Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe (right)
The number of man-of-the-match awards a player picks up over the course of a season is a good measure of how impactful he is for his team.
In today’s world, the debate over who is the best footballer in the world has become pretty loud. People are always throwing statistics around to back up their claims. For example, a striker’s worth is measured by the number of goals he scores while that of a playmaker is gaged by the number of assists he provides.
But these numbers do not reveal the whole picture. A better metric for estimating the impact a player has on his side is the number of man-of-the-match awards he earns over the course of a season.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at five players with the most man-of-the-match awards in Europe this season (2021-22).
(Note: Only Europe’s top five leagues have been considered for this list)
#5 Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) – 8 man-of-the-match awards
1. FSV Mainz 05 v FC Bayern München – Bundesliga
Robert Lewandowski has been one of the most consistent players in Europe over the last several years. The Bayern Munich marksman is also the most prolific goalscorer on the continent. Lewandowski has been in prime goalscoring form once again this term and his numbers are extraordinary this time around as well.
He has scored 34 goals and provided two assists in 32 Bundesliga appearances so far this season. The Poland international has his heart set on leaving, as per Sky Sport Germany. His current contract with the Bavarians expires in the summer of 2023.
As such, Bayern Munich could be forced to sell him if he wants to leave at the end of the ongoing season. Otherwise, they’ll run the risk of losing him on a free transfer next summer.
Lewandowski has picked up eight man-of-the-match awards in the Bundesliga so far this term.
#4 Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo) – 8 man-of-the-match awards
US Sassuolo v Atalanta BC – Serie A
Domenico Berardi is one of the most underrated attackers of his generation. The Italy international has been racking up incredible numbers every season but somehow slips under the radar all the time. It probably happens because he doesn’t play for one of the European giants.
Berardi has been in top form in the 2021-22 season for Sassuolo. He has netted 14 goals and picked up 13 assists in 30 Serie A appearances so far this term. The 27-year-old has also won eight man-of-the-match awards, which is a fair reflection of how influential he is for his club.
#3 Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig) – 9 man-of-the-match awards
RB Leipzig v TSG Hoffenheim – Bundesliga
Christopher Nkunku is one of the most improved players of the 2021-22 season. The RB Leipzig forward has taken Europe by storm this term and has now become one of the most sought-after forwards in the game.
The 24-year-old had a modest return of seven goals and 11 assists from 40 appearances across all competitions for RB Leipzig in the 2020-21 season. He has scored 32 goals and provided 20 assists in 49 appearances across all competitions for the Bundesliga outfit so far this term.
Out of those, 18 goals and 15 assists have come in the Bundesliga. The Frenchman has picked up nine man-of-the-match awards for his efforts this season.
#2 Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) – 10 man-of-the-match awards
Real Madrid v Manchester City Semi Final Leg Two – UEFA Champions League
Karim Benzema is inarguably the biggest star of the season. He has played the best football of his career this term and has been in phenomenal form for Real Madrid. Benzema’s goalscoring and playmaking exploits have played a critical role in propelling Real Madrid to their 35th La Liga title.
Benzema has been unstoppable in the Champions League as well. He scored a hat-trick in the second leg of Real Madrid’s Round of 16 win over Paris Saint-Germain. The Frenchman followed it up with another hat-trick in the first leg of the quarter-final tie against Chelsea.
He also scored the winning goal for Los Blancos in the second leg against the Blues. Benzema then bagged a brace in the first leg of the semi-final against Manchester City before providing an assist and scoring the winning goal in the second leg.
Yes, he’s been that influential. He has been pretty dominant in La Liga as well, winning 10 man-of-the-match awards for his side.
#1 Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain) – 11 man-of-the-match awards
Real Madrid v Paris Saint-Germain: Round Of Sixteen Leg Two – UEFA Champions League
Kylian Mbappe has been in spectacular form for Paris Saint-Germain this season. He has been their standout performer by far and it’s a pity that the star-studded PSG side crashed out of the Champions League in the Round of 16.
With his blistering pace and incredible trickery, Mbappe continues to be a nightmare to defend against. He has scored 24 goals and provided 15 assists in 35 Ligue 1 appearances so far this season.
The 23-year-old has also won 11 man-of-the-match awards, the most for any player across Europe’s top five leagues this term.