Omar Abdulrahman, Sebastian Tagliabue and Cosmin Olaroiu honoured at AGL awards
The 2015/16 Arabian Gulf League awards took place on Saturday night at Emirates Palace. John McAuley was there to see the prizes handed out.
The night’s winners
There were 10 individual categories in all, with the three main awards going to representatives from the top three sides of the 2015/16 campaign.
Al Ahli’s Cosmin Olaroiu took home coach of the year, Al Ain’s Omar Abdulrahman was voted Emirati of the year and Al Wahda’s Sebastian Tagliabue got the nod for foreign player of the year.
Majed Naser (Ahli) won best goalkeeper and Mohammed Al Akberi (Wahda) named best Under-21 player.
Team of the year
A composite XI was selected, comprising the best players in their respective positions from the past league season.
They were goalkeeper Majed Naser (Ahli), defenders Mahmoud Khamis (Al Nasr), Kwon Kyung-won (Ahli), Ismail Ahmed (Al Ain) and Ahmed Ibrahim (Nasr), midfielders Khamis Esmail (Ahli), Majed Hassan (Ahli) Everton Ribeiro (Ahli) and Omar Abdulrahman (Al Ain), and forwards Ali Mabkhout (Al Jazira) and Sebastian Tagliabue (Wahda).
Managing the best
“It’s good that people appreciate my work,” Olaroiu said. “It’s deserved more for my team, for my players, for my staff – it’s not only me. It’s the work of a team, coordinated by me.
“We try always to do our best to make the team win on a constant basis. We try to win the games, improve day-by-day, game-by-game, training-by-training and then we look for the competitions and then the awards.”
Asked if being named the league’s finest local player will increase the pressure on him next season, Abdulrahman said: “No, I play football for fun, I don’t feel any pressure. I have to thank my Al Ain teammates and the fans for this award.”
It is the second time Abdulrahman has received the accolade after winning the same prize in 2012/13.
“I thank my wife and my family: they are my life and the power of my life in football,” Tagliabue said. “This is for them. I am very happy it was three awards for me: top scorer, best foreigner and in the team of the year.
“I always promise the team and the fans I will never give less than 100 per cent. I hope next year will be even better than this year, personally and for the team.”
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Updated: May 14, 2016 04:00 AM