💫 OneFootball’s UWCL Season Awards 2023/24 | OneFootball

💫 OneFootball’s UWCL Season Awards 2023/24 | OneFootball

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Chloe Digby·26 May 2024

💫 OneFootball’s UWCL Season Awards 2023/24

Article image:💫 OneFootball’s UWCL Season Awards 2023/24

The 2023/24 UWCL trophy was lifted by Barcelona, as Jonatan Giráldez and his side beat Lyon in the final after a tough battle at the San Mamés in Bilbao

Just before we wrap on this year’s tournament, it’s time to hand out our awards.

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Player of the Tournament 👏

Barcelona’s Aitana Bonmatí takes the award in this category, not only thanks to her goal in the final, but also her huge all-round contribution to her team’s success.

Only three players – Chelsea’s Erin Cuthbert, Barça team-mate Keira Walsh and Lindsey Horan of Lyon – covered more ground in the tournament than her figure of 42.1km in the matches leading up to the final, but it wasn’t only her running that gives her the edge over any other player.

This year’s Ballon d’Or winner is quick too. Only five players have achieved a marginally higher top speed than the dynamic midfielder, and she completed an astonishing 506 of 578 passing attempts ahead of the final, showing that she truly has been moulded into what Barcelona require from their players.

Six goals and six assists shows exactly how vital Bonmatí has been to her side in Europe this season, and there was that crucial strike against Chelsea in the second-leg of the semi-final that levelled up the aggregate score at Stamford Bridge.

Whether it’s for club or country, we know that Aitana Bonmatí is a thorn in any opponent’s side.

Young Player of the Tournament 👶

Article image:💫 OneFootball’s UWCL Season Awards 2023/24

Is there anything that 20-year-old Salma Paralluelo can’t do?

She’s already had to choose between athletics and football after a spectacular youth career in both sports and is the only player to have won all three of the U-17 World Cup, U-20 World Cup and the World Cup itself.

The Spain international has gone from strength to strength since she opted to focus solely on football, and has really shone in the UWCL this season.

Six goals and one assist make her the joint fourth top scorer in the tournament alongside team-mate Bonmatí, and it’s looking like Paralluelo could be even more dangerous next season.

Breakthrough Player of the Tournament 💨

26-year-old Roma midfielder Manuela Giugliano really showed what she was about, even though her side failed to advance beyond a very difficult group that contained PSG, Bayern Munich and Ajax.

Her tally for the tournament comes to four goals and four assists in total, including a strike that gave Roma the lead over Bayern, before the German side eventually levelled the scores to finish the game at 2-2.

Giugliano had already added an assist for team-mate Valentina Giacinti in that match, which saw her handed the Player of the Match award at the final whistle.

Coach of the Tournament 👔

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Although her season ended in disappointment, it’s clear that an elite player in the women’s game has become an elite manager.

After learning her craft in the Lyon academy for eight years, Sonia Bompastor has won three titles with the senior side since taking the reins in 2021, as well as lifting the UWCL trophy in 2021.

Now, a new challenge awaits as she looks set to replace Emma Hayes at Chelsea, a well-deserved opportunity thanks in part to yet another run to the final this year.

Surprise of the Tournament 🤯

When SK Brann made it into the Champions League group stages, they made history by becoming the first Norwegian team to do so.

Led by English coach Martin Ho, not only did they make it to the group stage, but registered four wins and even a 2-2 draw with eventual finalists Lyon.

A mouthwatering quarter-final with Barcelona awaited them, and the underdogs put in a good account of themselves in defeat, scoring in both home and away legs against the vastly more experienced side.

More of these fairytale stories, please!

Goal of the Tournament 😍

In a high-stakes UWCL game against league rivals PSG, Melchie Durmonay gets the ball in space just outside the box.

Under pressure, she fakes like she’s going to hit the ball towards goal at full power, but instead, takes a dribble and moves herself a few yards forward before unleashing that rocket that almost breaks the net.

This goal wins the award not only for the strike itself, but the ability to stay calm under pressure when so many would’ve just taken the shot at the first opportunity.

Game of the Tournament 🏟️

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As Emma Hayes tried for the final time to win the UWCL with her Chelsea side, for a moment it looked like she might just succeed.

An Erin Cuthbert winner secured a 1-0 win away at Barcelona in the first leg of the semi-final, and that victory was the first time that the dominant Blaugrana had been beaten on home soil since February 2019.

As the partisan home crowd almost demanded a win for Barça, Chelsea were able to apply the pressure despite the obvious challenges of winning the ball back from a side who like to keep as much possession as possible.

This was a fascinating encounter, one that let Chelsea’s supporters dare to dream for a little while before they were eventually eliminated from the competition in the second leg.