UEFA Men's Player of the Year nominee: the case for Jorginho
Thursday, August 19, 2021
The Chelsea and Italy midfielder is one of three nominees for the 2020/21 UEFA Men's Player of the Year award
Article top media content
Jorginho is on the three-man shortlist for the 2020/21 UEFA Men's Player of the Year award. UEFA.com analyses why he is in the running alongside Kevin De Bruyne and N'Golo Kanté.
Why he was nominated
The metronomic midfielder proved to be the perfect foil for Kanté as Chelsea called the tune against European heavyweights Atlético, Real Madrid and Manchester City on their way to UEFA Champions League glory.
The Player of the Match display against Porto in Chelsea’s quarter-final opener underlined his ability to dictate play and vindicated Thomas Tuchel’s decision to make him part of his first-choice midfield pairing. Roberto Mancini took note, making the 29-year-old the linchpin of Italy’s EURO-winning outfit.
2020/21 in numbers
UEFA Champions League winner, UEFA EURO 2020 winner, FA Cup runner-up
UEFA Champions League
Player of the Match awards (KOs): 1
UEFA EURO 2020
Star of the Match awards: 0
Top three performances
Porto 0-2 Chelsea
"He was in the right place at the right time throughout," UEFA technical observer Cosmin Contra said after this quarter-final first leg. Jorginho combined his usual sound defensive play and midfield ball circulation with a gorgeous pass for Mason Mount that carved open the hosts for the opener.
Italy 1-1 Spain (4-2 on pens)
Arguably the most important player as the Azzurri won UEFA EURO 2020, Jorginho rarely makes the headlines. Here was another fine all-round showing, cumulative, crucial, providing balance, but for once the spotlight was on him as he fired in the decisive penalty in the semi-final shoot-out. As with everything, he made it look easy.
UEFA EURO 2020
Jorginho topped the list for interceptions (25), recoveries (48) and fouls drawn (19) at EURO 2020, always in the thick of things, ever reliable. His leadership and organisational skills were second to none, too: team-mates call him 'Il Professore' or 'Radio Jorginho' for the way he directs the team and continuously talks during games.
Last year's winner
Robert Lewandowski won the 2019/20 UEFA Men's Player of the Year award. The Bayern striker scored in every game en route to the UEFA Champions League final in Lisbon, picking up 15 goals and six assists as well as the trophy he had coveted for so long. He also hit 34 goals in 31 Bundesliga matches and six in five German Cup games.