Player of the Year: Rodri (Man City)
The UEFA Technical Observer Council has voted Rodri the Best Player of the Champions League 2022/23 season. The 26-year-old midfielder participated in 12/13 matches of Man City in the journey to the European Championship, scoring 2 goals. Rodri’s outstanding role in the midfield of Man City is reflected in the number of 52 starts in all competitions this season. It should be known that during Pep Guardiola’s military career, only Messi started more with 57 matches in the 2011/12 season.
Rodri was particularly prominent in the final against Inter. The Spaniard with a decisive shot to hit the Italian opponent brought the first Champions League title for Man City. Rodri was also voted Player of the Year in the final in Istanbul.
“This victory is like a dream. This magical moment never happened to me. Man City fans have waited countless years to get this day. They deserve this championship, we deserve it too,” Rodri said after the final.
Young Player of the Year: Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli)
The Champions League Young Player of the Year award went to Napoli’s Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. The 22-year-old winger was instrumental in helping Napoli reach the quarter-finals with two goals and four assists in nine Champions League appearances this season.
“Kvara is unique and interesting. A top player despite his young age. He still has a lot to learn and when he does, Kvara will become a super player,” former Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti commented on the Georgia player.
Kvara’s first season in Serie A was also impressive. The 22-year-old became an inspiration for Napoli, who won Serie A for the first time since 1990. Kvara also won the Serie A Player of the Season award with 12 goals, 13 assists. after 34 games. In all competitions, Kvara recorded 14 and 17 assists after 43 appearances. The Georgian was so brilliant that Napoli fans called him “Kvaradona” in comparison to the club’s legendary Diego Maradona.
Man City overwhelms the Typical Team
It is not surprising that Man City dominated the Champions League Team of the Year voted by UEFA. Pep Guardiola’s team occupies 7 positions spread evenly across all three lines with Kyle Walke, Ruben Dias, John Stones, Kevin de Bruyne, Rodri, Bernardo Silva and Erling Haaland. Of these, De Bruyne is the best passer of the Champions League season (7 assists) and Haaland won the top scorer (12 goals).
The Inter runner-up contributed two faces, both from the defense including left-back Federico Dimarco and center-back Alessandro Bastoni. Dimarco is the lifeblood of Inter’s left wing, making 11 appearances in the Champions League this season and providing five assists. The 25-year-old was one of Inter’s best players in the final against Man City. Meanwhile, Bastoni has shown great maturity when becoming a reliable link in the Inter defense.
The remaining two positions in the Team of the Year belong to Real Madrid players with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and striker Vinicius. This season, Courtois still plays very stable and has many excellent performances against Liverpool and Chelsea. Meanwhile, Vinicius proved his key role in Real Madrid’s attack with 7 goals and 6 assists after 12 matches in the Champions League 2022/23.
Goal of the Season: Erling Haaland vs Dortmund
The award for the best goal of the Champions League season went to Haaland in the match against Dortmund in the second round of the group stage. In the 84th minute of the match at the Etihad, Joao Cancelo had a skillful outer cheek flick to put the ball into the penalty area. Haaland, despite being closely followed by two Dortmund defenders, still jumped up and kicked the ball like a karate martial art. The spectacular goal of the Norwegian striker brought a 2-1 victory for Man City.