Muriqui sweeps Golden Boot, CSL Player of Year
Updated: 2011-12-14 21:21
GUANGZHOU - The 25-year-old Brazilian striker Muriqui from newly-crowned Guangzhou Evergrande bagged home both the 2011 Chinese Super League(CSL) Player of the Year and the Golen Boot Prize, while Liaoning Hongyun boss Ma Lin was crowned the best coach at the 2011 CSL awarding ceremony last week.
Muriqui, who scored 16 goals in 30 league matches, conquered the CSL with his talented dribbles, accurate passes, fast pace and sharp shots, his all-round skills proved his worth of $3.5 million when Evergrande signed him from Brazil in 2010. Muriqui was once a member of the Brazilian national youth team.
"Thanks my teammates for helping me for those goals," said the thin and speedy striker, "I feel happy here. It's a very important prize for me and also a big honor of my life."
Brazilian striker Muriqui wins Player of the Year award and the Golen Boot prize during the 2011 CSL awarding ceremony in Guangzhou, Dec 10, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]
Muriqui contributes much to the winning tour of the newly-promoted Evergrande together with Dario Leonardo Conca, MVP of the 2010 Brazilian top League, and Gabriel Cleo. The golden triangle netted 35 goals, more than half of the total goals scored by Evergrande during the season.
In a friendly against the Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid in August, Muriqui showed his depth with a string of dazzling performances, rounding Marcelo Vieira, Ricardo Carvalho with fine footwork several times. Although Evergrande was trounced 7-1 by Jose Mourinho's side, Muriqui displayed his flair facing those big names.
An unhappy case nearly made Muriqui move back to Brazil in the latter phase of the season. Muriqui revenged at Liaoning midfielder Zhao Junzhe with some violent behavior after the Chinese veteran tackled him frequently in that game, and The Brazilian received a 5-game ban. But the Evergrande club successfully persuaded Muriqui to stay with the team.
Yu Hanchao of Liaoning Hongyun FC wins the top local striker with 12 goals during the 2011 CSL awarding ceremony in Guangzhou, Dec 10, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]
Liaoning team's left midfielder Yu Hanchao won the top local striker with 12 goals as the Chinese international was always threatening at the left flank.
Ma Lin guided Liaoning to the third place of the 2011 CSL, which is somewhat surprising considering the team is mainly made up of young, inexperienced players. However, Ma Lin lost the chance to take part in next season's AFC Champions League as Liaoning decided to quit the qualification round, for the AFC requires those teams eliminated from the preliminary round must play the AFC Cup.
Evergrande's South Korean coach Lee Jang-soo was not chosen as his success is seemed natural since the money-bag supported team's unrivalled strength, while runners-up Beijing Guoan's Portuguese boss Jaime Pacheco failed as his impetuousness once led to a five-game ban by the Disciplinary Committee of the Chinese Football Association.
"I feel lucky. Coach Lee and Pacheco just modestly let me get the prize. And thanks for the supportof my players and the club," said Ma Lin.
Song Wenjie, who scored 6 goals in the season, was titled Youth Player of the Year. The 20-year-old tall forward from Qingdao club had some prominent games. His alertness in the box and fine finishing helped him surpass competitors of young keeper Liu Dianzuo and attacker Ji Xiang.
Tan Hai was named the best referee of the season.
Zheng Zhi (C), skipper of Guangzhou Evergrande FC, receives the champion's trophy from Cai Zhenhua (R), vice-minister of General Administration of Sport of China, during the 2011 CSL awarding ceremony in Guangzhou, Dec 10, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]
It's the first time that CCTV live broadcast the CSL awarding ceremony since 2008, when the Chinese national TV station decided to stop broadcasting the CSL as the league had a lot of problems like match-fixing, gambling and corruption.
Now as the Chinese government's large-scale action against the illegal activities of the league gave heavy blow to the darksites, in which former CFA vice-presidents Nan Yong, Xie Yalong, Yang Yimin and several other CFA officials, former players, coaches and relevant club staff were arrested, the environment of the CSL begins to turn good.
Football fans start to walk back to the stadium and the CSL reached a best-ever average of nearly 17,600 attendance per game in 2011.
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