Kylian Mbappe was named the men’s Player of the Year at the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards on Monday night, with Robert Lewandowski, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldinho among the evening’s other winners.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward, 23, took the top honours at the 12th awards ceremony, held at the Armani Hotel.
Mbappe, a 2018 Fifa World Cup winner with France, had earlier featured alongside Bayern Munich counterpart Lewandowski in a panel discussion for the Dubai International Sports Conference, where the pair discussed innovation in football.
In winning the best men’s player award, Mbappe defeated six-time recipient Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Mohamed Salah, Karim Benzema and Lewandowski.
The French international top-scored in Ligue 1 last season with 27 goals, as PSG finished runner-up to Lille, and helped France secure the Uefa Nations League.
“It’s a big pleasure to be here again in Dubai,” Mbappe said. “First of all, I have to wish a Happy New Year to everybody here. A big pleasure to see all the big players here, big legends, big names of football.
“It is a big achievement for me. I want to say thank you to my club Paris Saint-Germain, who believed in me these past five years, even better this season. To my national team; to all the people who nobody knows who work with me, who help me a lot; to my family, they are there with me, always with me.
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“It’s a great pleasure to be here. And it’s a big motivation to keep working hard and maybe come back next year and win again so many titles individually and collectively.”
Lewandowski, 33, did not leave empty-handed though: the Polish international won the inaugural [Diego] Maradona Award for best goalscorer of the year after striking 69 times for the German champions in 2021.
This month’s volley against Wolfsburg was his 43rd goal in the Bundesliga in the past 12 months, breaking Gerd Muller’s record for the most German league goals in a calendar year, which had stood since 1972.
On Monday, Lewandowski was also named TikTok fans’ player of the year – a category organisers said attracted millions of votes.
“Diego Armando Maradona, I know what happened to him last year, so that means a lot, even more to win this award,” Lewandowski said.
“Because for me, as a striker, to be in the right position at the right time is always the best feeling so I know that my play, my goals, will boost my teammates. Because without my teammates, without my coaches, it would be difficult to score so many goals.
“I want to thank all my teammates, all my coaches, because they help be the best scorer this year and I hope maybe next year as well. But I know I have to work hard, even harder than this year.”
Ronaldo, meanwhile, picked up the prize for “top scorer of all-time”.
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Earlier this month, the Portugal captain became the first player to reach 800 goals when he scored twice for Manchester United in the 3-2 victory against Arsenal in the Premier League. Last year, Ronaldo was named Globe Soccer’s Player of the Century.
Speaking via recorded message, the forward, who was getting set to represent his club against Newcastle United in the English top flight on Monday night, said: “Unfortunately I could not be there tonight, but I just want to say thank you for this amazing award. I’m so proud and very happy for this achievement. Thank you guys and have a good evening. And I hope to be there next year.”
Meanwhile, Brazil great Ronaldinho collected the Player Career award for a CV that includes winning the 2002 Fifa World Cup, being twice voted Fifa Player of the Year, and lifting with Barcelona a Uefa Champions League crown and two La Liga titles.
Elsewhere, Barcelona captain Alexia Putellas won the best women’s player and Roberto Mancini scooped the award for best coach after guiding Italy to the Euro 2020 crown this summer.
Manchester City’s Txiki Begiristain was named sporting director of the year.
For the second time in the awards history, fans were invited to vote. Organisers said more than 15 million votes were cast from 210-plus countries and territories. Fans accounted for a 40 per cent of the votes, while a jury – made up of coaches, directors and club presidents – contributed to the remainder.
- Best Men’s Player of the Year: Kylian Mbappe (PSG)
- Maradona Award for Best Goal Scorer of the Year: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
- TikTok Fans’ Player of the Year: Robert Lewandowski
- Top Goal Scorer of All Time: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
- Best Women’s Player of the Year: Alexia Putellas (Barcelona)
- Best Men’s Club of the Year: Chelsea
- Best Women’s Club of the Year: Barcelona
- Best Defender of the Year: Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus/Italy)
- Best Goalkeeper of the Year: Gianluigi Donnarumma (PSG/Italy)
- Best Coach of the Year: Roberto Mancini (Italy)
- Best National Team of the Year: Italy
- Best Agent of the Year: Federico Pastorello
- Best Sporting Director of the Year: Txiki Begiristain (Manchester City)
- Player Career Award: Ronaldinho.
