AC Milan signee Lucas Paqueta was among the winners of Brazil’s prestigious Bola de Prata (Silver Ball) awards on Monday.
The 21-year-old Flamengo midfielder completed a €35 million deal to join the seven-time European champions in January and was one of a number of recipients of Brazil’s top club honours during a ceremony, being named to the team of the season alongside Palmeiras’ Dudu, who was given the Bola de Ouro (Golden Ball) for the top player of the Brazilian championship.
Joining them on the Best XI squad are goalkeeper Weverton of Palmeiras, central defenders Victor Cuesta and Pedro Geromel of Internacional and Gremio, respectively; Flamengo left-back Rene and Palmeiras right-back Mayke, a midfield trio consisting of Inter’s Rodrigo Dourado, Palmeiras’ Bruno Henrique and Gremio’s Everton as well as Inter Milan loanee Gabriel “Gabigol” Barbosa of Santos.
Gabigol, who signed a five-year deal with Inter after moving from Santos for €30m in the summer of 2016, was named Brazilian football’s top striker after scoring 18 times in 35 matches for O Peixe this season.
Luiz Felipe Scolari, who guided Brazil to a World Cup title in 2002 and also to their stunning 7-1 semifinal defeat to Germany in 2014, was named coach of the year after leading Palmeiras to the league title following a mid-year appointment.
Ceara man Wescley’s jaw-dropping volley from well outside of the box against Corinthians picked up goal of the year, and Rafael Traci was named referee of the season.
These are the winners of the famous Bola de Prata award: #Brasileirão
Dudu (Palmeiras) won the best player award, Scolari won the best manager award, Gabigol the top scorer award, Wescley scored the most beautiful goal, Rafael Traci named the best referee. pic.twitter.com/LF55KBWNaj
— Paulo Freitas (@Cynegeticus) December 3, 2018
Six-time Women’s World Player of the Year Marta became the first to take home the women’s Bola de Ouro for best player.
This year’s Bola de Prata ceremony celebrated 60 years since Brazil’s first World Cup title. Selecao legend Pele, who as a 17-year-old scored a brace in the final victory over Sweden, was honoured for his contribution to Brazilian football.