UEFA Awards Prediction: Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Barcelona’s Aitana Bonmati tipped to win top prizes

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The UEFA Awards recognize the best players from the UEFA Europa League competition each year with a number of awards across the men’s and women’s game. The governing body of European football gives awards to the most distinguished actors on the continent of the previous year. These award ceremonies take place every August in Monaco at the same time as the UCL group stage draw. The player of the year award went to men last year Karim Benzema while Alexia Putellas was reigning European champions Barcelona is the UCL women’s player of the year. Benzema, of course, has left Europe for Saudi Arabia while Putellas has spent much of the past year recovering from injury, meaning neither has been named to defend their trophy, which leaving new competitors in their place.

How to look

  • Date: Thursday, August 31 | Hour: 12 pm ET
  • Location: Grimaldi Forum, Monaco
  • TV: Don’t miss coverage of the Champions League draw and awards on CBS Sports Golazo Network and Paramount +.

The nominees

Men’s Player: This year for the UEFA male player sees a pair of City Erling Haaland and Kevin de Bruyne the face Lionel Messi who has since left Paris Saint-Germain for Inter Miami. Former City teammate Haaland and De Bruyne Ilkay Gundogan just missed out on the top three along with Roderick ahead of the likes of PSG’s Kylian Mbappe. Real Madrid’s Luca ModricBetween Marcelo Brozovic, West Ham United vice captain Declan Ricenow – a Liverpool midfielder Alexis McAllister and evergreen Sevilla captain Jesus Navas was also listed in the running.

Women’s Player: On the women’s side, defending champion Aitana Bonmati is back in contention and has a very strong case as she is part of Barcelona’s last Women’s Champions League title as well as her becoming one of three players to score three times during Spain Women’s World Cup Success. The team and the last goal player Olga Carmona from Real Madrid is also in the account, as is Sam Kerr from Chelsea and Australia who finished in the top three ahead of such England and Manchester United Mary Earps, Barca and Salma Paralluelo and Germany and Wolfsburg at Alexandra Popp.

Men’s Coach: In the men’s coach department, it is difficult to go past seeing Pep Guardiola City after last season’s excellent performance that was crowned with Champions League success after a long wait for both club and coach. Simone Inzaghi did a brilliant job to lead Inter to the Istanbul final where they were not swept away by Guardiola’s City, but even Luciano Spalletti’s Naples they won more acclaim than their Italian rivals as part of the Serie A powerhouse in Europe. Brighton and Hove Albion Roberto de Zerbi and Arsenal Mikel Arteta was also considered and finished the voting just outside the top three in fourth and fifth place respectively.

Women’s coach: As for the women’s coach award, as with the players, this one is well dominated by Spain with World Cup-winning coach Jorge Vilda and Barcelona boss Jonatan Giraldez both vying for the gong. The head Sarina Wiegman in England is also in the final of the WWC beaten and with the links between her and the Netherlands men’s national team with an eye to the future. Sweden Peter Chelsea’s Gerhardsson and Emma Hayes were also considered and rounded out the top five candidates before the shortlist was whittled down to three.

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Men’s Player: It’s very difficult to make a case for Messi after another miserable PSG display on the continental stage last season. So much depended on Mbappe’s involvement that even the legendary Argentine was not as essential as this comment suggests. The truth is that the French giants were bombed out in the round of 16 again and it’s really nothing to brag about for Messi. Choosing between De Bruyne and Haaland is tougher with the Belgium injured internationals in the final and Norway without a goal beyond the quarter-finals. With De Bruyne playing a bigger role in the semi-final success against Real Madrid, the majestic 32-year-old arguably has a slight advantage over his prolific teammate. Select: Kevin de Bruyne (City).

Women’s Player: Bonmati can be confident that her contribution to success with club and country should see her defend her title – it would also be the Barca player’s third successive award as Alexia Putellas won first edition 2021-22. Unfortunately for Sam Kerr, despite Australia’s strong effort on home soil during the World Cup, her hopes of getting in on the glory as well as being part of the Chelsea team that sent Bonmati out of Barca. Carmona claimed glory in the Women’s World Cup final against England with the only goal in Sydney, but it will be hard to argue with Bonmati’s breakthrough goals and Barca’s success. Select: Aitana Bonmati (Barca).

Men’s Coach: While Inzaghi and Spalletti deserve a lot of credit for their achievements, especially the latter leading Napoli to a long overdue Serie A title, it is highly unlikely that Guardiola will take home this trophy. It’s hard to argue with City’s Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup dominance – even if Inzaghi leads Inter and Spalletti’s unpredictability makes Napoli’s European rivals worthy of high praise. This one is simply named Pep. Select: Pep Guardiola (City).

Women’s coach: This one is shaping up to be interesting with that Vilda could be pushed out of the reckoning by the scandal surrounding him with the head of the Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales. The current success of the Women’s World Cup is overshadowed by the tragic events that followed Jenni’s forced kiss Hermoso which now threatens to ruin the success of La Roja Down Under. All this could open things up nicely for Giraldez who is unfazed by the scandal and deserves huge credit for leading Barca to a second Champions League title in three years as well as a fourth crown Consecutive Liga F. Select: Jonatan Giraldez (Barrca).

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