Erling Haaland is player of the year as Man City dominate Dubai Globe Soccer Awards

Pep Guardiola named top coach while Cristiano Ronaldo picks up trio of honours

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Manchester City dominated the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards on Palm Jumeirah on Friday night, with striker Erling Haaland collecting Best Men’s Player – although Al Nassr captain Cristiano Ronaldo did pick up a trio of honours, too.

The 14th edition of the awards, taking place at Atlantis, The Palm, and staged in partnership with Dubai Sports Council, saw City sweep six prizes, with chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak named Best President, Pep Guardiola Best Coach, and the treble-winners Best Men’s Club. Rodri also took Best Midfielder, with Ederson named Best Goalkeeper.

The success commemorated City’s incredible 2022/23 season in which they became only the second club to win the English Premier League, the Uefa Champions League and the FA Cup. In 2023, Guardiola’s side captured five trophies in all, including the Uefa Super Cup and, last month, the Fifa Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia.

A sizeable City delegation, including their 25-man squad who are in the UAE for a warm-weather training camp, were present at the awards. Organisers said the winners were selected with help from more than 70 million fan votes from 225-plus countries and territories.

Haaland, who pipped to the award a plethora of stars including Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Mohamed Salah and Kylian Mbappe, said upon receiving his award onstage: “First of all, the guys sitting here [teammates] are a bunch of amazing people. And my manager of course.

“It’s a fantastic club and the support we players get from the administration and the leaders of the club is massive as well. I really enjoy being there.”

Asked when he expected to return from the foot injury that has kept him sidelined since December 6, Haaland said: “I hope really soon, because I’m getting sick of not playing. So hopefully soon.”

Guardiola, voted best coach ahead of a number of high-profile counterparts such as Real Madrid’s Carlo Ancelotti, Argentina’s Lionel Scaloni and Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone, gestured towards his players and reflected on a fantastic past 12 months for the Abu Dhabi-owned club.

“There are many, many reasons [for the success], especially all of them sitting there," Guardiola said. "Of course, we are here in UAE, where Abu Dhabi helped unconditionally. Yeah, really, really happy.”

Pressed to choose which of his all-conquering Barcelona side or this City team were better, Guardiola replied: “It’s like [selecting] between your mum and dad. Both are special.”

Ronaldo, who before the awards took to the stage alongside City pair Kyle Walker and Ruben Dias for a panel discussion under the banner of the 18th Dubai International Sports Conference, scooped awards for Best Middle East Player, the Globe Soccer Maradona Award for most goals scored in a calendar year, and Fans’ Favourite Player of the Year.

The forward, 39 next month, enjoyed a stunning 2023 in front of goal; he struck 54 times in the calendar year to finish ahead of the likes of Harry Kane, Mbappe and Haaland.

“I did an amazing season,” Ronaldo said. “I have to say thank you to my teammates, my coaches, from at Al Nassr, from the Portugal national team.

“I feel so proud. I never won this trophy, the Best Middle East Player. And [the] Maradona as well. I will put with passion in my museum. Because it’s two special ones."

Ronaldo added: "I have to say thank you to my wife, to my kids, who deal with my every day. Sometimes I know I am a little bit boring, but it’s my job to be consistent every time.”

On the Fans’ Favourite Award, the Portugal captain said: “For me, the most important thing in football is to make the fans happy, because it’s the people who go to the stadium to see goals, to see good games. And if they vote it's because they have passion for football.

"For me, it’s a special award, because most of the time we don’t think about the fans, because without you guys, football is nothing. So thank you very much voting for me. And keep supporting football and keep supporting Al Nassr and Cristiano Ronaldo.”

Other winners included in-form Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham, who received the Power Horse Emerging Player Award, and Spanish World Cup winner Aitana Bonmati, who was named Best Women’s Player. Barcelona were voted Best Women’s Club, while Egyptian giants and current African champions Al Ahly received Best Middle East Club.

Elsewhere on the night, Brazil captain and Manchester United midfielder Casemiro, and former England and Chelsea captain John Terry, were presented with Player Career Awards. Meanwhile, Scaloni, who led Argentina to Fifa World Cup glory in 2022, received a Coach Career Award.

Full list of winners

Best Men’s Player: Erling Haaland (Manchester City and Norway)

Best Women’s Player: Aitana Bonmati (FC Barcelona and Spain)

Fans’ Favourite Player: Cristiano Ronaldo (Al Nassr and Portugal)

Best President: Khaldoon Al Mubarak (Manchester City)

Best Coach: Pep Guardiola

Best Middle East Player: Cristiano Ronaldo (Al Nassr and Portugal)

Best Men’s Club: Manchester City

Best Women’s Club: FC Barcelona

Best Midfielder: Rodri (Manchester City and Spain)

Best Goalkeeper: Ederson (Manchester City and Brazil)

Best Sporting Director: Cristiano Giuntoli (Juventus)

Best Agent: Jorge Mendes (Gestifute)

Best Middle East Club: Al Ahly SC (Egypt)

Power Horse Emerging Player: Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid and England)

Globe Soccer Maradona Award: Cristiano Ronaldo (Al Nassr and Portugal)

Player Career Award: Casemiro

Player Career Award: John Terry

Coach Career Award: Lionel Scaloni

Best Middle East Media Company: Saudi Media Company

Serie A – Best Digital Content by a Club: AS Roma

Serie A – Best Digital Content by a Player: Rafael Leão (AC Milan and Portugal)

Best Social Media Influencer: Alnoufali_7

Best Digital Journalist: Fabrizio Romano

Best Esports Player: Msdossary7

Best Video Creator: Asgari_freestyle

Updated: January 20, 2024, 6:21 AM