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 last season’s Player of the Year and Coach of the Year awards.

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

Karim Benzema was the front-runner in the men’s trophy and he took home the title, bringing him a step closer to his expected triumph at the prestigious Ballon d’Or on October 17. The Real Madrid forward was incredible last season, scoring 42 goals between La Liga and Champions League and leading his club to a famous double.

In recent years, UEFA has also presented individual position-specific awards, with awards for best goalkeeper, best defender, best midfielder and best striker. However, UEFA confirmed to The Sporting News that those awards have been axed. It’s not immediately clear if those awards have been removed permanently or just for this season.

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

MORE: Which teams are in the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League?


2021/22 UEFA Player of the Year Award

There are three nominees for the Men’s and Women’s Player of the Year awards.

UEFA Player of the Year: Karim Benzema

The Real Madrid forward was the undisputed winner of this accolade, leading all Champions League goalscorers with 15 goals en route to another European title, giving him 42 goals in total between La Liga and continental competitions.

With the World Cup looming and the French national team called up, Benzema is in top form. The 34-year-old is expected to follow that accolade with the Ballon d’Or, which will be presented in mid-October.

Shortlisted nominees:

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player association nationality
Karim Benzema real Madrid France
Thibaut Courtois real Madrid Belgium
Kevin De Bruyne man city Belgium

Recent UEFA Men’s Player of the Year winners

Year player association nationality
2020/21 Jorginho Chelsea Italy
2019/20 Robert Lewandowski Bayern Munich Poland
2018/19 Virgil van Dijk Liverpool Netherlands
2017/18 Luke Modric real Madrid Croatia
2016/17 Cristiano Ronaldo real Madrid Portugal

UEFA Female Player of the Year: Alexia Putellas

Before Alexia Putellas fell to the ground in agony with an ACL injury just before Euro 2022, she rose to the top of the world football game. Putellas, the Ballon d’Or champion, has taken Barcelona to new heights.

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

Shortlisted nominees:

player association nationality
Beth Met arsenal England
Lena Oberdorf Wolfsburg Germany
Alexia Putellas Barcelona Spain

Recent Player of the Year winners

Year player association nationality
2020/21 Alexia Putellas Barcelona Spain
2019/20 Pernille Harder Wolfsburg Denmark
2018/19 Lucy Bronze Lyons England
2017/18 Pernille Harder Wolfsburg Denmark
2016/17 love martens Barcelona Netherlands

2021/22 UEFA Coach of the Year award

Men’s Coach of the Year: Carlo Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti, who guided Real Madrid to the club’s record 14th Champions League en route to domestic and continental doubles, remains one of the finest coaches in world football.

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

Nicknamed ‘Don Carlo’, Ancelotti made two incredible comebacks in the second leg en route to last year’s Champions League title. First, he defeated PSG 3-2 on aggregate after falling 2-0 at half-time in the second leg, before sending Man City home 6-5 on aggregate after a 4-3 first-leg defeat.

Shortlisted nominees:

Coach association nationality
Carlo Ancelotti real Madrid Italy
pep Guardiola man city Spain
Jürgen Klopp Liverpool Germany

Current winners:

Year player association nationality
2020/21 Thomas Tuchel PSG & Chelsea Germany
2019/20 Hansi Flick Bayern Munich Germany
2015/16 Claudio Ranieri Leicester City Italy
2014/15 Luis Enrique Barcelona Spain
2013/14 Unai Emery Seville Spain

The Men’s Coach of the Year award was previously known as the European Football Coach of the Season award, which has been defunct since 2016. The award was revived in 2020 for UEFA’s Best of awards.

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Women’s Coach of the Year: Sarina Wiegman

England coach Sarina Wiegman wins this year’s Coach of the Year award. The 52-year-old only joined the national team in November and guided England to the Euro 2022 crown. With 18 wins and two draws, she has yet to lose a single game against England.

A former midfielder for the UNC Tar Heels and with 99 caps for the Netherlands national team, Wiegman coached the Netherlands for four years before joining England.

Shortlisted nominees:

Coach club/team nationality
Sonja Bompastor Lyons France
Martina Voss-Tecklenburg Germany Germany
Sarina Wiegman England Netherlands

Current winners:

Year player association nationality
2020/21 Luis Cortes Barcelona Spain
2019/20 Jean Luc Vaseur Lyons France

2021/22 UEFA Goal of the Year award

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

Once the 10-goal shortlist is established, the UEFA Goal of the Year award will be split into two awards. One is chosen by the technical committee, while another is voted on by the fans.

