Barca Blaugranes Awards: Best Player: The Nominees

Denis Doyle

Here are the three nominees for the 2012-2013 Barca Blaugranes Award for Best Player

With the other six categories out of the way, it’s time to reveal the nominees for the "big one"; just who was the Best Player in Barcelona’s 2012-2013 La Liga winning campaign? For other clubs, this award for "Player of the Season" might cause something of a debate; how can you compare the relative contributions of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva for instance in Paris Saint-Germain’s title winning season, or perhaps the effortless brilliance of Andrea Pirlo compared with the industrious work of Arturo Vidal at Juventus?

Unfortunately, while Barcelona may be "mes que un club" there is a clear favourite in the shape of a diminutive Argentine striker named Lionel Messi. With four consecutive Ballon d’Or wins to his name, Messi has ruled over football for the past few seasons, and even if he was injured towards the end of the season, his spell of dominance appears far from over. Perhaps in years to come, Neymar may genuinely challenge La Pulga? Whatever the case, here are the three nominees for the Best Player Award:

Lionel Messi – nominated by almost everyone

It was the obvious choice – and almost certainly the "right" one too; with 60 goals and 16 assists in 50 appearances, Messi was statistically Barcelona’s best player last season, although his brilliance extends far past statistics and numbers. In the absence of Carles Puyol, Lionel Messi was Barcelona’s leader, inspiring the team with one incredible performance after another. While ultimately it wasn’t enough to fire the Blaugrana to UEFA Champions League glory, Messi’s stand-out performances in the centre of attack helped Barça snatch the La Liga title back from the capital in record-breaking fashion.

Appearances

Minutes

Goals

Assists

Yellow Cards

Red Cards

50

4078

60

18

2

0

Record With Messi (W-D-L)

36-7-7

Gerard Piqué – nominated by jayson.djuhana

In a Barcelona defense dogged by injuries and inconsistent form, there was one constant: Gerard Piqué. After missing all of October with a muscle injury, Piqué returned in November and has barely missed a match since. Even when Barcelona were at their worst against Bayern Munich, Gerard Piqué put in a decent performance to at least remind us that there was light at the end of that particularly dark tunnel. With a regular partner alongside him next season, Gerard Piqué will be looking to improve further in 2013-2014.

Appearances

Minutes

Goals

Assists

Yellow Cards

Red Cards

44

3627

3

0

10

1

Record With Piqué (W-D-L)

28-8-8

Andrés Iniesta – nominated by Tokjee

If you consider Messi to be some sort of footballing cyborg/alien as Tokjee does, it’s clear that Andrés Iniesta deserves some recognition as Barcelona’s Best Player for his excellent season. Dishing out assists as if they were going out of fashion, Iniesta created the most goals of any Barça player – including Messi – while his dazzling close control contributed some of the season’s most memorable highlights. At 29 years of age, Iniesta obviously won’t be around for much longer, but after a campaign like this, it’s clear that Iniesta still has a number of seasons left at the very highest level.

Appearances

Minutes

Goals

Assists

Yellow Cards

Red Cards

48

3512

6

22

5

0

Record With Iniesta (W-D-L)

32-8-8

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