The midfielder became just the third West Ham captain to lift a trophy, writing his name alongside Bobby Moore and Billy Bonds in the club’s history books, as Jarrod Bowen’s 90th-minute winner gave the Hammers a dramatic 2-1 final win over Fiorentina in Prague.
Rice was typically influential in the latter stages of the competition, scoring in the quarter-final second leg against Gent, and it is no surprise that he has been recognised by UEFA as they confirmed the individual award.
It is almost certain that the final proves to be Rice’s final West Ham appearance before a summer move, with co-chairman David Sullivan stating he expects the midfielder to be sold, but the 24-year-old spoke in glowing terms about his love for the club when reflecting on ending the Hammers’ 43-year-old wait for a major trophy.
“I love this club, I love playing for this club,” he said.
“There hasn’t been anything yet. My focus is playing for West Ham, enjoying tonight and seeing what happens. I’m captain of this club and absolutely love it to pieces.
“I cannot speak highly enough of this place, let’s just see what happens.”
Rice was also named in the Europa Conference League Team of the Season, along with five of his West Ham team-mates. Alphonse Areola got the nod in goal, Nayef Aguerd was included in defence, and Lucas Paqueta, Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio all made the team further up the pitch.