Valencia: Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann was adjudged the La Liga player player of the 2015-2016 season at Spanish football’s annual awards gala here, where two of his club’s teammates and coach were also among the winners.
Atletico Club President Enrique Cerezo accepted the trophy on Griezmann’s behalf as the French international was unable to make the trip on Monday, reports Efe news agency.
“The truth is that he deserves it. Minutes before leaving the airport he received a personal call and he had to remain in Madrid and he was very sad because he was looking forward to being here,” Cerezo said of his team’s main offensive threat.
Griezmann also received the five-star trophy, which is awarded based on a vote among fans.
Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio took the breakout-player award for his performance last season on loan to Espanyol.
Atletico’s Jan Oblak was named best goalkeeper after a season that saw him concede only 18 goals in 3,420 minutes played, while fellow Colchonero Diego Godin was crowned best defender.
Diego Simeone, the architect of Atletico Madrid’s renaissance, walked away with the trophy for coach of the year.
“I want to share this with the technical staff, footballers, club, and my family,” the Argentine coach said. “Above all, I want to tell everyone that I am a lucky man.”
The best midfielder honours went to Real Madrid’s Luka Modric, who made a point of thanking his teammates.
The World Player award, which goes to the best non-European player as selected by fans, went to Barcelona star and Uruguayan international Luis Suarez.
Barca’s Lionel Messi got the prize for best forward of 2015-2016. Suarez and Messi also failed to attend the gala here last night.