The gala awards night that honored the best players, coaches, clubs and agents of the year as well as the century (2001-2020)
If Robert Lewandowski’s now famous joke of inviting Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to his table needed some credence, then it came in the form of yet another top football prize in Dubai Sunday evening. The 32-year-old Pole, in some sizzling form this year for his club Bayern Munich, won the player of the year award at the Globe Soccer Awards held at a gorgeous setting under the shimmer of the world’s tallest tower, Burj Khalifa.
This comes just days after the prolific Bayern Munich striker was named The Best Fifa Men’s Player for 2020, thanks to his sensational 55 goals from 47 appearances in a season that saw Bayern complete a second treble in seven years.
“Dreams come true. I have always dreamt of playing at the big stage and here I am now. So I am glad. To be a legend like Ronaldo and Messi and to be counted amongst them is special,” Lewandowski said while thanking his fans, club, family and remembering his late father at the time of receiving the award.
The gala awards night that honored the best players, coaches, clubs and agents of the year as well as the century (2001-2020) also saw Ronaldo win the Player of the Century (2001 to 2020) award, an honour that should sit pretty next to his five-time Ballon d’Or trophies.
“A big thanks to everyone for this wonderful award. I hope next year this pandemic is over. This will give me motivation to continue my journey,” the iconic Portuguese footballer said after receiving the award.
Spanish greats, goalkeeping legend Iker Casillas and Barcelona superstar Gerard Pique won Player Career Awards while Bayern Munich, winners of the Champions League, Bundesliga, and DFB-Pokal treble last season, were declared the Club of the Year.
Real Madrid — winners of five Uefa Champions League, four Uefa Super Cup, one Intercontinental Cup, four Fifa Club World Cups, seven Spanish La Liga titles, two Copa Del Rey and six Supercopa de Espana in this millennium — were adjudged Club of the Century (2001-2020).
Egyptian powerhouse Al Ahly — winners of 13 Egyptian league titles, six Egypt Cup and 11 Super Cup at home, as well as seven African Champions League, six CAF Super Cup and a CAF Confederation Cup since 2001 — were declared the Middle East Club of the Century (2001-2020).
In the battle for Coach of the Year, Bayern Munich’s treble-winning boss Hans-Dieter Flick edged Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp and Gian Piero Gasperini, manager of Italian club Atalanta, for the honours.
Spaniard Pep Guardiola, who has won eight league titles with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and his current club Manchester City, as well as two Uefa Champions League, three Uefa Super Cup and three Fifa Club World Cup since embarking on his managerial odyssey in 2008-09, was named Coach of the Century (2001-2020), ahead of current Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, Manchester United legend Alex Ferguson and the ‘Special One’, Jose Mourinho.
Portuguese “Super Agent” Jorge Mendes, meanwhile, bagged the Agent of the Century award, ahead of Dutchman Mino Raiola and Italy’s Giovanni Branchini.
More than 21 million fans had voted for their favourite players, coaches, clubs and agents in this year’s Dubai Globe Soccer Awards, which is organised in collaboration with Dubai Sports Council and Dubai International Sports Conference.
The Dubai Globe Soccer Awards also paid a video tribute to two legends of football who passed away recently, Argentina’s 1986 World Cup hero Diego Maradona and Paolo Rossi, whose six goals helped Italy win the 1982 World Cup in Spain.
By Abhishek Sengupta
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