Player of the Month – November

Unsung hero sees off competition to scoop accolade for recent form

Juanfran sets up Raúl García vs. Olympiacos (ESPN)

Juanfran sets up Raúl García vs. Olympiacos (ESPN)

With five wins from six matches, there was no shortage of candidates for the AtléticoFans Player of the Month award for November.

Diego Godín, Koke and Arda Turan have already taken home the prize this season, but this time round we felt the need to commend one of the more unsung heroes of the team.

The aforementioned trio were all had a good month, whereas new signings Mario Mandzukic and Antoine Griezmann have started finding a regular flow in front of goal, but for us, it’s right-back Juanfran who was November’s top man.

Before leaving for Chelsea’s bench in the summer, a lot of Atleti’s best wide play came through Filipe Luís on the left, but since his departure Juanfran has really taken on the mantle and become one of our biggest assets going forward – as well as a part of the meanest defence in Spain.

The 29 year-old started the month in fine form with an assist against Cordobá, and really shone in the two Champions League wins against Malmo and Olympiacos, setting up further goals in each for Koke and Raúl García.

His partnership with Arda Turan also goes from strength to strength, with the two combining to great effect in the Málaga game, and he continues to impress on the International stage as well.

A man of the match performance against Belarus – where he was involved in two of the three goals – appears to have won his place as the starting right-back, and helped further cement his status as one of the best in his position in the game right now.

Back-up Jesús Gámez has had to remain patient since making the move from Málaga in the summer, and you have to wonder just how much of a chance he will get with Juanfran in the form he is.

Do you agree with our choice? Where does Juanfran rank for you amongst other right-backs in Europe?

  • You know I picked Juanfran last month instead of Arda, so if you didn’t pick him this month either we would have had a big problem 😉

    This man is Atleti
    His fighting spirit, his humbleness and his teamwork
    and he is one of the best examples about how things just keep working out for us lately despite the difficult and unfair circumstances, because -as we say in Egypt- : we have pure hearts !
    players like Raul Garcia, Moya, Ansaldi and even Costa who didn’t cost us a lot and surprisingly filled huge gabs when nobody expected them to do
    The right back was always a big problem for us in the last 10 years at least (remember Ujfalusi as a RB ?! .. it was like a sketch in Saturday Night Live !)
    and the one who solved that big and old problem played as a RB for the first time with Atleti (maybe in all his career, not sure) against Granada in October 15th 2011, when he was 26 years and 10 months old !!

    For me, Juanfran is among the best 3 RBs in the world right now, with Zabaleta & Lichtsteiner .. and he is better than both
    while Dani Alves is certainly behind them at this moments, and also Philipp Lahm who doesn’t play as RB much often

    Finally, Juanfran’s best feature is that he will never abandon us like some others did
    He already said no to Arsenal for 3-times his salary at Atleti .. and he did it twice .

  • starvs

    I’ve loved Juanfran since his first game. His debut was in a Madrid Derby, and there was some shit calls going against us and everyone else seemed to just be resigned to it, but he was fucking livid and going in on the ref; even though it was just his first game, but you could already tell he felt it.