EPL

Jorginho named UEFA Men's Player of the Year after Champions League and Euro 2020 success

By Sports Desk August 26, 2021

Jorginho has been crowned UEFA Men's Player of the Year for the 2020-21 campaign following a stellar year for club and country.

The 29-year-old helped Chelsea to Champions League success in May and followed that up by winning Euro 2020 with Italy six weeks later.

He started every game for Italy and missed just one match for the Blues in their run to continental glory as he became the 10th player to win both competitions in the same year.

Former Napoli midfielder Jorginho edged out Chelsea team-mate N'Golo Kante and Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne for the award at Thursday's ceremony in Istanbul.

It is the first time in the award's 11-year history that the top three was comprised exclusively of midfielders.

Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Kylian Mbappe, Cristiano Ronaldo and Erling Haaland were notable absentees from the three-man shortlist.

The award, which is based on performances at club and international level over the course of a season, was last year won by Lewandowski.

Jorginho's memorable campaign

The role Jorginho played in Italy's triumphant Euro 2020 campaign likely cemented the award, the deep-lying playmaker leading the way in a number of areas.

Jorginho topped the list for interceptions (25), recoveries (48) and fouls won (19), rightly earning himself a spot in the official Team of the Tournament.

He was just as important to Chelsea's second ever Champions League triumph, with no midfielder intercepting the ball more times (26), while only four players in his position completed more than his 662 passes.

Despite an underwhelming Premier League campaign on the whole for the Blues last time out, Jorginho topped the scoring charts with seven goals in total, each of those coming from the penalty spot.

Related items

  • Aubameyang has little chance of Arsenal future because 'they never knew how to forgive' – Adebayor Aubameyang has little chance of Arsenal future because 'they never knew how to forgive' – Adebayor

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has probably played his last game at Arsenal because the club never learnt "how to forgive", according to former Gunners striker Emmanuel Adebayor. 

    Aubameyang was stripped of the Arsenal captaincy in December for a disciplinary breach, which reportedly related to him returning late from a trip abroad. 

    It was by no means Aubameyang's first indiscretion, having also last year been reminded of his responsibilities after it was claimed he broke COVID-19 guidelines to get a tattoo. 

    The punishment did not stop at having the armband taken off him, though, with Mikel Arteta excluding Aubameyang from the squad for the rest of the month. 

    His exclusion led to Gabon asking for him to be released early for Africa Cup of Nations duty and Arsenal granted that request, only for him to return to his club without playing a single competitive game in Cameroon as he required medical follow-ups after contracting COVID-19. 

    Adebayor knows what it is like to have a fractious relationship with Arsenal and the club's fans, having hit out at both following his 2009 move to Manchester City. Two months later he scored against his former club and ran the length of the pitch to goad Gunners supporters, a celebration that has gone down in Premier League folklore. 

    Such have been his experiences with Arsenal, he seemingly sees no way back for Aubameyang. 

    He told reporters: "I know he's definitely going to go through a lot because that's Arsenal for you. You can't do whatever you do. 

    "They never learn or they never knew how to forgive. So, I know he will go through a lot. 

    "But he's a strong player, he's a good player, he's a fantastic player. I wish him all the best. 

    "I sent him a message already because we just want him to bounce back. 

    "He's our African brother and we want him to keep representing Africa the way he was doing it before the problem. 

    "This is what I know because it happened to me also. Not in the same way, but a way back? At Arsenal, I would be surprised. 

    "But as I'm telling you, he's a great player so let's see how he ends up." 

    Aubameyang has apparently rejected a move to Saudi Arabia, with the 32-year-old said to be eager to stay in Europe. 

  • Haaland facing tests on 'muscular problems' Haaland facing tests on 'muscular problems'

    Erling Haaland faces further tests on muscular problems sustained in Borussia Dortmund's 3-2 win over Hoffenheim on Saturday. 

    After opening the scoring in the sixth minute at the PreZero Arena, Haaland was forced off in the second half after suffering a knock. 

    The Norway international will commence treatment for muscular issues this week and now faces a race to be fit for the visit of Bayer Leverkusen on February 6.

    A Dortmund statement read: "Haaland was examined in detail on Sunday and Monday. According to the medical report, the Norwegian is suffering from muscular problems, which will require treatment and further examinations in the coming days. 

    "We hope that Erling will be back to full fitness as soon as possible and can get back to doing what he loves the most – scoring goals for BVB." 

    Haaland has scored 23 goals for Dortmund in all competitions this season. Only Karim Benzema (24) and Robert Lewandowski (34) have registered more among players from the top five European leagues. 

    However, among players to have scored more than 10 times, Haaland has the best minutes per goal ratio of 70.4. Lewandowski is a close second with a goal every 71 minutes. 

  • Saints in the dark over Sean Payton's future Saints in the dark over Sean Payton's future

    Sean Payton is yet to confirm to the New Orleans Saints whether he will remain as head coach for the 2022 season. 

    Payton has been at the helm in New Orleans since 2006, but reports in recent days have suggested he is far from certain to return next year. 

    In their first season since Drew Brees' retirement, the Saints marginally missed the playoffs with a 9-8 record. 

    It still marked another fine coaching performance from Payton, who had his team evacuated early in the year due to a hurricane and later had to deal with a number of coronavirus and injury absences. 

    Jameis Winston, promoted to a starting role at quarterback in Brees' place, tore his ACL in October following a promising 5-2 start in which he threw 14 touchdown passes and only three interceptions. 

    Payton, who is under contract through 2024, has a 152-89 regular-season record – the 13th-best of all time (minimum 100 games) – while he is 9-8 in the playoffs, winning Super Bowl XLIV. 

    The Saints hope he will further improve those totals next season, although owner Gayle Benson knows little more than New Orleans fans at this stage. 

    "We don't know," she told FOX 8 NOLA on Monday. "You know, who knows? We'll find out soon enough, I guess. 

    "I don't think any of us know. But he'll let us know soon enough." 

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.