Spanish champions Atletico Madrid were largely ignored at the Spanish Professional Football League (LFP) Gala Awards for the 2013-14 season on Monday as Real Madrid dominated proceedings, with Cristiano Ronaldo claiming three gongs.
The Portuguese superstar picked up the awards for best player, best forward and best goal in La Liga at the ceremony in Madrid, per AS, and expressed his delight via Twitter:
Ronaldo's wins were largely unsurprising considering his 31 goals from 30 matches last term, per WhoScored.com, with his volleyed backheel against Valencia seen as the best of the lot, per Showboat Vines:
However, the lack of Atletico players picking up awards on the night was a surprise considering their league win and six nominees—Thibaut Courtois, Felipe Luis, Miranda, Gabi, Koke and Diego Costa.
|2013-14 LFP Gala Awards Winners|
|Best Player||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid|
|Best Coach||Diego Simeone||Atletico Madrid|
|Best Goalkeeper||Keylor Navas||Real Madrid (formerly Levante)|
|Best Defender||Sergio Ramos||Real Madrid|
|Best Defensive Midfielder||Luka Modric||Real Madrid|
|Best Attacking Midfielder||Andres Iniesta||Barcelona|
|Best Forward||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid|
|Best African Player||Yacine Brahimi||Granada|
|Best South American Player||Carlos Bacca||Sevilla|
|Breakthrough||Rafinha Alcantara||Barcelona (loaned to Celta in 2013-14)|
|Best Goal||Cristiano Ronaldo (vs Valencia)||Real Madrid|
|Fair Play||Ivan Rakitic||Barcelona (formerly Sevilla)|
Although boss Diego Simeone was named best coach, for the champions and most frugal defence in the league—they only conceded 26 goals all season—to be completely ignored in the player department seemed somewhat odd.
Indeed, Simeone seemed to make reference to the lack of recognition for his players when picking up his award, per AS:
“I want to share this with my technical team and also with my players, Courtois, Miranda, Gabi, Koke...”
Spanish football writer Rafael Hernandez summed up the opinion of many concerning Atletico seemingly being passed over:
Along with Ronaldo, his teammates Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos were named best defensive midfielder and defender, respectively, while Madrid's Keylor Navas was named best goalkeeper—for his Levante performances—ahead of Atleti's Courtois.
Barcelona also got in on the act with a handful of awards, Andres Iniesta picking up the gong for best attacking midfielder, while Rafinha Alcantara bagged best breakthrough player and former Sevilla man Ivan Rakitic the fair play award, per the club's website.
Ronaldo and Real were most certainly the night's biggest winners with the Portuguese fully deserving his awards after a fantastic season.
If he carries on the current season in the same vein of form—he already has 16 goals in eight appearances per WhoScored—he will no doubt repeat the trick at next year's event.
However, considering Atletico's historic, impressive and largely unexpected league win last season, the lack of awards for their players is something of a mystery.