Aitana Bommati always asks the same question. Every match his Femeni plays in Barcelona generates a ton of performance data. The team’s fitness coach knows how far, how fast, and for how long each athlete has run. In fact, there is so much information that it would take him two days to download, create a table, and parse. Only then will they be put back into the team.
Not all players pay much attention to such feedback. Some ignore it completely. Bommati is different. She’s not just looking for answers. She wants to see her work too. More than anything, she wants to know why.
“I feel very tired after a few games,” she said. “But there may be less data, because sometimes it’s not just a physical thing. It could be stress or nervousness. I like talking to coaches about that. Why? I want to understand why things like this happen.”
Here’s what the season looks like for the 25-year-old Bommati as far as the raw numbers go. Barcelona scored 9 goals from midfield and scored 10 goals to win the Spanish title again. She scored five goals in the Champions League and produced seven more, reaching the final for the fourth time in five years for her and her club. Only Wolfsburg’s Eva Pahor has scored more goals than Bommati. No player has more assists.
The case is compelling that Bommati has been Europe’s most decisive and most valuable player this season. There is also strong evidence to suggest that she should be considered a frontrunner for the Ballon d’Or, at least until the World Cup starts.
The simplest explanation for why is her refusal without a second thought. With club captain Alexia Puteras out due to injury, there is a theory that Bonmaty has emerged as a key player for Barcelona. “She took a lot of responsibility in midfield,” Barcelona’s Swedish striker Fridolina Rolfo said earlier this year. “In my opinion, she deserves all the attention.”
Bommati has a slightly different interpretation. “The coach is her boss,” she said. This season, its coach, Jonathan Giraldez, has given her the usual year-end position not only to ease the absence of Pteras, but also because the presence of Patri Guijarro, Ingrid Engen and Keira Walsh means the club’s health. asked to play a higher role. Lined up a defensive midfielder. “The roles have changed,” Mr. Bommati said. “But it’s not my fault.”
Replacing Pteras is a collective effort, she said. “The media always try to find someone to watch in the team, but this year it’s me,” she said. “But I’ve had good seasons over the last few years. I’m an ambitious guy. I want to be even better and more complete than last year.”
Standing out in Barcelona is more complicated than it sounds. Perhaps English defender Lucy Bronze, who moved to Catalunya last summer, captured it best. At Barcelona, she said earlier this year, she found herself surrounded by an almost industrial mass of staggeringly talented players that flowed off the academy’s production line.
“There are a lot of clones, clones, clones of these amazing, technical, intelligent players,” she says, sounding simultaneously awed and perhaps a little frightened. rice field. “There are hundreds.”
What has enabled Bommati to stand out from that group is her pursuit of perfection, in a club carefully curated to produce a mass of talent, and in a team crammed with the best players in the world. It is considered to be a thing.
Xavi Hernández, Barcelona men’s team coach and Bommati’s childhood idol, described her as a “perfectionist” in the film’s prologue. the book she published last year. She says otherwise. “I try to understand everything,” she said. “I am a very curious person.”
Tara’s psychology would suggest that she inherited the trait from her parents. Both were scholars and lecturers of Catalan literature, and both were sufficiently zealous in the pursuit of equality that they forced a change in the law to allow Bonmati to take his mother’s surname instead of his surname. The patronymic is followed by the patronymic.
It is a record Bommati has not lost, and it is best illustrated by her continued education – she studied sports management and at 25 was already ready for life after football. She recognizes the need to be prepared—not by her approach to Bommati. career itself.
Bommati is, in her words, “always doing something.” “Scheduling is very complicated,” she said. “I need to make time for myself because otherwise I can’t breathe.” She believes her teammates consider her “hyperactive.”
Away from the field, she has held roles with the United Nations Refugee Agency, the Johan Cruyff Foundation, the Barcelona Foundation, and more. She works on a team for women refugees.
Once Walsh and Bronze arrived in Barcelona, Bommati immediately volunteered to be their de facto interpreter. She said if I needed anything I could just tell her. This gesture was rooted in kindness, but it was also rewarding. “That means your English will improve,” she said. There was no hidden motive for it. Bommati didn’t want to use it for an impending move to England or America. She just wanted to improve her English.
Almost everything Bonmaty does is subject to a never-ending process of improvement that removes imperfections and makes sure nothing is left unconsidered. She is a reader and reads extensively. She said she has a lot of books on nutrition, performance and psychology in her house. (Even her intermissions aren’t really intermissions; the likes of Primo Levi and Viktor Frankl occupy the light reading slots.)
“The more we know, the more we can apply what we know,” she said. “The smarter I am about these subjects, the better my performance will be.”
Then there’s her kinesthetic learning. Away from her Barcelona orbit, but with the blessing of her club, she has her own fitness coach, nutritionist and psychologist. She questions them too. “I want to know what we need to improve and how we can do it,” she said.
So it’s no surprise that Bommati is little pleased with Barcelona’s feat of reaching the Champions League final once again. It will be the third consecutive year and fourth overall for her and her club. The stage is so familiar that Barcelona will enter as the frontrunners to beat Wolfsburg on Saturday.
Of course, that is a feat in itself, a testament to how far the Barcelona women’s team has come, the status they have attained, and the progress of Bommati and her teammates. But when Bommati looked at the data, that was not the case. “I’ve only won one final,” she said. “We lost two. Personally, I want to win more.”