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FC Barcelona: Player of the Month: September 2013

Utilising the Barca Blaugranes Community Player Ratings, just who was FC Barcelona's best player over the past calendar month?

David Ramos

With six wins from six matches, September 2013 will go down as a "good" month for FC Barcelona, who not only extended their 100% La Liga record, but also started their UEFA Champions League with an emphatic 4-0 win over AFC Ajax at the Camp Nou. The statistics make for impressive reading: 20 goals scored (at an average of 3.33 per game) and just five conceded (at an average of 0.83 per game) with three clean sheets. Only Bayern Munich can boast a better record for last month.

Here are the Barça Blaugranes award winners for September 2013:

Player of the Month

Winner: Lionel Messi
Average Rating: 8.37
Appearances/Goals/Assists: 6/9/2
MoTM Awards: 2

It’s taken Lionel Messi just two months to claim his first Player of Month award, and few can argue that he isn’t a deserving winner. In six appearances, Messi scored nine goals and set up another two – which means that for every appearance, Messi added nearly two goals to Barcelona’s tally. At this stage, we’re all used to Messi’s brilliance, but he deserves the plaudits nonetheless.

Runner-Up: Neymar

Average Rating: 8.20
Appearances/Clean Sheets/Goals Conceded: 5/1/5
MoTM Awards: 2

With an assist in each of his five appearances, Neymar was in top-form in September, and can count himself unlucky not to have edged out Lionel Messi for the award. After all, we’ve seen Messi do this week-in and week-out for the past five seasons – and this was Neymar’s first full month playing in European football. No wonder Sandro Rosell is so pleased with himself.

Honourable Mentions

Last month’s winner Cesc Fàbregas and the runner-up Victor Valdés deserve an honourable mention for their form over the past month – Fàbregas actually improved upon his average rating for August (7.45 to 7.52) while Valdés took his performance to another level, earning an incredible average rating increase from 7.40 to 7.92. Also, credit to Sergio Busquets for his form in September: with an average rating of 7.40, Busi was the fifth best player in the month.

Most Disappointing Player

Winner: Cristian Tello
Average Rating: 5.68 (4 appearances)

Maybe this is a little tough on Cristian Tello – who only started one match last month, but the Barça Blaugranes community were so underwhelmed by that performance, I thought it was fair to give him this award. Under the guidance of Tito Vilanova, Tello was a super-sub capable of changing the game off the bench, but in experimenting with a new position under Gerardo Martino, Tello appears to have lost his edge.

Honourable Mentions:

It wouldn’t be Barça Blaugranes if Gerard Piqué wasn’t lumped into this category. According to the community members, Piqué was particularly dire against Sevilla and Real Sociedad, and mediocre in almost every other game, with the match against Ajax a notable exception. Still, his average rating of 6.37 leaves a lot to be desired. Similarly, Martin Montoya needs to improve after his one and only appearance in September earned him a 5.80 average rating.

Most Consistent Performer

Winner: Cesc Fàbregas
Average Rating: 7.52

Given his sketchy start to life in Catalunya, it seems odd to single out Cesc Fàbregas as a consistent performer for the Blaugrana, but in September Fàbregas was always on his game. In five appearances, Fàbregas’ rating never dipped below 7.10 and game-by-game was, on average, 0.296 from his overall rating of 7.52. Just keep this form up past January please Cesc.

Most Inconsistent Performer

Winner: Gerard Piqué
Average Rating: 6.37

Adriano Correia was a little inconsistent over the course of the month, as was Pedro – but there could only be one winner: Gerard Piqué. Some matches, like against Ajax, Piqué barely put a foot wrong. Others, well, the less said about them the better...

Most Improved Player

Winner: Lionel Messi
Average Rating: 8.37
Percentage Improvement from August: 15%

In absolute terms, Alex Song would have scooped this award with a 25% month-on-month increase in his average rating, but is it really an achievement to improve upon a month in which you only made one start? His improvement was more from game-to-game; Messi’s was clear all throughout the month. An honourable mention to Neymar as well, who improved his average rating by a stunning 12%.

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