Good night for Spain at UEFA Awards

Istanbul, Aug 25 (EFE).- Representatives of Spanish football walked away from Thursday night’s UEFA Awards gala here with all but one of the top prizes.

Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema was named Men’s Player of the Year and Blancos manager Carlo Ancelotti accepted the award for Men’s Coach of the Year, while Spain international Alexia Putellas claimed the honors as Women’s Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.

The lone exception to Spain’s dominance came in the Women’s Coach of the Year category, won by Sarina Wiegman – who was unable to attend the gala – after her England side triumphed at Women’s Euro 2022.

Benzema was central to the effort that saw Real Madrid lift the Champions League trophy for a record-extending 14th time and win their 35th LaLiga title, also a record.

The French striker contributed 44 goals in 46 appearances in all competitions.

Ancelotti, in his second stint at the helm for Real Madrid, leads all coaches with four Champions League trophies and is the only manager to have won titles in the five elite European leagues: LaLiga, Serie A, the Premier League, the Bundesliga and Ligue 1.

Putellas plays her club football for Barcelona, which won the Women’s Champions League in 2020-2021 and finished second last season, losing the final to Olympique Lyon.

Nominated along with Benzema for Men’s Player of the Year were one of his Real Madrid teammates, goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, and Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne.

On the women’s side, Putellas got the nod over England’s Beth Mead and German international Lena Oberdorf.

Ancelotti beat out Pep Guardiola, who guided Man City to a fourth Premier League crown in five years, and Jürgen Klopp of Liverpool, which won both domestic cup competitions and reached the Champions League final. EFE jjl/dr

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