Al Ain dominate UAE Pro League Awards

Garden City club’s Togolese international Kodjo Laba takes home three prizes

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Al Ain ruled the roost at the UAE Pro League Awards 2021-2022 with nine winners, including the main Golden Ball for both foreign and Emirati players, at the Emirates Palace on Saturday.

Kodjo Laba bagged three awards – the Golden Ball for foreigners, Golden Boot for the league’s top scorer, and for the best goal of the league against Al Wahda.

Bandar Al Ahbabi took the Golden Ball for the Best Emirati player, Khalid Eisa won the Golden Glove, Erik Jorgens was handed the Best Young Foreign player award, Soufiane Rahimi was voted fans player and Serhiy Rebrov named the Best Coach.

“It means we did very well and very happy that we won so many awards on the night,” Al Ain’s Ukrainian manager Rebrov, who led his side to the league and Cup titles, told The National.

“To win the league and cup is an achievement and to see the players bag so many awards at the ceremony was a really proud moment for the club, our fans and the players.

“Obviously we want to take the momentum forward. It’s going to be another tough season with the Asian Champions League too on our roster. All we can do is prepare and play as we did last season, or even better.”

Laba, 30, said the three awards he received will remain one of his best football memories.

“I always put my team first and if the team wins we all win. If any individual awards come my way, I’m really glad, like what I received tonight,” the Togolese international, who topped the league scoring charts with 26 goals, said.

“These awards I won was because of my teammates. They supported in every goal I scored. As a team we played consistently well throughout the season. So the awards ceremony was reward for the hard work.”

Speaking on the 2022-2023 season, Laba said the team will have to raise the bar as the defending champions.

“A new season means we have to start from scratch,” he added. “The pressure is always there whether we are champions or not, but we must deal with it. That’s what we intend to do.”

UAE Pro League Awards 2021-22:

Golden Ball for the best foreign player: Kodjo Laba (Al Ain)

Golden Ball for the best Emirati player: Bandar Al Ahbabi (Al Ain)

Best coach: Serhiy Rebrov (Al Ain)

Golden Glove award for the best goalkeeper: Khalid Eisa (Al Ain)

Golden Boy for the best young Emirati player: Harib Suhail (Shabab Al Ahli),

Golden Boy award for the best young player (Resident/ Born in the UAE): Erik Jorgens (Al Ain)

Silver Shoe: Guilherme Da Silva (Shabab Al Ahli)

Highest Fan Attendance Award: Al Ain

Professional Excellence in Club Licensing: Al Jazira.

Updated: August 28, 2022, 7:22 AM