UEFA introduces Man of the Match award for Champions League

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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.

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.

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UEFA Technical Observers at each UEFA Champions League game from the round of 16 onwards 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 has stated in a report on its official website.

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).

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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.

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