Barcelona's Neymar wins award for best Brazilian player in Europe
Barcelona, Jan 3 (IANS) FC Barcelona forward Neymar has won the prestigious Samba Gold accolade, awarded to the best Brazilian player in European football. The 22-year-old received the majority of the votes from the judging panel, made up of 11 former Brazilian players and 11 journalists, reported the Spanish daily Marca on Friday.
Reigning La Liga champions Atletico Madrid's Joao Miranda and English club Chelsea's Willian were Neymar's nearest challengers. Neymar has had a good season in La Liga so far, to add to a stellar World Cup. He has already scored 14 goals and has six assists in 15 games for Barcelona this season.
He received 41.41% of votes from the journalists' panel, with Miranda and Willian finishing second and third in that order. He also got 39.39% of votes from the players' panel, finishing ahead of Willian and Miranda, the Chelsea player sneaking ahead of the Atletico player in this case.
Former Brazil skipper and French side Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) defender Thiago Silva had won the award for the previous three seasons, but he didn't figure in the top three this time.