In the 2019-2020 season, UEFA tried to give each Champions League match a more modern look and decided to give an award to the best player in each playoff game. An MVP, in the purest Anglo-Saxon style, who called ‘Man of the Match’. For example, the ‘Man of the match’ in the Champions League final between Bayern Munich and PSG rfell to the scorer of the Bavarian winning goal: Kingsley Coman.
An award, which after 49 knockout games adding those of last season and the current one, Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne dominates with an iron fist. The 29-year-old Belgian has received the award for most outstanding player in four times, the latter two in Manchester City’s last two meetings in the competition.
There are only five other players who have repeated recognition during these two campaigns that the award is in force: Haaland (3); Gnabry (2); Neymar (2); Mbappé (2) y Kanté (2). An individual trophy that has also gone to players from Spanish teams in a match: Lodi and Oblak, at Atlético; Messi and Busquets, at Barcelona; Casemiro, Modric and Vinicius, at Real Madrid and Navas, at Sevilla. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lewandowski only have one, which revalues what De Bruyne has done so far.
Who awards the ‘Man of the Match’?
UEFA has a shortlist of UEFA technical observers in each match who decide who deserves to be the Man of the Match. During this Champions 2020-2021 there are two Spaniards: GInes Carvajal and Belgium coach Roberto Martínez. They complete the long list: Cosmin Contra (former player and coach); Corinne Deacon (France coach); Dusan Fitzel (trainer); Steffen friend (former player and coach); Robbie Keane (former player and coach); John Peacock (trainer); Willi Ruttensteiner (Israel coach); Gareth Southgate (England coach) and Patrick Vieira (former player and now coach). Aitor Karanka was one of those chosen by UEFA in 2020.
The trophy, a small ball with the starry logo of the Champions League, is given to the winning player, immediately at the end of the match. De Bruyne already has four at home, and this Tuesday against PSG in the semifinal round he is aiming for the fifth.