Best Goal Nominees 2021/22 (Check out the goals here)

player association date Opponent
Karim Benzema real Madrid April 6, 2022 Chelsea
Vinicius, Jr. real Madrid October 19, 2021 Shakhtar Donetsk
Kylian Mbappe PSG February 15, 2022 real Madrid
Robert Lewandowski Bayern Munich November 23, 2021 Dynamo Kyiv
Marco Asensio real Madrid December 7, 2021 Inter
Alex Telles man united September 29, 2021 villa real
Sebastian Till Sheriff Tiraspol September 28, 2021 real Madrid
Rodrygo real Madrid April 12, 2022 Chelsea
Lionel Messi PSG September 28, 2021 man city
Thiago Liverpool November 24, 2021 postage

Technical Observers’ Goal of the Year: Karim Benzema 1st goal v Chelsea, 6 April 2022

Karim Benzema’s hat-trick against Chelsea in the Champions League semifinals helped set the stage for Real Madrid’s title shot.

The 3-1 first-leg win, inspired by Benzema’s hat-trick, saw Madrid return home to seal the deal and secure a place in the final.

Benzema’s first goal was the best of them all, a header just outside the penalty spot that gave goalkeeper Edouard Mendy no chance. Vinicius Jr’s delivery was just behind the France striker but Benzema managed to contort his body perfectly to deliver a header from long-range.

Fan Goal of the Year: Thiago, Liverpool vs Porto, 24 November 2021

Thiago’s deep strike in the 2-0 win over Porto in the Champions League group stage won the fan vote for the best goal of the 2021/22 season.

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Recent winners (check out past Goal of the Year winners here):

Year player association date Opponent
2020/21 Mehdi Taremi postage April 13, 2021 Chelsea
2018/19 Lionel Messi Barcelona May 1, 2019 Liverpool
2017/18 Cristiano Ronaldo real Madrid April 3, 2018 juventus
2016/17 Mario Mandzukic juventus June 3, 2017 real Madrid
2015/16 Lionel Messi Barcelona May 6, 2015 Bayern Munich

Note: The UEFA Fans Goal of the Year award was not awarded in 2019/20 due to COVID-19.

UEFA President’s Award

The UEFA President’s Award is presented to recognize achievement, personality and other qualities across European football.

According to the official description of the UEFA award, the President’s Award is given to those who “deliver outstanding achievements that transcend sport”.

“The UEFA President’s Award recognizes professional excellence and exemplary personal qualities on and off the pitch.”

Last season, Denmark national team captain Simon Kjaer received the award along with the fieldside medical team during Denmark’s opening Euro 2020 match at Copenhagen Stadium. They were recognized for their actions in saving the life of Christian Eriksen, who collapsed during the game and was revived on the pitch.

This year the award goes to Italy coach Arrigo Sacchi, who guided AC Milan to the Serie A title in 1987/88 and back-to-back European titles in 1989 and 1990.

“Although Sacchi never played top-flight football, he was always a model student of the game,” said UEFA President Alexander Ceferin in the official UEFA statement.

“Sacchi reinvented the ethos of teamwork that went beyond mere harmony on the pitch. Perfect synchronization and a winning mentality, whether playing home or away, felt almost supernatural in the 1980s. That’s exactly what excellence differs from ambitious.”

Previous UEFA Presidential Award winners

Year winner
2022 Arrigo Sacchi
2021 Simon Kjaer & Danish medical staff
2020 Didier Drogba
2019 Eric Canton
2018 David Beckham
2017 Francesco Toti
2014 Joseph Masopust
2013 John Cruyff
2012 Franz Beckenbauer
2011 Gianni Rivera
2010 Raymond Kopa
2009 Eusebio
2008 Sir Bobby Charlton
2007 Alfredo di Stefano
2006 Wilhelm Straub
2005 Frank Rijkaard
2004 Ernie Walker
2003 Paul Maldini
2002 Sir Bobby Robson
2001 Juan Santisteban
2000 Guy Roux
1998 Jacques Delors

*The award was not presented in 1999, 2015 or 2016

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