Italian football Oscars

Inter striker Ibrahimovic picks up Italian award

January 20, 2009

Inter Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was named Player of the Year at the 2008 Italian football Oscars on Monday night.

The award, based on the votes of members of the Italian footballers' association, was one of three claimed by the Swede at the ceremony in Milan. He also came out top in the best foreign player and best goal categories.

Ibrahimovic, who struck 17 league goals last term to help Inter clinch their third straight Scudetto, was delighted.

"I have to thank all of my team-mates, my new coach Jose Mourinho and of course, (former coach Roberto) Mancini, who is no longer a part of Inter," said the 27-year-old.

Three of Ibrahimovic's former colleagues also received awards on Monday.

Juventus' Gianluigi Buffon was named best goalkeeper, Giorgio Chiellini was named top defender and Alessandro Del Piero received the best Italian player award as well as the top scorer trophy for his tally of 21 Serie A goals last season.

In the other categories, Napoli attacking midfielder Marek Hamsik was awarded Young Player of the Year, while Cesare Prandelli was recognised for turning Fiorentina into one of the top four teams again by being voted best coach.

"This is an award for Fiorentina," said Prandelli. "We want to return to be among the top four teams in Serie A this season."