Juan Mata Named Chelsea's Player of the Year

Garry HayesFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2013

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - MAY 15:  Juan Mata and Cesar Azpilicueta of Chelsea pose with the trophy during the UEFA Europa League Final between SL Benfica and Chelsea FC at Amsterdam Arena on May 15, 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Juan Mata was named Chelsea's Player of the Year in the club's annual ceremony at Stamford Bridge on Thursday evening.

The Spaniard capped off another fine season in Chelsea blue to claim the award for two years running, making him the fourth player in the club's history to achieve such a feat. Those who have previously done the "double" at Chelsea are John Hollins (1970 and 1971), Ray Wilkins (1976 and 1977) and Frank Lampard (2004 and 2005).

"I feel so happy," he explained to ChelseaFC.com. "It's my second season here and winning the trophy two years in a row is amazing for me. I just want to say thank you to all the supporters and all my teammates."

The award is voted for by Chelsea fans, but Mata was also crowned Players' Player of the Year in a season that has seen him score 19 goals for the Blues while also grabbing an impressive 27 assists.

It has been a season of highs and lows for the Blues, although for Mata, 2012-13 has ended on the highest note possible.

Alongside his personal accolades, just 24 hours earlier, he had helped Chelsea make history by lifting the Europa League trophy. In so doing, Chelsea became the first English club to lift all four major European honours and just the fourth club on the continent.

There were other awards up for grabs at Stamford Bridge on Thursday, with Frank Lampard honored for his service to Chelsea since his £11 million move from West Ham United in 2001.

Since that time, Chelsea's English midfielder has made 608 appearances, and last weekend, he broke Bobby Tambling's long-standing scoring record of 202 goals, scoring twice against Aston Villa to put him at 203.

In a touching moment, Tambling presented Lampard with his award.

"I can't really explain it," Lampard told the official club website as he reflected on breaking the scoring record. "I thought it would be good when I done it, but I didn't realise quite how good it would feel. To have the fans at Aston Villa and my teammates celebrating with me at the end was quite emotional for me, so thanks to all the lads."

Nathan Ake was named Young Player of the Year, and Oscar was awarded Goal of the Season for his effort in Chelsea's 2-2 draw in the Champions League with Juventus.