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End of Season Awards

With the season now over and the players heading off to their national teams or to an early holiday, it's time to have a look back at the campaign and hand out some accolades.

David Ramos/Getty Images

Best Signing of the Summer

Last summer was one of Barcelona's most successful transfer windows in recent memory. They strengthened in every department and the majority of those signings turned out to be smart buys. The two new keepers of Claudio Bravo and Marc-André ter Stegen have both been excellent and have successfully filled the gap left by Viector Valdés. Bravo overaw the club's winning league run, earning himself the Zamora trophy in the process, while term Stegen has shown he may be young but he can handle the pressure and won every tournament he played in.

Jeremy Mathieu has performed well and has now shares a centre back spot with Marc Bartra. The ex-Valencia player also managed to grab two goals for himself during the campaign including a great free kick against Elche. Having been hampered by injury for the majority of the campaign, Thomas Vermaelen has yet to do himself justice in a Barça shirt whilst the signing of Douglas remains a strange one.

In midfield, Ivan Rakitić has been an excellent addition to the team, helping to ease the transition from the Xavi era. Rakitić is a more robust player than Xavi, helping out in the defence more but that doesn't prevent him from being a creative force and his direct runs have helped Barcelona this season. Also Rafinha is worth a mention having returned from Celta to become a useful member of the squad.

But for me, and I think most people, the signing of the summer has to be Luis Suárez. When he arrived, his season was going to go one of two ways. Either he would become a destructive force and his behaviour issues would reappear or he would settle down and become an integral part of the team. Thankfully, the latter has occurred and he is now one third of the most deadly attacking trident in the world.

Winner: Luis Suárez


Overachiever of the Season

There are plenty of names worthy of a discussion in this category; Neymar, Dani Alves, Suárez, Pique and Bravo have all had excellent seasons but I think the real overachiever has been Ivan Rakitić. The challenge of replacing Xavi in the Barça midfield was never going to be an easy one but the Croatian has accomplished this by bringing his own style of play to it.

Rakitić balances defence with attack perfectly and his direct style of play has been a big factor in why Barcelona have been so deadly this season. He has a great understanding with Suárez, Neymar and Lionel Messi helping him to register eight assists this season whilst he also has a keen eye for goal himself and has found the back of the net on seven occasions.

It's also worth bearing in mind that this was his debut season with the club and whilst Suárez and Rakitić are both newcomers, the Croatian cost the club a mere £16 million. Definite value for money.

Winner: Ivan Rakitić


Low Point of the Season

It's sometimes hard to find a low point in a treble winning season but Barça's came back in January.  Going away to the never-easy Anoeta, Barcelona were just back from the winter break when they met David Moyes' Real Sociedad. Luis Enrique elected to leave Messi and Neymar on he bench having only just reoriented from their break in South America. The decision proved costly as the team slumped to a defeat thanks to a Jordi Alba own goal.

Tensions were high and reports of Messi not being happy with Enrique were strong. The player reportedly didn't turn up for training the next day and Enrique wanted to fine him. The tension was reaching boiling point but the club captains came together to talk to the coach. Afterwards Enrique agreed to give Messi more flexibility and it has been a winning formula ever since.

While this was Barcelona's lowest point, it did turnout to be a bittersweet one as it created the blueprint for Barcelona's successful second half of the season.

Winner: Barcelona's defeat at Real Sociedad which caused tension in the dressing room.

High Point of the Season

There have been plenty of high points this season. Messi becoming the all-time top Champions League scorer or Messi becoming the all-time top Liga scorer. Barcelona claimed the league title at the reigning Champions, Atlético Madrid's home and they secured their 27th Copa win at the Camp Nou.Then in Berlin they achieved history by securing the Champions League and their second treble in the club's history but that's still not the moment I'm going to pick.

My moment of the season was Xavi's sendoff at the Camp Nou. A player who has been with the club for 24 years and won 24 trophies in that time was given the sendoff he deserved in front of the adoring fans. A huge banner reading "Gracies Xavi" met the player on his entrance to the field and while the team didn't grab a win, it didn't matter as the fans got to see their captain lift the Liga trophy one last time.

Winner: Xavi's Farewell to the Camp Nou


Best Goal of the Season

It's FC Barcelona so there are bound to be some absolute wonder goals scored in the season.

Mathieu found the net with a well placed free kick. XaviAndrés Iniesta and Neymar all scored glorious goals from outside of the area. While Pedro and Suárez both managed to convert bicycle kicks this season. The Uruguayan also scored a goal that involved a nutmeg of David Luiz against PSG in the Champions League.

But then you come to Lionel Messi and the quality goes through the roof. His goal against Almeria as he drifts in from the right wing, beats a man before curling the ball into the corner, leaving the goalkeeper helpless. Then you have his second goal against Bayern Munich. In the biggest of games, he produces a goal that will go down as one of the greatest in the competition's history. He runs at Jerome Boating before making the defender look like he has his shoelaces tied together, then Messi squares up to Manuel Neuer and chips the ball over the 6ft 3 keeper. Astonishing.

For most players that would be the greatest goal of their career but that wasn't even Messi's best goal of the season, that came later against Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final. It is one of his best ever goals, picking the all up from near the half way line. He dodges, weaves and tricks his way past four defenders then finishes past the keeper at the near post. Words cannot adequately describe how good that goal was.

Winner: Lionel Messi vs Athletic Bilbao, Copa del Rey Final

Best Young Player of the Season (23 or under)

This award has to go to Neymar. It's easy to forget that he is only 23 considering he already has over 60 Brazil caps to his name. This season he has come on leaps and bounds after a turbulent debut season.

Both his goal and assists tally have skyrocketed and he is now familiar with life at Barcelona. he has great relationship with his strike partners Suárez and Messi which allows him the freedom to use his wide range of skills to beat a player. He was the club's second top-scorer and scored some crucial goals throughout the season.

At 23, there are many more great years ahead.

Winner: Neymar


Player of the Season

There have been players this season that had they been playing anywhere else, they would've earned the player of the season accolade. Piqué is back to his world class best, Dani Alves has recaptured some of his best form, Busquets was as consistent as ever, Rakitić was excellent in his first season while both Neymar and Suárez had phenomenal seasons. But the only thing standing between them and the award is Lionel Messi.

Going into the season on the back of a disheartening World Cup final loss, criticism was high for the Argentine. Claims we had seen his best and that he had lost that extra bit of pace were being flung in his direction but this season he has proved every doubter wrong. A move to the right wing has seen him produce some of his best ever football. He is clinical, skilful, a great finisher, an excellent passer, a great playmaker and may be the most consistent footballer the game has ever seen. He is the man for the big occasion (and the small occasions) and is unfazed by his opponent no matter the how high the calibre of the team ahead of him.

This season he has become the all time top scorer in both La Liga and the Champions League but yet is still only 27. He played his 300th La Liga game and won his fourth Champions League, third Copa del Rey and his seventh Liga. But even those stats don't do him justice, you just have to watch him.

Winner: Lionel Messi


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