Sergio Agüero has been named the best Latin American player in the Spanish league for 2008, succeeding his countryman Lionel Messi and becoming the sixth Argentine to win the award. The EFE Trophy was presented to the Atlético de Madrid forward on Monday at a gala in Madrid’s House of The Americas. The award is given to the player who has the highest average rating from Spanish news agency EFE’s reporters in the previous season.
Agüero had a total of 242 points from the 36 matches he played during the 2007-’08 which qualified towards the award – an average of 6.54. That might not sound like a lot, but anyone who’s spent a bit of time looking through the ratings given to players by Spanish papers will know that they’re very harsh most of the time. Lionel Messi, with an average of 6.35, was third, with Sevilla’s Brazilian striker Luis Fabiano sandwiched between them on 6.41.
‘I want to thank the EFE Agency for this award,’ Agüero said in his acceptance speech, demonstrating a marvellous ability to remember who the trophy was from. ‘I’m very happy with this and I hope that next year it will be me whose chosen for the award again. I also want to thank my team-mates – because without them this prize wouldn’t have been possible – and my family.’ If Agüero were to achieve his hope of winning the trophy again next year, he’d become the first player to win it twice running – since its inception in the 1990-’91 season, when it was won by Panamanian Rommel Fernández, only Brazilian beefcake Ronaldo has won it twice, and those were six years apart with two different clubs.
Agüero is the second Atlético player to win the award, after Diego Simeone’s win in 1995-’96, although his strike partner Diego Forlán won it in 2004-’05 whilst with Villarreal. The previous Argentines to have won it were: Simeone; Martín Herrera (1999-2000 with Alavés); Javier Saviola (2001-’02 with Barcelona); Pablo Aimar (2005-’06 with Valencia), and Messi last year. In 2000, Real Madrid midfielder Fernando Redondo was given a special award for being the best Latin American player in the Spanish league over the whole of the previous decade – in spite of not having won any of the individual seasons’ awards.
This isn’t all from the relevant season or even the relevant team, but this seems like as good an excuse as any to link to an Agüero highlight video. So here is one.
Photo by me, on Flickr.