The race for UEFA Best Men’s Player Award was dominated by Premier League players last term. Who do you think will win the UEFA 2021 Player of the Season Award?
Chelsea toiled to become the Champions League winners last season while Italy won Euro 2020. The Blues’ and Azzurri’s midfield metronome Jorginho was chosen as the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year. Kevin De Bruyne, N’Golo Kante and Jorginho were the final three in the race for the prestigious award.Last season’s UEFA Champions League was a toughly contested affair and it was nearly impossible to predict which way it was going to go.
A lot has happened in the world of football over the course of the summer. Plenty of high-profile stars have switched clubs in the summer. It might be hyperbolic to suggest that a power shift has happened but a transition is definitely starting to gain momentum.
Let’s take a look at the five favourites to win the UEFA 2021 Champions League Player of the Season Award.
#5 N’Golo Kante – Chelsea
N’Golo Kante was chosen as the UEFA Champions League Midfielder of the Season last term. He made as strong a case for it as anyone could have. Kante picked up four back-to-back man-of-the-match awards starting from the second leg of the quarter-finals all the way to the final for Chelsea.
#4 Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
There’s an argument that Bayern Munich are starting to get over-reliant on Robert Lewandowski. Well, now it’s up to the rest of the players to step up and share the responsibility. The Bavarians looked extremely dominant during their triumphant run in the Champions League in the 2019-20 season.
#3 Cristiano Ronaldo – Manchester United
Manchester United enjoyed a brilliant start to their 2020-21 Champions League campaign. They beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 in Paris before beating RB Leipzig 5-1 at home. Their European campaign came off the rails afterwards as they suffered defeats to Istanbul Basaksehir, PSG and RB Leipzig.
They crashed out of the group stage in rather unfortunate fashion. The Red Devils then made it to the final of the Europa League. Now that they’ve added Cristiano Ronaldo to the mix, they will be a lot sturdier in Europe. ‘Champions League Varane’ and Jadon Sancho’s additions will also do them a world of good.
#2 Neymar Jr. – Paris Saint-Germain
Neymar was the creator-in-chief for Paris Saint-Germain in their run to the semi-finals of the Champions League last term. He ran the show for PSG and the Ligue 1 outfit were earmarked as the favourites to win the tournament. That was until they unraveled and lost their way in the semi-finals against Manchester City.
As is well known to us, Neymar loves playing with Lionel Messi, Paris Saint-Germain’s most high-profile signing of the summer. The Brazilian scored six goals and provided three assists in nine appearances in the Champions League last term.
#1 Lionel Messi – Paris Saint-Germain
It’s no secret that Barcelona were heavily reliant on Lionel Messi in the 2020-21 season. The Argentina international had to carry the load on his back and he did a pretty decent job too. But a severe lack of cohesion was apparent in the early days of the Ronald Koeman regime.Barcelona were knocked out of the Champions League in the Round of 16 by Paris Saint-Germain. In six appearances in the competition, Messi scored five goals and provided two assists. But now, he has finally left Barcelona and joined a star-studded Paris Saint-Germain.
Messi has not really been surrounded by so many world-class players since the MSN era. There is no doubt that the 34-year-old is going to have plenty of fun playing alongside the likes of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar Jr., Angel Di Maria and Marco Verratti, to name a few.