Who is Porto's Player of the Season?

Goal.com names the top three stand-out performers for the Portuguese Liga champions in 2011-12 and then declares the overall winner. Have your say below
This season has been nothing short of a rollercoaster for Porto. After winning almost all there was to win in 2010-11 - including the Europa League - the club witnessed the departure of Andre Villas-Boas, who left what he himself had described as his "dream chair" for a bigger and more lucrative position at Chelsea.

In his place came his assistant, Vitor Pereira, who had little previous coaching experience. Despite the fact that only one first-team player in the form of Radamel Falcao left Porto, the team's results and the quality of the game have taken a considerable hit, which raised serious doubts about the 43-year-old coach's future at the club.

Still, there are some reasons to smile at the Estadio do Dragao: the club have retained their Portuguese Liga title. But that will not be enough to erase the memory of the team crashing out of the Champions League in a relatively modest group featuring APOEL, Zenit St. Petersburg and Shakhtar Donetsk before being trampled by Manchester City in the Europa League.

Below, in alphabetical order, are Goal.com's three nominees for Porto’s player of the season, based on their club performances in all competitions. We then cast our vote at the bottom before leaving it up to you, the readers, to have your say.

Competition Games
Goals Assists Booked
Sent off
League 21 1 1 6 0
Cup 1 0 0 0 0
Europe 8 0 1 0 0
Other 2 0 0 0 0
Total 32 1 2 6 0

Fernando is not one of those players you pay a ticket to watch, but he is the glue that binds together defence and midfield. He is the workhorse you want to be present the moment your team loses possession, but there is much more to his game than this. He also has the quality to surge forward and pick out team-mates, and is a useful outlet in attack.

Speculation was rife last summer that Fernando could leave the club for Roma, and this resulted in the 24-year-old losing his place in the starting XI in the opening weeks of the campaign. But as the season wore on, he became a regular first-team player and took centre stage in the biggest matches, including the 3-2 victory at Benfica, in which he bossed the middle of the park for most of the game.

Competition Games
Goals Assists Booked
Sent off
League 24 14 10 7 0
Cup 1 0 0 1 0
Europe 8 4 2 2 0
Other 4 1 1 0 0
Total 37 19 13 10 0

Following Radamel Falcao's departure to Atletico Madrid last summer, Hulk was burdened with the responsibility to make Porto's clock tick. As far as the Portuguese Liga is concerned, the Brazilian has failed to replicate his blistering 2010-11 form, but still grabbed only nine goals and six assists fewer than in the previous campaign. This shows just how important Falcao's role is as he is not just a goalscorer, but also a provider.

Hulk is not even close to his best form, but still remains Porto's biggest attacking threat and he is often the one to break the balance of a match with his individual plays. Everything the club achieved this season is in no small part thanks to Hulk, but the 25-year-old will require a better striking partner in 2012-13 if he is to perform at an even higher level.

Competition Games
Goals Assists Booked
Sent off
League 24 14 8 1 1
Cup 1 0 0 0 0
Europe 8 1 1 2 0
Other 3 0 0 0 0
Total 28 15 9 3 1

After enduring a slow start to life at Porto, James Rodriguez began the 2011-12 campaign the same way he had ended the previous season: on a roll. He gained the trust of the coach and was rewarded with a place on the left wing, and five goals in his first six official matches proved that he was there to stay.

However, as the season reached its midway mark, Rodriguez lost his place in the starting XI, following a handful of disappointing performances. His biggest problem is his struggle to find his natural position on the field: most of the time, the Colombian plays better as a No.10 than on the left wing. Sometimes he has been found on the right flank, occupying the same space as Hulk.

In February, the 20-year-old was consigned to the role of super-sub, and it seemed to suit him just fine, as whenever he entered the pitch, he delivered a superb showing. Against Benfica, he came off the bench in the second half to add dynamism to the team's attack before he scored a goal which powered his side to a dramatic 3-2 victory. The quality is definitely there, but he will need to show more consistency next season.


Braga (h) W 3-2
Beira-Mar (a) W 2-1
Academica (a) W 3-0

Hulk picks up the award because he is literally Porto's strongest asset. Even when he is not at his best, his pace and shooting make him a constant threat to the opponents' goal.

After four years at the club, the Brazilian may feel that he has reached his peak at Porto and may be looking to move on, especially after seeing his great attacking partner, Falcao, take the next step in his career. Chelsea are known to be keen on the Brazilian, so Porto will face an uphill task to keep the 25-year-old, who has a €100 million release clause.