LaLiga delivered the awards corresponding to the 2015-16 season in an elegant gala celebrated Monday night. Footballers in tuxedos, musical performances and celebrities met in the same stage in order to reward the best players from last season’s Primera and Segunda División and women’s top flight.
Atletico Madrid were not able to win the league title last season, but their great performances did not go unnoticed this time. Thus, Atletico players (plus the coach) took home four trophies out of five possible.
The first colchonero that had to go up to the stage was Jan Oblak when he received the Best Goalkeeper award. The Slovene, who conceded the fewest goals in the league in 2015-16, expressed thanks to his mates, technical staff and family for their support.
The next turn was for Diego Godín, as the Uruguayan was named the Best Defender in LaLiga Santander 2015/2016. A captain and a key piece of the best defensive team in Europe the past few years, it was not the only good news of the day for the Pharaoh, who got the news earlier in the day that he was among the 30 candidates for the Balon D’Or trophy.
Unfortunately, not everything could be good news for Los Rojiblancos as Saul could not take home the Best Newcomer award. Marco Asensio, formerly of Espanyol and currently of Real Madrid, overtook the canterano and Real Sociedad’s Mikel Oyarzabal to receive the award for players who have graduated from “promising young player” to “rising star of Spanish football.”
LaLiga also did justice to Diego Pablo Simeone, who received his second LaLiga Santander Best Manager prize. El Cholo already won the award the same year his team raised the trophy and last seaon’s third-place finish and 88-point haul were enough to see him win it again.
When it looked like the night was over for Atletico, they took us by surprise and José Luis Caminero went on stage to collect the fans-voted Jugador Cinco Estrellas de la Afición prize for Antoine Griezmann. If you do not know what this award means, the league explains it for you:
“The Jugador Cinco Estrellas de la Aficion award was decided by the public through brewing brand and LaLiga sponsor Mahou's dedicated football page on Facebook, Mahou Futbol. Following the conclusion of the LaLiga Santander 2015/16 campaign on 19 May 2016, a gallery was posted featuring photos of each and every player from the 20 squads in the division. Griezmann captures the prize on account of his picture having garnered the most 'Likes' up to 31 May 2016.”
But the central theme of the gala was still pending, and the French forward’s name was heard again when the Best Player inLa Liga Santander 2015/16 was delivered. In what was his best season (so far), Griezmann played every game, scored 22 goals and 5 assists and helped keep his team in the title race until the penultimate week. We hope the Ballon D’Or voters have the same excellent taste and this was not the last individual title Griezmann will receive this year.