Mabkhout and Cartabia claim top honours at UAE Pro League awards

Serial winner Cosmin Olaroiu takes home the Best Manager’s trophy for fourth time

The Golden Ball award for best Emirati player is handed to Ali Mabkhout, right, at the UAE Pro League Awards. Khushnum Bhandari / The National
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Ali Mabkhout bagged the Golden Ball for the best Emirati player for the fourth successive year, while Federico Cartabia walked away with the best foreign player prize at the UAE Pro League Awards on Thursday night.

Mabkhout, who netted a superb 27 league goals last season, edged out Al Wasl’s Ali Saleh and Shabab Al Ahli’s Yahya Al Ghassani for the award.

“I wouldn’t have achieved this honour if not for my teammates and the support of my club. Although I’m taking this home, it was a collective effort,” said Mabkhout, the Al Jazira and UAE striker, after picking up his trophy at the Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental in Abu Dhabi.

Cartabia edged out last year’s winner Kodjo Laba of Al Ain and Mohamed Firas Ben Larbi for the Golden Ball for foreign players. The Argentine was in sparkling form as Shabab Al Ahli picked up their first league crown since their 2017 merger.

“This award caps off a remarkable season for me as we won the league, and now this personal award tonight. I’m incredibly happy,” the 30-year-old winger said.

Also taking home a gong was Manager of the Year for a fourth time, Cosmin Olaroiu.

The Romanian won three of the four domestic honours for Sharjah to beat out Leonardo Jardim of Shabab Al Ahli and Ajman’s Goran Tufegdzic in the race.

“My job is to win trophies for the club, and this is a small award that I take home for those efforts,” said Olaroiu, who guided his team to success in the UAE Super Cup, League Cup and President's Cup.

“At Sharjah, we are a family. Whatever we achieve is accomplished as a team. We had a pretty good season and are looking forward to another good season.”

Harib Abdalla Suhail of Shabab Al Ahli bagged the Golden Boy (U23) award for Emirati players, while Erik Jorgens took the Golden Boy trophy for the foreign players.

Adel Al Hosani won the Golden Glove to give Sharjah a second award on the night.

Al Ain grabbed multiple awards, including the Professional Excellence in Club Licensing, while Laba took home the Golden Shoe for being top scorer (28 goals), and Soufian Rahimi, the Fans' Player of the Year.

Khor Fakkan’s Aylton Filipe received the Golden Shoe as the top scorer in the ADIB Cup. Jazira took away the Fans' Team of the Year.

Updated: August 10, 2023, 9:31 PM