be very attentive to your work and be better every day. And when you're alongside players of this level, you grow and become better too. 

"I'm very lucky. I've been able to achieve a lot on a collective and individual level, but the day I stop being ambitious, maybe it's time to quit football. I still have this desire to improve and win and, fortunately, at Barcelona we all have the same mentality. This makes us a winning and competitive team".

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