Manchester United was all over on the honors boards at the UEFA Awards this year as Norwegian goal scoring monster Erling Haaland wins UEFA Player of the Year Award, coupled with club boss Pep Guardiola, who wins the UEFA Coach of the Year award. Along with them, English women’s team manager Sarina Weigman and Aitana Bonmati from Barcelona won their respective titles owing to exploits in the world cup and leagues.
Erling Haaland- a new winner of UEFA Player of the Year
Erling Haaland, who has already been compared to the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, has set a milestone once again last night when he was adjudged the winner of UEFA Player of the Year, owing to a fantastic season in the League, which saw him win the treble with Manchester City. Owing to his berserk exploits for the club, Haaland was rightly chosen as the winner, surpassing the likes of football stalwarts like Kevin De Bruyne, who also happens to be his teammate at City, and Argentine World Cup winner Lionel Messi, who stood a close second, behind Haaland. Haaland set a milestone last night when he won his second award within a week, after he was declared PFA Player of the Year, on Tuesday.
According to several football pundits, Haaland would be one of the greatest players in the world, as he has already established himself on the big stage, by winning the coveted Champions League in his first year with City. Signed from Dortmund, the 1.94 meter tall Norwegian has already been a big name in the Premier League, and is a supposition to escape for City boss Pep, as Haaland brings with him his exceptional goal scoring ability, utilizing his tantalizingly tall frame to score bangers, be it with his head or with his feet. As a result, he has fetched himself the title of a ‘goal-poacher’ and has already been a nightmare for opponent defenders.
Last season, he was the talk of the town, as he went berserk in front of the goal, scoring 52 goals in a single season, and is dubbed as the star who is on the right track to break Messi’s record of scoring 92 goals in a calendar year, when the Argentine poetic hero set an unbreakable record at FC Barcelona, in 2012.
Thus, it will take Haaland some time to come back to reality after gaining some valuable awards within a week, as the youngster would look to keep up the ante in the current season.
Aitana Bonmati- the Spanish ‘hero’
Aitana Bonmati has been one of the top class midfielders the women’s football world is currently praising of. She has led the Spanish national team to their maiden World Cup glory, after edging past England 1-0 in the final, owing to an Olga Carmona goal, thus fetching her one more accolade of the season, after she won the Liga F and UEFA Champions League titles with FC Barcelona last season. She was adjudged the golden ball winner at the world cup owing to her exploits with the ball, as her finesse ranged from beautiful assists to scoring wonder goals.
Dubbed as the female “Iniesta” by managing stalwart Pep Guardiola, Aitana has tasted success with her club FC Barcelona, as the 25-year old was instrumental in leading the Blaugranas to a La Liga Femeni victory, coupled with a UEFA Champions League success, when the Catalans made a remarkable “remontada” against German side Wolfsburg, winning the game 3-2 after trailing 0-2 at half-time, courtesy a double from Guijarro.
With a UEFA Player of the Year on the fray, Aitana would look to maintain this streak as she would look to secure another successful season with FC Barcelona.
Pep Guardiola- the ‘boss’
While the award show was swept by star players, it was time for the managers to taste their share of success. Manchester City boss, who is considered to be one of the biggest and greatest managers of the world, Pep Guardiola was adjudged the winner of UEFA Coach of the Year, owing to his exploits with the “Cityzens” last season. He edged fellow bosses Simone Inzaghi, who led Serie A giants Inter Milan to UEFA Champions League final where the Nerazzuris lost 0-1 to Pep’s City, and Napoli boss Luciano Spalletti, who led Napoli to their much-awaited Scudetto, after a hiatus of more than three decades.
The fight for the best manager was a three-throng attack, with all three managers a perfect candidate to get their hands on the trophy. Simone Inzaghi led Inter to their much awaited silverwares, when he clinched Italian Super Cup and Coppa Italia, but narrowly missed out on the coveted Champions League, when they lost out to Manchester City by 0-1.
Napoli boss Spalletti led the Partenopei to their first scudetto after 30 years, thus vying for an equal share on the nominees’ list of the best coaches. Coupled with the likes of Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Napoli won the Serie A title after a three-decade long hiatus.
But, Pep was the pick among the three as he spearheaded his Manchester City side to a historic treble, which started off with an emphatic FA Cup victory over crosstown rivals Manchester United, followed with a Premier League title. But, winning the Champions League added a feather to his crown, as he became the first manager to win the coveted UCL with two different teams- FC Barcelona and Manchester City. Although it was Mikel Arteta’ Arsenal, who were on top of the table for most of the season, City overhauled them in the last few weeks, thus leading them to a fourth Premier League title in five years, making them one of the consistent teams in the English League.
Pep’s style of play has evolved over the years, and he has been the driving force behind bringing the best out of every player in his club, making him one of the master tacticians of the football world. Although his initial style of holding the ball and dominating possession is still on the deck, he has tweaked several issues and has achieved success with his 3-2-2-3 formation, which he deployed last season. He has been one of the successful managers of the world, winning 34 trophies in his 14-year managerial stint, and his fans can be assured of more silverwares to come in the upcoming days.