SPORTS DESK : 1 SEPTEMBER, 2023, 5:26 PM
Manchester City’s Erling Haaland and Spain’s World Cup-winning star Aitana Bonmati won the UEFA Men’s and Women’s Player of the Year prizes respectively at a ceremony in Monaco on Thursday.
Norway striker Haaland scored 52 goals in 53 games to help City win the treble of Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup, while Bonmati inspired Spain to World Cup glory earlier this month.
Haaland’s achievements in his first season at City after joining from Borussia Dortmund saw him take the men’s award, for which his club colleague Kevin De Bruyne and Lionel Messi were also shortlisted.
Messi was at Paris Saint-Germain last season but has since left to join Inter Miami in Major League Soccer.
“I am kind of living a dream. This was my dream when I was young, so to be able to do this together with my teammates is something special,” Haaland, 23, said after collecting his award.
Bonmati, 25, starred as Barcelona won the Women’s Champions League last season and was then named player of the tournament for her role in Spain’s World Cup triumph in Australia and New Zealand.
She pipped her Spain teammate Olga Carmona, scorer of the winning goal in the World Cup final against England, and Chelsea and Australia striker Sam Kerr to win the UEFA prize.
“It was a season I will never forget,” Bonmati said.
Spain coach Jorge Vilda missed out to England manager Sarina Wiegman for the women’s coach of the year prize.
Pep Guardiola won the men’s coach of the year award after leading City to the treble. -BSS
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