Dubai: Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool were celebrating home and abroad on Sunday night as they capped off a perfect evening in Dubai and a victory over Premier League rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers.
While the team on the field in England were marching to another victory as they look ever more like claiming a first English League title in 30 years, they were picking up three more accolades in Dubai at the 11th Globe Soccer Awards.
Jurgen Klopp and his men were recognised as the Best Team of the Year, while the German boss at Anfield also claimed the Best Coach award. Allison Becker claimed Best Goalkeeper, to add to the night of celebrations.
Cristiano Ronaldo picked up Best Male Player for the sixth time, thanks to his stellar 12 months that helped Juventus claim their eighth consecutive Serie A title in Italy.
The Portugal captain and Juve star striker fought off stiff competition from Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, who recently won the Fifa Ballon d’Or for a record sixth time — one more than Ronaldo — plus Liverpool striker Mo Salah and Anfield defensive mainstay Virgil van Dijk.
While that was a slight disappointment for Liverpool, the Best Team and Best Coach awards are truly deserved.
They recently followed up their Uefa Champions League triumph with success in the Club World Cup, defeating South American champs Flamengo in the final in Doha earlier this month.
Back in Dubai, for the first time on Sunday, the Best Women’s footballer was also crowned, and there was a bit of a curveball as England’s Lucy Bronze beat out World Cup-winning United States pair Alex Morgan and Alex Rapinoe, plus France and Lyon’s Amandine Henry.
On more solid ground, Klopp defeated Ajax’s Erik Ten Hag and Portugal’s Fernando Santos to claim Best Coach of the Year. It is no more than he has deserved, given Liverpool’s march to the Champions League title and their resolute fight for the Premier League title this season, having missed out by one point to Manchester City last campaign.
As best male player, Ronaldo was honoured to pick up his title for the sixth time. In his acceptance speech, he thanked those nearest and dearest to him.
“I have to thank my family, my girlfriend, my boy, my three kids who are waiting for me in the hotel, my friends, my teammates of Juventus and the national team, my agent, all the people here tonight who support this gala,” Ronaldo said. “I have to say thank you to the Arabic community, which is always great with me. I have to thank Dubai as well — it’s a marvellous place to be, I’m coming every year and I love this place.
“And finally to thank you all who voted for me. It’s a great honour to be here and receive this amazing award. I hope to be here next year to receive this award once more.”
Maybe Bronze deserves the last word as she said: “It is not about being the best. It is about being recognised all together on the biggest stages.”
2019 Globe Soccer Awards
1. Best Academy of the Year: Ajax and Benfica
2. Best Agent of the Year: Jorge Mendes
3. Best Club of the Year: Liverpool
4. Best Coach of the Year: Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)
5. Best Goalkeeper of the Year: Alisson Becker
6. Best Men’s Player of the Year: Cristiano Ronaldo
7. Best Partnership of the Year Award by SportBusiness: Manchester City and SAP
8. Best Referee of the Year: Stephanie Frappart
9. Best Revelation Player: Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid, Portugal)
10. Best Sporting Director: Andrea Berta (Atletico Madrid)
11. Best Women’s Player of the Year: Lucy Bronze
12. Best Young Arab Player of the Year: Achraf Hakimi
13. Kooora — Best Arab Club Award: Al Hilal (Saudi Arabia)
14. Kooora — Best Arab Player Award: Abderazak Hamdallah (Al-Nassr, Saudi Arabia)
15. Player Career Award: Miralem Pjanic and Ryan Giggs