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Colombian’s first ever player-driven awards gala has been hailed as a resounding success and acted as a celebration of the past year in Colombian football.

The players union Asociacion Colombiana de Futbolistas Profesionales (ACOLFUTPRO) hosted the meeting at the Hotel Habitel in Bogota. The union called the awards an opportunity to ensure “the [year] in professional football is rewarded and the quality of footballers in Colombia recognized.”

ACOLFUTPRO canvassed professional players across the country to vote for their most deserving peers. Over 750 players voted on the eleven best players in the country, which allowed ACOLFUTPRO to then create a Best XI of the year.  The initiation of this vote acts as a continuation of the union’s commitment to create opportunities for the recognition of players.

Several players capped internationally were elected to the team, including Colombia’s Alexander Meija and Camilo Vargas. Meija, having since moved to play in Monterrey, Mexico is currently taking part in the ongoing Copa America. He humbly accepted his honour, talking about how much it meant to be given such a prestigious award from a vote from his peers.

ACOLFUTPRO hopes to extend this experience into a yearly tradition spotlighting Colombian professionals.

The 2014 ACOLFUTPRO Best XI is:

Goalkeeper: Camilo Vargas (Independiente Santa Fe);
Defenders: Daniel Bocanegra (Atletico Nacional), Francisco Meza (Independiente Santa Fe), Oscar Murillo (Atletico Nacional) and Juan David Valencia (Atletico Nacional);
Midfielders: Omar Perez (Independiente Santa Fe), Alexander Meija (Atletico Nacional) and Daniel Torres (Independiente Santa Fe);
Forwards: German Cano (Independiente Medellin), Wilson Morelo (Independiente Santa Fe) and Juan F. Caicedo (Atletico Huila);