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Player of the Month awards: March

Modified 06 Apr 2013
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After a week of voting and thousands of votes, Sportskeeda’s readers have decided who their March Players of the Month are. Here are the winners:

Goalkeeper of the month: Gorka Iraizoz (Athletic Bilbao)

Real Madrid CF v Athletic Club - La Liga

Not the most popular choice, but Iraizoz had a stellar month of March which included exemplary performances in Bilbao’s 1-0 wins over Valencia and Osasuna. With 6 saves and 3 crosses claimed in the game against Osasuna, Iraizoz led from the back to ensure another clean sheet for the Bilbao side. Iraizoz puts his big frame to good effect, often out-jumping opposition players to collect the ball in the box. His ball-control and passing often leaves a lot to be desired, but on the basis on performing his primary duties admirably as the last line of defense, Gorka Iraizoz is our Goalkeeper of the Month for March.

Defender of the monthMattia de Sciglio (AC Milan and Italy)

AC Milan v S.S. Lazio - Serie A

While Juventus may be closing in on the Italian league title for the second year in a row running, it is important to pay attention to those who occupy the spaces below them. Nothing describes the business end of the season like efficient results, and AC Milan have certainly shown that.

The Rossoneri racked up four wins and four clean-sheets in what was a very good March for them. The only person to keep his place in an otherwise rotating defence, Mattia de Sciglio also represented Italy in his side’s 2-2 draw against Brazil during the international break.

The Lombardy side began March with a 3-0 over Lazio at the San Siro, following that up with a 2-0 defeat of Genoa away from home. Clean sheet number three came with Mario Balotelli’s brace against Palermo.

With more than 40% of the votes, Mattia de Sciglio is our Defender of the Month for March.


Midfielder of the month: Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich and France)


Although he didn’t find the back of the net in his team’s 1-0 win away at Hoffenheim, Ribery was a model of German efficiency as he demonstrated his slick passing ability, completing 58 attempted passes, the highest in his team for that particular game. Thomas Muller was a distant second with 37 to his name.

Ribery then put in an excellent shift in a game against Dusseldorf that required the league leaders to dig deep. After Andreas Lambertz had helped the visitors retake the lead at the Allianz Arena, Ribery equalised in the 73rd minutes to draw his team level before Jerome Boateng headed home the winner.

After being rested for the Munich side’s game away at Leverkusen, a game the visitors struggled to win and needed an own goal from Philip Wollscheid to grab all three points, Ribery was restored to the starting XI against Hamburg. The rest seemed to do him a world of good. He was a livewire on the pitch, playing an integral part in the visitors’ 9-2 walloping after coming on in the 65th minute to add to an already humiliating scoreline.

For his country, he found the back of the net as France beat Georgia 3-1 in Paris and was one of his team’s best players, despite Les Bleus losing 1-0 to reigning World Champions Spain.

The French midfield maestro wins Midfielder of the Month for March by a landslide margin!


Striker of the month: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Paris St Germain v Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final

The list is never complete without the maestro himself, is it? It’s been another month of breaking records for Lionel Messi as he scored in 19 consecutive league games to add another to the long list of goal-scoring records that he is making a mockery of. Even with all the treasures that Barcelona have in their midfield, Messi’s influence on the fortunes of the club became quite evident when the Argentine wasn’t quite his usual self for a couple of games.

But the beginning of this month saw Barcelona hit their stride again as Messi went about his usual business of making defenders look like mere poles on a training ground, weaving around them with utter ease to set him as well as his team-mates opportunities galore. In 5 games in the month of March, Lionel Messi amassed 7 of Barcelona’s 12 goals for the month while assisting on two others. The games included a Champions League last sixteen game against Milan, in which Messi stamped his authority to silence all doubters as Barcelona annihilated their opponents at the Nou Camp.

With more than 60% of the votes, Lionel Messi wins Striker of the Month for March.

Published 06 Apr 2013, 17:59 IST
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