The Russian Premier League summed up the results of the season and presented the awards of the RPL Heroes award to the best players and coaches of the year. The ceremony of awarding the coveted statuettes was held in Barvikha near Moscow.
The first award of the evening and the title of the most media player went to Lokomotiv forward Artem Dzyuba. The footballer took the stage behind the statuette, accompanied by the former coach of Rubin, CSKA and the Russian national team Leonid Slutsky, with whom they together host the show "Well, you can't, ###" on the YouTube channel "Comment.Show".
"I think this nomination is the most important in football, you can't go anywhere without it. This is especially important for Leonid Viktorovich, because he is now our YouTuber, a very media person, and I'm just a puppet in his hands, that's all," Dzyuba said with a smile.
The coach also could not resist taunting Artem and expressed the hope that next year the striker will claim the award "in much more football categories."
In the meantime, the player has the role of the one who presents the prizes. So, it was he who awarded Stanislav Cherchesov, who became the winner in the special nomination "Best Coach Abroad". This season, the Russian for the second year in a row led the Hungarian "Ferencvaros" to victory in the national championship. In addition, under his leadership, the team reached the 47/1 finals of the Europa League for the first time in 8 years.
The specialist, in a conversation with reporters, noted that he was pleased to meet with Dzyuba, since they had not seen each other for a long time, although they corresponded regularly. He also appreciated the return of the former Zenit player to the RPL.
"I congratulated him after almost every goal and a successful match. He deserves it. The right decision is that he is at Lokomotiv. It is no coincidence that Loko has now risen in the standings. We know that good Dzyuba is a bad player. But when Dzyuba is angry, it means that he has arrived and proves to everyone. I always knew this, so he constantly played for me in the main team and was the captain, "the former coach of the Russian national team quotes the Championship.
Two Akinfeev awards
Cherchesov, in turn, presented the prize to the best goalkeeper of the RPL, which was recognized as Igor Akinfeev. The CSKA goalkeeper, who played 11 clean sheets in the championship, was ahead of Matvey Safonov from Krasnodar and Ilya Lantratov from Lokomotiv in the fight for the trophy. He also got a statuette for the most spectacular pass of the season. Akinfeev performed it in the home match against Sochi, giving a long pass to Jorge Carrascal, who left the defender and sent the ball past Denis Adamov.
The author of the most beautiful goal was Lokomotiv midfielder Konstantin Maradishvili. He scored in the fall over himself in the match of the second round with Rostov, and then dedicated this ball to his father. The finalists of this nomination also included two Spartak players: Anton Zinkovsky for a goal against CSKA in the away derby and Victor Moses with the ball to Akhmat in the first round.
Zenit player Douglas Santos was recognized as the best defender of the season, and Spartak captain Georgy Dzhikiya and Army player Moises also claimed the prize.
Andrey Arshavin presented the statuette to the best midfielder - Eduard Spertsyan from Krasnodar. The pupil of the club academy played 28 matches in the championship, scored 12 assists, and also scored ten goals. His rivals for the prize were Spartak player Ruslan Litvinov and Wendel from Zenit.
The prize for the best striker went to Zenit player Malcom, who bypassed Spartak player Quincy Promes and Fedor Chalov from CSKA in the voting. The Brazilian could not attend the ceremony in person, as he had already gone on vacation to his homeland, but recorded a special video message. He thanked his family, team, medical staff and Zenit fans for helping him become the best on the field.
"This award is very important to me. The season was incredible and unforgettable!" said the forward of the St. Petersburg team.
Meanwhile, Promes also did not remain without an award and received the audience award. He received the trophy from the hands of the special guest of the ceremony, the midfielder of Chelsea and the Moroccan national team, as well as his good friend Hakim Ziyech.
"It's easy to climb to the top, but it's harder to stay there. First of all, I wish young players to believe in themselves and not give up, even if someone criticizes you or something doesn't work out. It is necessary not to give up, but to continue to work and work. This is the only way to achieve something," said the striker of the red-and-whites.
The triumph of Fedotov and Malcom
CSKA coach Vladimir Fedotov was named the best coach of the year. The finalists in this category were also Sergey Semak, who won the fifth championship title in a row with Zenit, and Valery Karpin, who led Rostov to fourth place.
"Very touched. I didn't feel so excited, even being on the coach's bench. I want to express my gratitude to the voters who appreciated it, and also to the parents who instilled a love for this beautiful sport," Fedotov said in his speech.
And the most important award and the title of the best player of the 2022/23 season went to Malcom. He received the most votes among the ten finalists. Army men Ivan Oblyakov, Chalov and Akinfeev, Spartak players Promes and Alexander Sobolev, railway worker Dzyuba, Spertsyan from Krasnodar, Vladimir Pisarsky, who played for Orenburg and Krylia Sovetov and Orenburg resident Lukas Vera, also claimed the prize.
Instead of Malcolm, the award was received by Zenit's Deputy General Director for Sports Development Andrei Arshavin.
"I, too, like many, believe that Malcom deserved this prize. He was as good as ever," said the former blue-white-blue player.
In addition, the symbolic team of the season was named at the ceremony, which included Akinfeev, Dzhikiya, Maxim Osipenko, Moises, Santos, Wendel, Litvinov, Spertsyan, Malcolm, Chalov and Promes.
In turn, RPL President Alexander Alaev summed up the season and called it the most difficult for the entire time of the Russian championship.
"It was difficult for the players, for the coaches, for the teams, for the fans, and for us, for the sponsors. It was really very, very hard, but we went this way, and I believe that we passed it with dignity. In general, we can say that we have coped with the task. Now I want everyone to rest, gain strength, because the new season will start very soon, "RB Sport quotes Alaev as saying.