Over 120 fans die in Indonesia football stampede
At least 129 people have died in a stampede at an Indonesian football match, officials say, in one of the world’s worst stadium disasters.
The stampede happened after police tear-gassed rioting supporters.
About 180 were injured in the crush after Arema FC lost to bitter rivals Persebaya Surabaya in East Java.
The country’s chief security minister said that the number of spectators exceeded the stadium’s capacity by around 4,000 people.
President Joko Widodo has ordered that all matches in Indonesia’s top league must be stopped until an investigation has been concluded.
Videos show fans running on to the pitch after the final whistle.
Police then fired tear gas, leading to a crowd stampede and cases of suffocation, said Nico Afinta, police chief in East Java.
“It had gotten anarchic. They started attacking officers, they damaged cars,” he said, adding that two police officers were among the dead.
“We would like to convey that… not all of them were anarchic. Only about 3,000 who entered the pitch,” he said.
Fleeing fans “went out to one point at the exit. Then there was a build-up, in the process of accumulation there was shortness of breath, lack of oxygen”, he added.
Videos on social media show fans clambering over fences to escape. Separate videos appear to show lifeless bodies on the floor.
FIFA, the world’s governing football body, states that no “crowd control gas” should be carried or used by stewards or police at matches.
The Indonesian football association (PSSI) said it had launched an investigation, adding that the incident had “tarnished the face of Indonesian football”.
Violence at football matches is not new in Indonesia, and Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya are long-time rivals.
Persebaya Surabaya fans were banned from buying tickets for the game because of fears of clashes.
But Chief Security Minister Mahfud MD posted on Instagram that 42,000 tickets had been sold for the match at the Kanjuruhan stadium, which has a capacity of 38,000.
President Widodo called for this to be the “last soccer tragedy in the nation” after ordering that all Liga 1 games should be paused pending an investigation.
Arsenal spank Tottenham 3-1 in London derby
Arsenal secured a vital 3-1 win over Tottenham at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday as goals from Thomas Partey, Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka saw the Gunners triumph in the North London derby.
Mikel Arteta made two changes to the team that defeated Brentford last time out as Oleksandr Zinchenko and Martin Odegaard returned while Thomas Partey started after some injury concerns.
Arsenal dominated the opening exchanges and took the lead with 20 minutes gone through a Partey pearler.
Just nine minutes later, Harry Kane brought Spurs level after Gabriel brought down Richarlison to undo all of Arsenal’s good work. The visitors grew into the game after drawing level and headed into half-time with a share of the spoils.
Arsenal took the lead minutes into the second half. Bukayo Saka weaved his way into the box and hit his shot at Hugo Lloris who parried twice which allowed Jesus to poke home.
With 60 minutes gone, Spurs’ chances of taking something away from the game were dealt a blow when Emerson Royal was shown a straight red card for his challenge on Gabriel Martinelli.
Arsenal made their advantage pay as Granit Xhaka fired his shot low and across Lloris after some good work from Martinelli. The Gunners played out the remaining time without breaking a sweat to secure north London bragging rights.
Harry Kane’s leveller for Tottenham saw him set yet more scoring records, but his side self-destructed after halftime as their 12-year wait for a league win in the fixture continued. Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal have now won seven of their opening eight games and lead the standings by four points with second-placed Manchester City facing Manchester United on Sunday.
Lewandowski gives Barca slim victory in Mallorca
Robert Lewandowski was the hero once again for Barcelona as they fought to a 1-0 victory away at Mallorca.
The game started with Barca pulling weights to break the deadlock, and did eventually when Lewandowski curled in a fine shot into the bottom corner of the net in the 20th minute.
Barca then tried to kill off the game but could not find that second-goal cushion as Mallorca were defensively solid.
The host tried, on multiple occasions, to draw level but Marc Andre Ter Stegen continued his excllent form between the sticks for Barca as he denied their attempts to ensure Barca pick up maximum points and stay top of the league for at least, the night till Real Madrid play Osasuna on Sunday night.
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