Indian footballers elect Nabi as best player
Friday 18 May
The Football Players Association Of India’s (FPAI) celebrated its Indian Football Awards 2012 in Goa. All members of FIFPro Division Asia/Oceania witnessed Syed Rahim Nabi being crowned the Indian Player of the Year.
Syed Rahim Nabi was named Player of the Year by his colleagues in Indian professional football in a vote organised by the FPAI. The 26-year old left wingback of Mohun Bagan was picked ahead of Manandeep Singh and Francis Fernandes.
Manandeep Singh and Ranti Martins walked away with the awards for Young Player of the Year and Foreign Player of the Year. The 19-year old Singh impressed as a high scoring forward for Air India (8 goals in 12 matches). Nigerian Dempo SC striker Martins is the I-League top scorer for the second year in a row with 32 goals.
Midfielder Francis Fernandes (Salgoacar) took the Fans' Player of the Year gong, voted for by the Indian football followers themselves, while there was some shock amongst the crowd when Trevor Morgan pipped favourite Armando Colaco to the Coach of the Year title. Colaco had to console himself with the satisfaction that his club, Dempo SC was voted as the Team of the Year, which was chosen by 15 players from the FPAI Executive Committee.
Climax Lawrence, Samir Naik and Mahesh Gawli, all of whom announced their retirement from international football, were also felicitated for their services to Indian football.
The ceremony began with the FPAI Top 11 being announced, consisting of Karanjit Singh in goal, Deepak Mandal, Mahesh Gawli, Uga Okpara, Syed Rahim Nabi in defence, Rocus Lamare, Douhou Pierre, Roberto Mendes da Silva, Penn Orji in midfield and Odafa Okolie partnering Ranti Martins upfront.
Young player of the Year: Manandeep Singh
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