Karim Benzema and Thibaut Courtois, from Real Madrid, and Kevin de Bruyne, from Manchester City, are the three finalists for the Player of the Year award for the 2021/2022 season, as announced this Friday by UEFA, which awards the award. In the same statement, they reveal the last three contenders for the Coach of the Year award: Carlo Ancelotti (Real Madrid), Pep Guardiola (Manchester City) and Jürgen Klopp (Liverpool).
The winners of the awards, as well as the best player and the best coach, will be revealed next Thursday, August 25, at the draw ceremony for the group stage of the next Champions League, in Istanbul, the city that will host the final of the competition on June 10, 2023, at the Atatürk Stadium.
Karim Benzema, top favorite for both this recognition and the Ballon d’Or, was already recognized last season as the best player in the Champions League. Courtois took the MVP of the final in Paris against Liverpool.
To award the Player of the Year award, UEFA’s technical study group drew up a list of 15 candidates based on their performance in the past season, taking into account what they did with their clubs and national teams. Afterwards, a jury made up of the coaches of the teams that played in the Champions League, Europa League and Conference League group stages last year, as well as various journalists selected by the European Sports Media, awarded scores to the candidates. They gave five, three and one point respectively to their three favorites. Coaches could not vote for their own players. Benzema, Courtois and De Bruyne received the most votes, although UEFA will not reveal the order until August 25. The next 12 classified were the following:
4. Robert Lewandowski (54 points)
5. Luka Modric (52)
6. Sadio Mane (51)
7. Mohammed Salah (46)
8. Kylian Mbappe (25)
9. Vinicius (21)
10. Virgil van Dijk (19)
11. Bernardo Silva (7)
12. Filip Kostic (7)
13. Lorenzo Pellegrini (5)
14. Trent Alexander-Arnold (2)
15. Fabinho (1)
For the Coach of the Year award, the group of experts chose an initial list of six coaches, among whom the same members of the jury of the soccer players’ award voted. In addition to the three finalists (Ancelotti, Guardiola and Klopp), the most voted were the following:
4 Oliver Glasner (Eintracht Frankfurt, 75 points)
5 Unai Emery (Villarreal, 74)
6. Jose Mourinho (Rome, 51)