Official UEFA Champions League Man of the Match award introduced

The competition's star performers are to be recognised from the round of 16 onwards by UEFA’s technical observers, who include Gareth Southgate and Roberto Martínez.

The new UEFA Champions League Man of the Match award
The new UEFA Champions League Man of the Match award

UEFA will give out an official Man of the Match award after every UEFA Champions League knockout stage game to recognise the top performers in Europe's top club competition.

UEFA Technical Observers at each UEFA Champions League game from the round of 16 on will decide who deserves the Man of the Match, with an official award being handed to the successful players after full-time in recognition of their roles in decisive moments, tactical maturity, creativity and inspiration, exceptional skill and fair play.

UEFA's Technical Observers for the round of 16 are a host of top former players who have shone at the highest levels in European competition. They are:

Packie Bonner
Republic of Ireland goalkeeper; made over 600 appearances for Celtic (1978–98).

Cosmin Contra
Ex-AC Milan, Atlético and Romania right-back; coached Romania (2017–19).

Aitor Karanka
Athletic Club and Real Madrid central defender; more recently a coach in England.

Robbie Keane
The Republic of Ireland's most-capped player (146 appearances) and international top scorer (68 goals).

Roberto Martínez
Current Belgium coach; successful in England with Swansea, Wigan and Everton.

Ginés Meléndez
Highly-regarded Spanish youth team coach; led La Roja to U17 and U19 successes.

Phil Neville
Ex-Manchester United and England defender/midfielder; current England women's boss.

Willi Ruttensteiner
Austrian coaching expert; current sporting director of the Israel national team.

Gareth Southgate
England manager since 2016; England defender/midfielder from 1995–2004.