Sergiy Rebrov won the Leader Award for the best coach. Image Credit: Supplied

The UAE Pro League held its annual gala honors ceremony for the 2021-2022 season on Saturday, 27 August, at Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi.

The ceremony was attended by Abdulla Naser Al Jneibi, UAE Pro League Chairman, members of the UAE Pro League’s board of directors, and representatives of sponsors, partners, clubs, and media.

Al Jneibi delivered a speech, in which, he valued the support provided by the UAE wise leadership for sports and athletes, thanked the strategic partners, sponsors of the UAE Pro League competitions, and praised the efforts made by all professional clubs. “It’s time for the UAE Pro League Awards Ceremony after a successful season, and here we must thank our strategic partners, the sponsors of the UAE Pro League competitions,” he said.

Joyful night

“We also greatly appreciate the efforts made by the professional clubs’ boards of directors, the administrative, technical, and medical bodies, and the players, who made this joyful night in honor of those who worked hard and did their best and deserved to be named “The Stars of the Season”. Everyone nominated tonight is a winner for what he has presented and the appreciation and praise he received,” he added.

The UAE Pro League Awards ceremony started with an Impressive 3D hologram show, about the memories of a football idol that embodies the career of the professional player from his childhood, until achieving his dreams in a dramatic plot, taking the attendees through time, to live the moments of challenges, determination and will that made real football stars.

The event honored the UAEPL’s partners and sponsors who played an important role in the competitions’ success and development of UAE football namely, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Follow up Committee of the Initiatives of UAE President, Emirates Palace Hotel, Emirates Airline, Al Nabooda Automobiles, Rixos Hotels, Abu Dhabi Sports Channel, Dubai Sports channel, and the UAE Football Association.

Amidst the anticipation of attendees at the Emirates Palace, and fans on TV screens and UAE Pro League’s social media platforms to know the stars of the 2021-22 season, the winners were as follows: Al Ain midfielder Bandar Al Ahbabi snatched the Golden Ball Award for the best Emirati player, while the Golden Ball Award for the best foreign player went to Al Ain striker Laba Kodjo.

26 goals

The Golden Shoe for the league’s top scorer was also handed to Al Ain’s forward Laba Kodjo, who entertained the fans throughout the season and bagged 26 goals. Al Ain maintained their superiority during the Awards Ceremony as their head coach Sergiy Rebrov won the Leader Award for the best coach, while Al Ain’s defender Erik Jorgens earned the Golden boy award for the best young player (Resident/ Born in the UAE). The Golden Glove Award for the best goalkeeper was handed to Al Ain’s Khalid Eisa, while his teammate Soufian Rahimi was named the Fans’ Player of the Year. Meanwhile, the 2021-22 ADNOC Pro League champions Al Ain earned the Highest Overall Fan Attendance Award as part of the “Fans League” initiative launched by the UAE Pro League, which witnessed great interaction from Emirati football fans.

The Golden Boy for the best young Emirati player went to Shabab Al Ahli’s Harib Suhail, whereas his teammate Guilherme Da Silva earned the Silver Shoe Award after finishing off as the U21 league top scorer. Al Jazira Club were handed the Professional Excellence in Club Licensing Award.