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Yet another award for Leo Messi! The Argentinian was named Liga player of the year 2017/18 at the 71st Grand Gala of leading sports daily El Mundo Deportivo on a night where FC Barcelona again featured prominently.
First team stars Ivan Rakitic and Samuel Umtiti, former captain Andrés Iniesta, women’s team member Claudia Pina as part of the Spain’s U17 World Cup winning squad and Barça Lassa basketball team manager Juan Carlos Navarro also collected awards.
President Josep Maria Bartomeu led the club representatives, which also included fellow board members Jordi Cardoner, Jordi Mestre and Enrique Tombas, plus a number of other senior figures.
These included FC Barcelona CEO Òscar Grau, the sports manager of football Josep Segura, assistant technical secretary Ramon Planes and representatives of the many different sports played at the club.
Messi honoured and grateful
A beaming Messi received his trophy from the hand of Liga president Javier Tebas, describing it as “a very nice honour because of what it means and I am very grateful.”
He also called on the fans to come to the Camp Nou on Wednesday (TICKETS HERE) to support the team in their quest to turn around the first leg defeat to Sevilla and win a place in the Copa del Rey semi-final draw.
Rakitic and Umtiti won the Extraordinary Trophy not only for their achievements at Barça but also for reaching the World Cup Final in Russia with their national teams.
The Croatian is also confident that Barça can mount a comeback against Sevilla and the French defender insists that he is recovering well from injury ans hopes to be back in action very soon.
Meanwhile, Iniesta received the Award for Sporting Excellence, Pina collected the Golden Liga Trophy on behalf of the Spain U17 team, and Navarro picked up the Legend Trophy, saying that “if you win an award recognising your career it must mean that you did something right.”
The event also included a tribute to former FC Barcelona president Josep Luis Nuñez, who passed away in December.
Other award winners included weightlifter Lydia Valentín, motorcyclists Marc Márquez and Ana Carrasco, rally driver Carlos Sainz, heptathlete Maria Vicente and Huesca manager Joan Francesc Ferrer, better known as Rubi.
The night also heralded two all-time legends, multiple Tour de France winner Eddy Merckx and long jumper Bob Beamon, for their historic contributions to sport.
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