The final international break of 2021 has begun and at least 11 rounds of matches have now been played in Europe’s top five leagues.
But which players in these leagues (Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1 and Serie A) have picked up the most Man of the Match (MOTM) awards during the opening months of the 2021-22 campaign?
Using WhoScored.com’s data, let’s take a look at every player who has managed to pick up three or more MOTM awards already this season.
Three Man of the Match awards
27. Manolo Reina | Mallorca (Rating: 6.41)
26. Joao Pedro | Cagliari (Rating: 6.84)
25. Lucas Boye | Elche (Rating: 7.04)
24. Taiwo Awoniyi | Union Berlin (Rating: 7.05)
23. Leandro Trossard | Brighton (Rating: 7.08)
22. Dusan Vlahovic | Fiorentina (Rating: 7.16)
21. Raul de Tomas | Espanyol (Rating: 7.18)
20. Andrej Kramaric | Hoffenheim (Rating: 7.21)
19. Anthony Modeste | FC Koln (Rating: 7.21)
18. Allan Saint-Maximin | Newcastle United (Rating: 7.24)
17. Raphinha | Leeds United (Rating: 7.42)
16. Konstantinos Mavropanos | Stuttgart (Rating: 7.48)
15. Paulo Dybala | Juventus (Rating: 7.48)
14. Conor Gallagher | Crystal Palace (Rating: 7.50)
13. Memphis Depay | Barcelona (Rating: 7.52)
12. Christopher Nkunku | RB Leipzig (Rating: 7.61)
11. Trent Alexander Arnold | Liverpool (Rating: 7.70)
10. Kylian Mbappe | Paris Saint-Germain (Rating: 7.87)
9. Robert Lewandowski | Bayern Munich (Rating: 8:15)
It’s surprising that Robert Lewandowski only has three MOTM awards so far this term because the prolific Polish striker has already netted 13 goals in 11 league appearances this season. His overall rating is the second-highest in Europe this season, too.
Conor Gallagher, the 21-year-old midfielder on loan at Crystal Palace from Chelsea, looks a serious talent and finds himself with the same number of MOTM awards this season as the likes of Memphis Depay, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kylian Mbappe and the aforementioned Lewandowski.
Four Man of the Match awards
8. Adama Traore | Wolves (Rating: 7.20)
7. Goncalo Guedes | Valencia (Rating: 7.27)
6. Kamaldeen Sulemana | Rennes (Rating: 7.32)
5. Iker Muniain | Athletic Bilbao (Rating: 7.32)
4. Teji Savanier | Montpellier (Rating: 7.79)
3. Mohamed Salah | Liverpool (Rating: 8:18)
No player in Europe’s top five leagues this season boasts a higher average WhoScored rating than Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian has been in scintillating form of late and is regarded by some as the world’s best footballer right now.
Who expected to see Adama Traore’s name alongside Salah’s on four MOTM awards so far this season?
Five Man of the Match awards
2. Lorenzo Pellegrini | AS Roma (Rating: 7.61)
1. Karim Benzema | Real Madrid (Rating: 8:01)
Jose Mourinho is enduring his first tough spell since becoming AS Roma manager, but his 25-year-old midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini has been his standout performer so far this season.
Only one other player in Europe this season has earned the same number of MOTM awards so far and that’s Real Madrid’s legendary centre-forward Karim Benzema, who leads the top scorer charts in Spain with 10 goals.
How many MOTM awards do Messi and Ronaldo have?
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have been at the top of these charts for years, but both players are conspicuous by their absence so far this season.
Ronaldo, who rejoined Manchester United in the summer, has two MOTM awards so far this season.
Messi, who has struggled to hit top form since completing his shock move to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, is yet to win a MOTM award in Ligue 1 and is still looking to score his maiden league goal for the French outfit. The Argentine’s average rating is 6.75.
When you remember that Messi won 22 MOTM awards and had an average rating of 8.52 during his final season with Barcelona, it highlights just how much the six-time Ballon d’Or winner is struggling to adjust to life away from Camp Nou.