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Tabata is QFA Player of the Year once Again

Al Rayyan striker wins the best player award a second time, thanks teammates; Fossati adjudged best coach



THE soccer season in Qatar ended on Saturday with Al Rayyan's attacking midfielder Rodrigo Tabata capping an impressive 2015-16 by winning the Qatar Football Association (QFA) Best Player of the Year award for a second time at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNNC).

QFA President Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed al Thani presented the award to Tabata.

The 36-year-old Brazilian Qatari international slammed 21 goals and essayed ten assists for Al Rayyan who clinched the Qatar Stars League title for the first time in 21-years.

"I am very happy to be presented with this award. I want to thank all my teammates and a special appreciation to my wife, whom I dedicate this award to," Tabata said on winning the honour. Tabata also earned $200,000 with the Gold Trophy.

Al Rayyan boss Jorge Fossati was adjudged the best coach, ahead of Yousuf Adam of Al Ahli and Sabri Lamouchi of El Jaish, who guided Jaish to Qatar Cup title.

Speaking after the presentation, Fossati said,"I am very happy and emotional to receive this award for the third time. I am a good coach because I have a great bunch of people around me. My players, technical staff and my club officials deserve this award. I think the Al Rayyan team had a great season. There's a lot of promise for the future."

El Jaish mercurial Moroccan striker Abderrazak Hamdallah and Al Rayyan's live wire Rodrigo Tabata shared the Best Scorer's Award with 21 goals apiece.

The duo received a Silver Trophy and $100,000. The award was presented to them by Egyptian legend Mohamed Aboutrika.

The former Chinese Super League striker of Guangzh R&F said:"I am very happy with this award. I want to thank my teammates and technical staff for the support. I have enjoyed my time with El Jaish. We are a hardworking team that believes in team spirit. We won the Qatar Stars Cup and still in the Champions League."

Tabata, who also won the award in 2012, said:"This award means a lot to me and for my team. I scored so many goals because I got great support from my teammates. I want to thank the entire Al Rayyan management, fans, coach and teammates."

Meanwhile, 23-year-old Al Sadd defender Abdelkareem Hassan retained the best young player honour for a second year running.

The best fans award went to the Al Rayyan supporters, who cheered the Lions and played a key role in the team's success.

The best club administration of the season was won by El Jaish, who finished in second place in the Qatar Stars League.

A postmortem award was given to late Mohammed al Langawi for his contribution to the media and sport in the country.

The Football for All award was given to Jeem Cup Tournament organisers for staging a tournament that attracted school boys from about ten different countries.

A special Recognition Award for home grown talent was given to Meshaal Abdulla for his impressive contribution to the Qatar Stars League for reaching a century of goals this season. The award came with a QR100,000 cash award.

Speaking after the award, Meshaal said:"It is a major achievement being the third Qatari player to achieve that milestone of scoring 100 goals. I am happy for the award and more pleased for receiving the award from the person that launched my career."

This has been a special season for football in many ways. The teams played well and many matches dished out quality stuff. The pressure created by teams on one another was amazing.

This raised the quality of football in the country. One of the finest moments this season was Lekhwiya's winning the Emir Cup on Friday for the first time with a comeback 2-2 draw in regular time before clinching it 4-2 on penalties.


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