Bonmatí and Messi, favorites to win the UEFA Player of the Year award this Thursday


The world champions Aitana Bonmatí, with the Spanish team, and Lionel Messi, with Argentina, are favorites to win this Thursday the respective UEFA Player and Player of the Year awards, while the coaches Pep Guardiola, Jorge Vilda and Jonatan Giráldez are nominated in both the men’s and women’s soccer categories.

The Catalan midfielder Aitana Bonmatí, beacon of the new world champion team in Sydney (Australia), also won the 2022/23 Women’s Champions League and was chosen MVP of both tournaments. In addition, to these achievements she added the F League and Spanish Super Cup titles, with her indisputable leading role in an overwhelming FC Barcelona.

At 25, Bonmatí shows the highest level of his sporting career, being decisive at Barça and in the Spanish team. This course, despite being a midfielder, he has scored 21 goals and has given 23 assists. These are numbers that show his offensive capacity, something that makes her different from the rest of the competitors who play in his position.

On the way to winning the Champions League, she was the one who distributed the most assists (7), the one who participated in the most goals (12) and the one who generated the most chances (32) in the competition. As the icing on the cake, Bonmatí has ​​given shine to the ‘6’ of Spain with her formidable World Cup, scoring three goals and distributing two assists in the winning team.

Sevillian Olga Carmona, fixed on the left side of Real Madrid and a key player in Spain’s World Cup title thanks to her goal in the semifinals and especially with her goal in the final, is also up for the Player of the Year award. Third in contention is Australian striker Sam Kerr, star of Chelsea FC.

Regarding the benches, the nomination of the Catalan club Jonatan Giráldez was also forged by winning the Champions League, the F League and the Spanish Super Cup. His category rivals are the Dutch Sarina Wiegman, the architect of England reaching the World Cup final, and the also Spanish Jorge Vilda, currently in the pillory for being a participant together with Luis Rubiales in the discredit of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF). ).


As for the Player of the Year award, Argentine Leo Messi is on the verge of winning an individual trophy that he has not won since 2011. His performance with the national team, which he commanded in Qatar until lifting the title of world champion last fall, is the main milestone of the seven-time Ballon d’Or.

Messi scored in seven of the eight games that the ‘Albiceleste’ played on the way to glory, also being the man of the tournament who participated in the most goals, with 10 (seven of his own and three assisted). In addition, he was the player who generated the second most chances in the World Cup (21), only one less than the Frenchman Antoine Griezmann.

At club level, despite not having his best records, Messi’s 2022/23 campaign was remarkable. With Paris Saint-Germain he won Ligue 1, the League Cup and the French Super Cup. Before going to Inter Miami, in individual terms he scored 21 goals and gave 20 assists in all competitions, being the only one of the five major leagues of the ‘Old Continent’ with twenty in both sections.

Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and Norwegian striker Erling Haaland, teammates at Manchester City, are Messi’s opponents. The enviable background of both, having conquered the canonical triplet (Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League), is also what has served the ‘citizen’ coach Pep Guardiola to be nominated.

In said category of Coach of the Year, the man from Santpedor stands out against the Italians Luciano Spalletti, champion of Serie A with Napoli –finally a Neapolitan Scudetto, 33 years later–, and Simone Inzaghi, finalist in the Champions League and champion of the Italian Cup with Inter Milan.

The UEFA awards will be delivered this Thursday (6:00 p.m.) at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco during the draw for the 2023/24 Champions League group stage, which will feature five Spanish clubs due to the presence of FC Barcelona, ​​Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid, Real Sociedad and Sevilla FC.