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Man of the match award in football

How is the Man of The Match Award Decided in Football?

Last Updated on April 16, 2022

The man of the match award in football is now one of the important aspects of modern-day football matches. Being chosen as the best player on the field must be a feeling of great satisfaction.

However, there are a few facts about the MOTM award:

  • The award is never part of the core rules of football.
  • The MOTM award today is born out of what we can call “football evolution or modernization”.
  • There are no specific rules or criteria for the award.
  • Some comepetions opt out of of the award comepletely and it is entirely optional.

Simply put, the Man of the Match Award is given to a player deemed to have the best overall performance.

But let’s go and find out how exactly it is decided.

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Criteria For Man of The Match Award

As mentioned before, there are no specific rules or criteria for choosing the man of the match award. However, below here are general criteria.

Consider Reading: Why Soccer Players Kiss Each Other, The Trophy or Their Wrist

Match-winning Goals

Of course, goal contributions are a vital component in winning the man of the match award, it will be the thing that everyone will talk about after and will be remembered.

Another key factor is the goal’s worth. Scoring 2 and losing 5-2 means nothing at the end of the day, but scoring in the 90th minute to snatch a 1-0 win and you will be hailed as a hero no matter the rest of the performance.

At the end of the day, the fans love a goal scorer, and the number 9 will always be a favorite if he scores in the game.

That is why there will always be slight inaccuracy in the award – it slightly favors goalscorers.

But entertainment is why football is so loved. So that’s why we love seeing these moments of entertainment.

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Masterclass Defending And Goalkeeping

Top-class defending and Goalkeeping is another yardstick for winning the Man of the Match Award. But as a defender or Goalkeeper, you’d always need a real match-saving performance. It does really have to be a ten out of ten game to win the award at the back.

But when the attack isn’t firing and defence is on top, individual brilliance is recognized from defence.

More recently Aaron Ramsdale won it for his picturesque saves against Leicester.

Aaron Ramsdale Man of the Match Performance Against Leicester City

Also, Virgil Van Dijk won the MOTM award for his solid display versus Crystal Palace just to name a few.

Consider Reading: Why Do Soccer Players Fake Injuries?

Overall Performance

Sounds like an obvious one, but you would be surprised how many class performances go unnoticed by the man of the match award.

Nonetheless, the overall performance of a player should be a deciding factor in the choosing the MOTM award winner.

Overall performance could include scoring, assisting, defending, work rate etc.

Match-winning Side

Ideally, the man of the match award should go to a player from the winning team. It’ll be really weird to see award given to a player from the losing team.

However, in some rare situations, there are obvious cases where a player from the losing team outshines the eventual award winner. In most cases, this happens when the dominant team loses.

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Who Decides The Man of The Match Award?

In most cases, the Man of the Match Award in football is decided by the Broadcasting Pundit or a Sponsor.

MOTM Award By Broadcasting Pundit

In this case, one of the TV pundits would talk through the options toward the end of the game and pick a winner. Most times, he chooses the most impactful player (based on the above-mentioned general criteria) from the winning team. The eventual winner would then be announced over the stadium tannoy system.

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However, in some cases, the award winner announced over the stadium tannoy system is different from one awarded by the broadcasting Pundit (what you see on Tv).

Read Also: FIFA Ranking: How FIFA Ranks Each Country Every Month

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MOTM Award By A Sponsor

Sometimes, the Man of the Match award in football is decided by (or associated with) a specific sponsor (or a Brand). A typical example is the Budweiser King of The Match Award in the Premier League which is decided by fans voting.

However, there could be some discrepancies if the sponsors are to choose the award winner. Brands or sponsors are in it for business, so they’ll most likely select a footballer who is the most marketable player with decent performance – not necessarily the best performing footballer on the pitch. This defeats the purpose of the award in the first place.

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