Juventus and Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo was present to collect a record-extending Best Men’s Player of the Year gong at a glittering 11th edition of the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards.
Ronaldo, 34, was honoured for a sixth time – and for a fourth-consecutive year – during the glittering ceremony at Madinat Jumeirah. This was an acknowledgement for his stunning efforts in helping Juve to the Serie A crown in his debut campaign and leading his country to the Nations League.
There was also a first-ever Best Women’s Player of the Year trophy in Dubai for England and Lyon right-back Lucy Bronze. Champions League holders and Premier League leaders Liverpool came away with three prizes; Best Coach of the Year – Jurgen Klopp; Best Club of the Year; Best Goalkeeper of the Year (for a second-successive edition) – Alisson.
The night, however, unquestionably belonged to Ronaldo.
“I have to thank my family, my girlfriend, my boy who is here, my three kids waiting for me in the hotel, my family who watched me in Portugal,” said the Portuguese who owns five more Best Men’s Player of the Year gongs than Barcelona and Argentina rival Lionel Messi.
“Also my team-mates at Juventus and the national team, my agent and all the people here tonight supporting this gala of Globe Soccer.
“Thank you to the Arabic community that is always great with me. Dubai is a marvellous place to be, I’m coming every year.
“I love this place. Finally, thanks to people who voted for me.
“It is a great honour to receive this amazing award. I hope to be here again, of course.”
Best Women’s Player of the Year Bronze, 28, delivered an empowering message.
She said: “2019 has been an amazing year for women’s football, especially. A lot of records broken and records made, such as tonight with this first-ever women’s award.
“I would love to dedicate this award to all of the women working hard in football. They are truly doing an amazing job – they all deserve a part of this as much as I do.”
Klopp, 52, decided to deflect praise onto his squad and technical staff.
He said: “It is always on behalf of my coaching staff and you can only win these things when a team is performing at a high level.
“Coincidentally, I am coach of these wonderful players and I got the award.
“Now, we’ve worked together with this group for two years. I am so pleased with the resilience we have shown in so many moments.”
As for the other awards, Jorge Mendes triumphed once again among the agents, this year winning award number nine since the establishment of the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards, a record that is becoming increasingly difficult to match.
He said: “I would like to thank my people from [agency] GestiFute, my family, managers and players. We also have here Joao Felix, who is the best young player in the world, and the best-ever player, Cristiano Ronaldo.”
With him on the Globe Soccer stage, his star pupil also appeared, the promising young Portugal player Joao Felix, class of ’99, who was named as the Best Revelation Player. His gold transfer from Benfica to Atletico Madrid contributed in no small part to the victory of his agent.
He said: “I want to say thank you to Benfica, Atletico Madrid, my agents and my parents who have supported me from the beginning.”
Among the referees, it was again a woman who won the award for Best Referee of the Year, France’s Stephanie Frappart. She became the first woman referee in history to officiate over a European men’s Super Cup final (the match between Liverpool and Chelsea, held on August 14).
Dubai Globe Soccer Awards also recognizes football stars in the Arab region in cooperation with Kooora: the Saudi club Al Hilal was named Best Arab Club of the Year; and the Moroccan striker, leading figure of the Saudi club Al Nassr, Abderrazak Hamdallah won as Best Arab Player.
Player Career Awards were dished out to Manchester United legend and current Wales boss Ryan Giggs, plus Juventus and Bosnia midfielder Miralem Pjanic.
“I was lucky enough to play for the team I supported an also the country I was born,” said 46-year-old Giggs, who retired from United in 2014. “I played under many great coaches and manager, so I’d like to thank them – especially Sir Alex Ferguson.
“I’d also like to thank my teammate. I played until I was 40 and you can only do that with really good players.
“I would also like to thank my family and friends. Without them, I couldn’t have done what I did.”
Considered as part of the ‘Grand Slam’ of football award ceremonies alongside the Ballon d’Or and The Best FIFA Football Awards, the star-studded event was organised in partnership with Dubai Sports Council (DSC) and held alongside DSC`s Dubai International Sports Conference.
The annual Dubai Globe Soccer Awards were established in 2010 with the aim of recognising not just the best players and coaches, but also the people who work behind the scenes who had not previously been acknowledged. The great success of the event over the years has seen further categories added to the awards list, and the event now honours all the best in football.
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