UEFA award winners 2022: Benzema, Putellas win Best Player of the Year, Ancelotti best men’s coach

Following the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League group stage draw, European governing body UEFA announced the winners of the Player of the Year and Coach of the Year awards for the previous season.

Last year, Chelsea’s Jorginho won UEFA’s men’s Player of the Year award for 2020/21, while Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas won the award on the women’s side.

Karim Benzema was the frontrunner for the men’s award, and he took home the title, bringing him one step closer to hisย expected triumph in the prestigious Ballon d’Or on Oct. 17.ย  The Real Madrid forward was incredible last season, scoring 42 goals between La Liga and the Champions League, leading his club to a famous double.

In past years, UEFA has also presented individual position-specific awards, with the Best Goalkeeper, Best Defender, Best Midfielder, and Best Forward recognized. However, UEFA confirmed to The Sporting News that those awards have been scrapped. It is not immediately clear whether those awards have been eliminated permanently or just for this season.

The Sporting News brings you all the information ahead of the awards ceremony in the aftermath of the Champions League group stage draw on Thursday, August 25.

UEFA Player of the Year award 2021/22

There are three nominees for the men’s and women’s Player of the Year honors.

UEFA Men’s Player of the Year: Karim Benzema

The Real Madrid striker was the runaway winner of this award, leading all Champions League scorers with 15 goals en route to another European title, giving him 42 goals total between the league and continental competitions.

With the World Cup coming and the French national team calling, Benzema is in top form. It’s expected that the 34-year-old will follow this award up with the Ballon d’Or, to be handed out in mid-October.

Shortlisted Nominees:

Karim BenzemaReal MadridFrance
Thibaut CourtoisReal MadridBelgium
Kevin de BruyneMan CityBelgium

Recent Men’s UEFA Player of the Year winners

2019/20Robert LewandowskiBayern MunichPoland
2018/19Virgil van DijkLiverpoolNetherlands
2017/18Luka ModricReal MadridCroatia
2016/17Cristiano RonaldoReal MadridPortugal

UEFA Women’s Player of the Year: Alexia Putellas

Before agonizingly going down with an ACL injury just before the Euro 2022 tournament, Alexia Putellas has risen to the top of the world football game. The defending Ballon d’Or winner, Putellas has pushed Barcelona to new heights.

She led Barcelona to the Champions League final this past summer, and scored 18 goals with 15 assists in La Liga last campaign while helping the Blaugrana to a runaway title.

Shortlisted Nominees:

Beth MeadArsenalEngland
Lena OberdorfWolfsburgGermany
Alexia PutellasBarcelonaSpain

Recent Women’s Player of the Year winners

2020/21Alexia PutellasBarcelonaSpain
2019/20Pernille HarderWolfsburgDenmark
2018/19Lucy BronzeLyonEngland
2017/18Pernille HarderWolfsburgDenmark
2016/17Lieke MartensBarcelonaNetherlands

UEFA Coach of the Year award 2021/22

Men’s Coach of the Year: Carlo Ancelotti

Leading Real Madrid to the club’s record 14th Champions League crown en route to a domestic & continental double, Carlo Ancelotti remains one of the best coaches in all of world football.

Ancelotti is the only coach in history to have won four Champions League titles, twice with AC Milan and now twice with Real Madrid. He also previously won the competition twice as a player with AC Milan.

Nicknamed “Don Carlo,” Ancelotti engineered a pair of incredible second-leg comebacks route to last year’s Champions League title, first downing PSG 3-2 on aggregate after falling behind 2-0 by halftime of the second leg, before sending Man City home 6-5 on aggregate after a 4-3 first-leg loss.

Shortlisted Nominees:

Carlo AncelottiReal MadridItaly
Pep GuardiolaMan CitySpain
Jurgen KloppLiverpoolGermany

Recent winners:

2020/21Thomas TuchelPSG & ChelseaGermany
2019/20Hansi FlickBayern MunichGermany
2015/16Claudio RanieriLeicester CityItaly
2014/15Luis EnriqueBarcelonaSpain
2013/14Unai EmerySevillaSpain

The Men’s Coach of the Year award was previously known as the European Football Coach of the Season award, which ceased to exist in 2016. The award was revived in 2020 for the UEFA Best Of awards.

Women’s Coach of the Year: Sarina Wiegman

The coach of the England national team, Sarina Wiegman wins this year’s Coach of the Year award. The 52-year-old only joined the national side in November, and led England to the Euro 2022 crown. She has yet to lose a single match with England, with 18 wins and two draws.

A former midfielder for the UNC Tar Heels and owning 99 caps for the Dutch national team, Wiegman took charge of the Netherlands for four years before joining England.

Shortlisted Nominees:

Sonia BompastorLyonFrance
Martina Voss-TecklenburgGermanyGermany
Sarina WiegmanEnglandNetherlands

Recent winners:

2020/21Lluis CortesBarcelonaSpain
2019/20Jean-Luc VasseurLyonFrance

UEFA Goal of the Year award 2021/22

UEFA has a technical committee that picks the 10 best goals of the season across all UEFA league and cup competitions.

Once the 10-goal shortlist is created, UEFA’s Goal of the Year award is then split into two awards. One is selected by the technical committee, while another is voted on by the fans.

2021/22 Best Goal Nominees (watch the goals here)

Karim BenzemaReal MadridApr. 6, 2022Chelsea
Vinicius, Jr.Real MadridOct. 19, 2021Shakhtar Donetsk
Kylian MbappePSGFeb. 15, 2022Real Madrid
Robert LewandowskiBayern MunichNov. 23, 2021Dynamo Kyiv
Marco AsensioReal MadridDec. 7, 2021Inter
Alex TellesMan UnitedSept. 29, 2021Villarreal
Sebastien ThillSheriff TiraspolSept. 28, 2021Real Madrid
RodrygoReal MadridApr. 12, 2022Chelsea
Lionel MessiPSGSept. 28, 2021Man City
ThiagoLiverpoolNov. 24, 2021Porto

Technical Observers Goal of the Year: Karim Benzema 1st goal vs. Chelseaย , Apr. 6, 2022

Source: UEFA.com

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