Tuesday, September 28, 2021

JUST IN: Jorginho wins UEFA 2020/21 Player of the Year award

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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Chelsea and Italy midfielder Jorginho has been named 2021/21 UEFA Men’s Player of the Year.

The 29-year-old, who last season became only the tenth player to win a European Cup and a EURO in the same year, beat off competition from Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and Chelsea team-mate N’Golo Kanté. The award was announced during the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League group stage draw in Istanbul.

The top ten
1 Jorginho (Chelsea & Italy) – 175 points
2 Kevin De Bruyne (Man. City & Belgium) – 167 points
3 N’Golo Kanté (Chelsea & France) – 160 points
4 Lionel Messi (Barcelona, now at Paris & Argentina) – 148 points
5 Robert Lewandowski (Bayern & Poland) – 140 points
6 Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan, now at Paris & Italy) – 49 points
7 Kylian Mbappé (Paris & France) – 31 points
8 Raheem Sterling (Man. City & England) – 18 points
9 Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus & Portugal) – 16 points
10 Erling Haaland (Dortmund & Norway) – 15 points

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Why did he win the vote?
The metronomic midfielder proved to be the perfect foil for Kanté as Chelsea called the tune against European heavyweights Atlético, Real Madrid and Manchester City on their way to UEFA Champions League glory.

The Player of the Match display against Porto in Chelsea’s quarter-final opener underlined his ability to dictate play and vindicated Thomas Tuchel’s decision to make him part of his first-choice midfield pairing. Roberto Mancini took note, making the 29-year-old the linchpin of Italy’s EURO-winning outfit.

2020/21 in numbers
UEFA Champions League winner, UEFA EURO 2020 winner, FA Cup runner-up

UEFA Champions League
Appearances: 12
Goals: 1
Assists: 1
Player of the Match awards (KOs): 1

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Appearances: 7
Goals: 0
Assists: 0
Star of the Match awards: 0

Penalty hero Jorginho on Italy win
Domestic league
Appearances: 28
Goals: 7

How he was selected
A jury of coaches and journalists chose their top three players, with the first receiving five points, the second three and the third one. Coaches were not allowed to vote for players from their own team.

The jury comprised the following:

24 coaches of the teams which participated in this summer’s UEFA EURO 2020
80 coaches of the clubs that participated in the group stages of the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League (32) and UEFA Europa League (48)
55 journalists selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group, one from each of UEFA’s member associations

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Jorginho testimonials
“He is a refined player, probably not understandable by everyone. You have to set your eyes on him and only watch him in the game. He is so good and intelligent that he makes everything seem easy, rarely anything spectacular remains in your eyes. This is its greatness.”
Maurizio Sarri, former Chelsea manager

“The way he controls the game, retrieves the ball and presses opponents is incredible.”
José Mourinho, former Chelsea manager

“Jorginho is the symbol of this Italy team, thanks to him Italy managed not to concede many goals. Watching him live, I realised how important he is for this team.”
Fabio Capello, former England manager

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