We’re nearing the end of the 2021 international break, and players have left their clubs to join their national teams. There will be a lot of World Cup Qualifier action over the next few weeks. Following that, club football will resume in full force as we approach the holiday season.
Almost a quarter of the 2021-22 season has already been played in all five of Europe’s top leagues. We already have a good idea of how the season will unfold as it goes on. Some of the world’s best players have lived up to their reputations, while others still find their feet.
With 11 gameweeks completed in Europe’s top five leagues, it’s time to examine the most consistent and best-performing players. The number of man-of-the-match awards a player has received is a good indicator of this.
Without further ado, here are the five players who received the most man-of-the-match awards in 2021-22.
Mentioned in passing: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) and Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain)
In recent years, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have dominated the lists. However, both players are now on the wrong side of 30 and far from the pinnacle of their abilities. Last season, Messi led the league in man-of-the-match awards with 22.
After joining PSG in the summer, the Argentine has yet to win a Ligue 1 man-of-the-match award. Cristiano Ronaldo joined Manchester United in the summer and has already won two Premier League man-of-the-match awards.
Number 5: Iker Muniain – 4 Times
Iker Muniain, the athletic Bilbao winger, has been in excellent form this season. He has started all 12 of Athletic’s matches this season and has been a creative force in attack for Marcelino Garcia’s team.
Muniain has created 43 chances in the 2021-22 La Liga season, the most for any player in Europe’s top five leagues. He has two goals and three assists to his credit, as well as four man-of-the-match awards.
In the Basque derby a week ago, he equalized in stoppage time against Real Sociedad. Munian has excellent footwork and movement when he has the ball at his feet. His game intelligence is first-rate, and it’s no surprise that he’s Athletic Bilbao’s main attacking threat these days.
Number 4: Teji Savanier – 4 times
Teji Savanier, the captain of Montpellier, has been in excellent form over the last two months. The attacking midfielder is a technically adept customer with exceptional dribbling ability and a keen eye for a pass.
The Frenchman demonstrates excellent timing while playing some lovely well-weighted through balls and is currently one of the best playmakers in Ligue 1. This season, he has three goals and four assists in 11 appearances across all competitions.
In the 2021-22 season, the 29-year-old has also won four man-of-the-match awards.
Number 3: Mohamed Salah – 4 Times
Mohamed Salah, who turned 29 this summer, appears to have passed his prime. But we could not have been more mistaken. In the 2021-22 season, he has been unstoppable, playing the best football of his life.
He appears to have improved all of his abilities. When he’s dribbling in and around the final third, the ball sticks to his feet and it’s nearly impossible to shake him off it. He is extremely accurate with his shooting and hasn’t lost any of the speed that has made him one of the best wingers in recent years.
Salah’s numbers for the 2021-22 season are fascinating. In 15 appearances for Liverpool across all competitions, the Egyptian international has 15 goals and six assists. In 11 Premier League appearances, he has scored 10 goals and provided six assists.
Salah has also won four man-of-the-match awards, which is incredible given the caliber of players in Liverpool’s lineup.
Number 2: Lorenzo Pellegrini -5 Times
Lorenzo Pellegrini, the captain of AS Roma, has been in excellent form this season. The 25-year-old Italian international can play in any midfield position. He has an excellent passing range and is constantly keeping things moving in the center of the field.
Because of his deft touches and body feints, he can elude defenders. Pellegrini also has a powerful shot. In 11 Serie A appearances this season, he has five goals and two assists.
Number 1: Karim Benzema -5 Times
This year, Karim Benzema has played some of the best football of his illustrious career. He scored four goals in four appearances at Euro 2020 to mark his return to the national team after a six-year absence. Benzema then scored crucial goals in France’s UEFA Nations League semi-final and final victories.
The 33-year-old striker is regarded as one of the most complete strikers of his generation. His playmaking abilities are almost as good as his goal-scoring abilities. Benzema has been Real Madrid’s main man in attack for the past two seasons, and he relishes the responsibility.
In 11 La Liga appearances this season, he has 10 goals and seven assists. Benzema has also received a total of five man-of-the-match awards.