FPAI awards 2018: Sunil Chhetri named Player of the year, Bengaluru FC sweep multiple honours
What’s the story?
Sunil Chhetri, Miku, and Albert Roca emerged as fan favourites in the recently concluded FPAI awards and were named winners in their respective category. The youngster, Jerry Mawia, and Subhash Singh were also honoured with awards. Read on to find out the details.
In case you didn’t know…
The Football Players Association of India awards were organized Tuesday. FPAI is the sole representative body for all professional players across India and conducts this prestigious awards ceremony yearly.
In 2017, Alfred Jaryan won the 'Best Foreign Player' and coach of Aizawl FC, Khalid Jamil, was named the 'Best Coach.' Anas Edathodika, the instrumental defender, won 'Indian footballer of the year.'
Finally, CK Vineeth was named the named the Fans' favourite for the year, and Udanta Singh grabbed the 'young footballer of the year' award last time around. Now, let's talk about the results of the current awards.
The heart of the matter
Scoring a total of eight goals in the Intercontinental Cup meant that the captain would sit handsomely at the second position in the list of highest active international goalscorers, only behind Ronaldo (81 goals), and tied with Messi at 64 goals.
This is one award whose result does not come as a surprise, considering the tremendous form Chhetri has been in lately. Chhetri scored an incredible 24 goals across all competitions and deservedly grabbed the 'Indian Player of the Year Award'.
The likes of Balwant Singh (Mumbai City FC), Michael Soosairaj (Chennai City FC), Adil Khan (FC Pune City), and Jeje Lalpekhlua (Chennaiyin FC) got a special mention in the awards as well.
The top five coaches were Steve Coppell (Jamshedpur FC), Gift Raikhan (Neroca FC), Albert Roca (Bengaluru FC), Sergio Lobera ( FC Goa), and Khogen Singh (Minerva Punjab). The FPAI 'Coach of the Year' award finally went to Albert Roca, for making Bengaluru reach the tremendous heights this season. Roca led Bengaluru to the ISL final, ensuring his side finish at the top of the table with 40 points from their 18 matches in the league stage.
However, the Spaniard has left Bengaluru FC since then, and the Blues are said to be on the lookout for a new manager.
The Young Player of the Year award went to Jerry Mawia of Jamshedpur. The budding winger was a real force to reckon with in ISL 2017/18. The 21-year-old youngster still has a long way to go in his career. He will hope to continue to be a regular at Jamshedpur in the coming seasons to fulfil the ultimate dream of donning the National Team's jersey soon.
The youngster also holds the record for scoring the fastest goal in ISL history when he netted against Kerala Blasters FC in the 22nd second.
Other notable mentions nominated in this category were: Anirudh Thapa (Chennaiyin FC), Jerry Lalrinzuala (Chennaiyin FC), Udanta Singh (Bengaluru FC), and Lallianzuala Chhangte (Delhi Dynamos). Anirudh Thapa and Udanta also got to represent India in the recently concluded Intercontinental Cup and put up some promising performances.
Coming to the Foreign Player of the year award now. This would have been a rather difficult choice with the likes of Ferran Corominas (FC Goa), Miku (Bengaluru FC), Chencho Gyeltshen (Minerva Punjab FC), Marcelinho (FC Pune City), and Manuel Lanzarote (FC Goa) were all in contention.
All these players are fan-favorites for the club they represent. However, the award ultimately went to Miku, who came second in the ISL scorers' charts with 15 goals to his name, three goals behind Ferran Corominas, who scored 18 for the Gaurs.
The 32-year-old also scored five goals in three matches (including a hat-trick against Mohun Bagan) in the Super Cup, which Bengaluru eventually went on to win. Corominas, on the other hand, only managed to score 2 in 3 matches in the Super Cup, as FC Goa were eliminated in the semifinals.
It was also the vital situations during which the Venezuelan produced the goals, that makes this choice even more justified.
The last award, 'Fans Player of the Year', went to Subhash Singh. The Neroca FC Player had a good outing in the I-League and scored 4 goals in 17 matches.
List of FPAI Awardees:
Young Player of the Year: Jerry Mawihmingthanga
Fans' Player of the Year: Subhash Singh
Indian Player of the Year: Sunil Chhetri
Coach of the Year: Albert Roca
Foreign Player of the Year: Miku
The FPAI awards proved to be a good break for the players after their long and tiring seasons. The players will now be rejuvenated and look to make an impact in the upcoming seasons.
What's your take on the results of the FPAI awards? Do share your opinion in the comments section below.