2022-2023 End of Season Awards.

The 2022-2023 season just concluded and our beloved Barça managed to recapture the league title for the 27’th time. Barça’s resurgence under Xavi continued when they succeeded in winning the league crown and the Spanish Supercopa; Xavi’s first success as Barça’s manager. The disappointment in Europe and Copa del Rey can’t erase the jubilation of witnessing the Blaugrana become winners again. So, as we enjoy the summer break and get distracted by transfer rumors, it’s time to hand out the awards.

MVP: Ronald Araújo

The 2022-2023 season saw many Blaugrana players shine as Barca captured the league crown again. Marc-André ter Stegen was phenomenal in goal and won the Zamora award and Robert Lewandowski won the Pichichi award for being the league’s top goal scorer. However, the player deserving of the player of the season is none other than Ronald Araújo. With the Blaugrana looking shaky at the back in recent history, it was a pleasant surprise to see their defense shine this season domestically. The additions of Andreas Christensen and Jules Koundé were a welcome addition to the club. Yet, Ronald Araújo excelled as the leader of the back line played a part in the club only conceding twenty goals all season long. His presence benefitted ter Stegen and bailed out the offense during those 1-0 victories when the offense failed to find the insurance goal. Here’s hoping the 24-year-old Uruguayan defender continues to shine and join the ranks of other Barca legends, Puyol and Pique.

Best Goal: Robert Lewandowski against Real Valladolid

It’s never easy to pick the goal of the season and there were some good choices this season. Raphinha’s header goal against Osasuna for the late winner is a solid contender for Best Goal. However, Robert Lewandowski’s backheel goal against Real Valladolid was my pick for the best goal. When Lewandowski scored that goal, many were left dumbfounded by what had just happened. At first, people were confused as to how he scored, and then were curious if it was by accident. But upon further review, Lewandowski knew what he was doing, and he pulled off a memorable goal that will be remembered for many years to come.

Best Assist: Busquets to Raphinha against Real Betis

Although Raphinha didn’t win Best Goal, he was on the receiving end of the Best Assist of the season. It was a close call between his header goal against Valencia or his header goal against Osasuna. Busquets and Frenkie de Jong both delivered exquisite long balls for the Brazilian to nod in with his head. But it was the Busquets assist to Raphinha against Real Betis that sealed it for me. The legendary Busquets provided us with many memorable assists over the years, and his final season with the club provided us the Best Assist of the season.

Best Game: 3-1 vs Real Madrid in Supercopa Final

Although it was marred by conceding two goals and the crowd trouble afterwards, FC Barcelona defeating Espanyol 2-4 on their home turf was one of the best performances by the club during this season. However, the Best Game of this season was Barca’s 3-1 victory over Real Madrid in the Spanish Supercopa Final. The Blaugrana were just so dominant in that game that changed the team’s fortune. Following that result, the tide had turned, and Barcelona played with confidence in the second half of the season that saw them capture the league crown.

Best Transfer: Andreas Christensen

This season saw new arrivals such as Franck Kessié, Andreas Christensen, Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski, Jules Koundé, Héctor Bellerín, Marcos Alonso and Pablo Torre. Many were great, some were decent and others we hardly saw. An argument can be made that Lewandowski was the best signing after winning the Pichichi in his debut season, but the Best Transfer was the Danish defender, Andreas Christensen. Christensen, and his partner Araújo, played a key role in improving the Blaugrana backline which carried the team at times when the offense struggled to score. Hopefully the 27-year-old will continue to shine for many more years to come with Araújo by his side.

Most Improved Player: Marc-André ter Stegen

Frenkie de Jong had a great season for FC Barcelona, and reminded fans why he was so highly rated when he was signed back in 2019. However, Most Improved Player has to be Marc-André ter Stegen. There were concerns that ter Stegen had lost a step following his injuries and poor performance. Thankfully, Marc-André ter Stegen reminded us of the MAtS of old with his performances this season. He had the highest save percentage in La Liga with 84.7% and ended up winning the Zamora award and tied the record for most clean sheets in La Liga.

Best Youth Player: Alejandro Balde

With Pedri and Gavi shining the last two seasons, it was refreshing to see a new kid on the block. Alejandro Balde was entrusted by Xavi to replace the legendary Jordi Alba as the club’s starting left back. The 19-year-old did not disappoint, and we look forward to seeing him grow and be part of the backline for many years to come.

Most Disappointing Player: Eric García

When Eric García arrived from Manchester City in 2021, many thought he was a steal and fans were reminiscent of Pique’s arrival from the English Premier League. Unfortunately, Eric and Barcelona struggled whenever he started on the team’s backline and it’s no surprise that the team’s performance improved after he was benched. Xavi even tried him out as a defensive midfielder, but he failed to impress. It appears that his time at the club is coming to an end.

Worst Transfer: Héctor Bellerín

Héctor Bellerín came as a free transfer and there was hope he could be the solution to the right back. Instead, we hardly saw him, and he left the club during the winter transfer window.

Here’s to a better campaign for 2023-2024. Visca el Barça!