Europe’s top five leagues reached their conclusion over the weekend.
Manchester City got their hands on the Premier League trophy, Atletico Madrid pipped rivals Real Madrid to the La Liga crown, Lille finished one point above Paris Saint-Germain at the top of Ligue 1, while Inter Milan and Bayern Munich celebrated their Serie A and Bundesliga titles.
But who were the best performing players in Europe’s top five leagues over the course of the 2020-21 season?
Using WhoScored.com’s data, we’ve compiled a list of the 20 players who won the most Man of the Match (MOTM) awards this term.
Let’s just say, there are no prizes for guessing who ended the season with the most MOTM awards.
20. Romelu Lukaku | MOTM awards: 7 (Rating: 7.47)
Lukaku was in tears after winning the Serie A title. The Belgian striker, who scored 24 league goals and provided 11 assists for Inter this season, has cemented his status as one of Europe’s most lethal forwards since joining the Nerazzurri from Manchester United.
19. Aurelien Tchouameni | MOTM awards: 8 (Rating: 7.16)
Recently linked with a move to Chelsea, AS Monaco and France Under-21 midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni appears to have a big future ahead of him.
18. Zinedine Ferhat | MOTM awards: 8 (Rating: 7.21)
Nimes were relegated from Ligue 1 but the team’s No. 10, Zinedine Ferhat, still managed to produce eight Man of the Match performances.
The 28-year-old, who scored six goals and registered 10 assists, will surely be on the radar of top-flight clubs this summer.
17. Andrej Kramaric | MOTM awards: 8 (Rating: 7.23)
Only three players scored more Bundesliga goals than Hoffenheim star Andrej Kramaric this season - although one of those was Robert Lewandowski, who found the net a ridiculous 41 times for Bayern Munich.
In 28 appearances, the Croatian bagged 20 goals and provided an additional five assists for his teammates.
16. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic | MOTM awards: 8 (Rating: 7.30)
Once extremely highly-rated, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has spent the past six years with Lazio and remains a key player for the Italian outfit.
The 26-year-old scored eight goals and chipped in with nine assists.
15. Iago Aspas | MOTM awards: 8 (Rating: 7.32)
The Iago Aspas who flopped at Liverpool is nothing like the Iago Aspas who has been absolutely brilliant for Celta Vigo for most of his career.
Celta’s talismanic forward, 33, netted 14 goals and registered 13 assists this season.
14. Domenico Berardi | MOTM awards: 8 (Rating: 7.42)
Sassuolo enjoyed a decent campaign and were somewhat unfortunate to miss out on a place in the UEFA Europa Conference League.
Domenico Berardi was the team’s star man, scoring 17 goals and in 30 matches.
13. Andre Silva | MOTM awards: 8 (Rating: 7.51)
Only Lewandowski scored more Bundesliga goals than Andre Silva (28).
The Portuguese forward also provided five assists as Eintracht Frankfurt finished fifth in Germany’s top division.
12. Zlatan Ibrahimovic | MOTM awards: 8 (Rating: 7.57)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic turns 40 in October but he’s still one of the world’s best finishers.
The AC Milan superstar bagged 15 goals in just 19 games this season. He recently put pen to paper on a one-year contract extension with the Rossoneri.
11. Karim Benzema | MOTM awards: 8 (Rating: 7.57)
Real Madrid may have lost out to Atletico in the La Liga title race, but take nothing away from Karim Benzema’s performances this season.
The French striker, who will feature for Les Bleus at Euro 2020 following several years in the international wilderness, netted 23 league goals for Los Blancos.
10. Cristiano Ronaldo | MOTM awards: 8 (Rating: 7.61)
Ronaldo may have been left out of Juventus’s biggest game of the season on the final weekend but the legendary Portuguese forward still managed to bag the club’s Player of the Season award.
The 36-year-old, who might leave Turin this summer, ended the campaign as Italy’s top scorer with an impressive 29 goals. He becomes the only player in history to win the top scorer awards in the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A.
9. Erling Haaland | MOTM awards: 8 (Rating: 7.63)
Haaland has the potential to follow in Ronaldo’s footsteps by becoming one of the world’s most revered goalscorers.
The 20-year-old scored 27 goals for Borussia Dortmund in 28 Bundesliga appearances. He also registered six assists. Remarkable numbers from a truly special talent.
8. Kevin De Bruyne | MOTM awards: 8 (Rating: 7.65)
Kevin De Bruyne has been typically outstanding for Manchester City this season. If the Belgian inspires his team to glory in the Champions League final, he should be a genuine contender for the 2021 Ballon d’Or.
Although he only scored six league goals, De Bruyne did provide 12 assists for his City teammates.
7. Memphis Depay | MOTM awards: 9 (Rating: 7.56)
Memphis Depay is expected to join Barcelona if Ronald Koeman remains in charge of the Catalan club beyond this summer.
The former Manchester United winger has scored 20 goals and registered 12 assists during a superb individual campaign for Lyon.
6. Lorenzo Insigne | MOTM awards: 11 (Rating: 7.56)
Lorenzo Insigne found the net 19 times, and set up another seven more goals, for Napoli this term.
The diminutive Italian forward has consistently produced impressive numbers for his current employers in recent seasons.
5. Robert Lewandowski | MOTM awards: 11 (Rating: 8.07)
Lewandowski broke Gerd Muller’s long-standing record for most goals in a single Bundesliga campaign on the final day of the season.
The Bayern Munich striker has been exceptional throughout the 2020-21 campaign and the only surprise is that he doesn’t have more MOTM awards to his name.
4. Rodrigo De Paul | MOTM awards: 12 (Rating 7.41)
Udinese have struggled at times this season but Rodrigo De Paul has been the team’s shining light in midfield.
The Argentina international earned 12 MOTM awards, despite the fact Udinese finished 14th in the Serie A table.
3. Gerard Moreno | MOTM awards: 12 (Rating 7.62)
Only Lionel Messi scored more La Liga goals than Gerard Moreno (23) during the 2020-21 campaign.
The 29-year-old Villarreal forward has been included in Luis Enrique’s Spain squad for Euro 2020.
2. Harry Kane | MOTM awards: 13 (Rating 7.79)
Harry Kane won the 2020-21 Premier League Golden Boot award on the final day of the season after netting his 23rd league goal in Tottenham’s 4-2 victory away at Leicester City.
But has Kane played his final match for Spurs? The England striker wants to win trophies and could end up at Manchester City, Manchester United or Chelsea next season.
1. Lionel Messi | MOTM awards: 22 (Rating: 8.52)
But in first place it’s Lionel Messi with a ridiculous 22 MOTM awards.
Fortunately for Barcelona, it appears the Argentine *is* prepared to sign a contract extension and will team up with his close pal Sergio Aguero at Camp Nou next season.
Is Messi still the world’s best footballer? WhoScored.com’s stats certainly suggest that’s the case.