The 2012/13 Players’ Player of the Year award has been won by Juan Mata.
The club’s annual awards ceremony, which is currently taking place in the Great Hall at Stamford Bridge, is being hosted by Ed Chamberlain and Vicky Gomersall from Sky Sports, with Mata taking the night’s fourth prize.
The award, which was voted for by members of the first team squad and technical staff, went to Mata following a season in which the Spaniard has consistently produced top-class performances.
He scored the winning goal in the recent Premier League win over Manchester United, as well as netting decisive strikes against the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Norwich City.
A modest Mata, though, paid tribute to the rest of the squad.
‘I want to say thank you to all of my team-mates,’ said the 25-year-old. ‘I feel very proud to play for a team like Chelsea with all these amazing players, so it’s a thank you to them.
‘We have 24 or 25 top players and any one of them could have been the winner.’
Shortly before, Frank Lampard was presented with a Special Recognition award for the service he has given the club since signing for the Blues in 2001.
The Blues midfielder, who has just signed a one-year contract extension, was presented with the award by Bobby Tambling, the man whose goalscoring record he surpassed last weekend to become our all-time highest scorer.
As Lampard collected his award on stage, he reflected on the brace at Aston Villa which secured his place in the history books.
‘Getting the equalising goal on the day and drawing level with the great man himself was a big deal for me,’ he said. ‘It was such a huge game for us, and I kind of felt it would be the day after scoring the first one.
‘I can’t really explain it. 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 team-mates celebrating with me at the end was quite emotional for me, so thanks to all the lads.’
Shortly before, Lampard had presented Nathan Ake with the Young Player of the Year award.
It’s been a season of progression for the young Dutchman, who is equally comfortable playing in the centre of defence or in a deep midfield role.
He made his debut for the first team as a late substitute in the Boxing Day win away at Norwich City, before playing the full 90 minutes in February’s FA Cup victory at Middlesbrough.
Ake, who has also featured for both the Under-21s and Under-18s over the course of the season, was then given his first taste of European action when he started our away game against Rubin Kazan in the Europa League.
The 18-year-old was an unused substitute in last night’s Europa League final win against Benfica, but was simply delighted to be involved.
‘It was really special,’ said the youngster. ‘When you’re 18 and involved in the squad, the Europa League is really big, so it was a great experience for me.’
Earlier in the night, Oscar won the Goal of the Season award for his second goal in the 2-2 Champions League draw against Juventus back in September.
Supporters were given the opportunity to register their vote on this website from a selection of 11 brilliant goals.
The Brazilian, making his first full start for the club, had opened the scoring moments earlier, and doubled our advantage with a sublime strike.
After taking an Ashley Cole pass in his stride, he eased away from two defenders with a deft touch, before bending a wonderful strike beyond the despairing dive of Gianluigi Buffon into the top corner of the net.
You can see a video of the players receiving their awards on the Chelsea TV section of this website.