Croatian international Nikola Vlašić has been selected as the player of the year in Russia, Sportske Novosti reports.
The award is the biggest individual recognition for the 23-year-old CSKA Moscow midfielder and one of the biggest for a Croatian footballer.
The last time a Croatian player won a similar award in a European league was Darijo Srna back in 2010 when he was named player of the year in Ukraine.
Vlašić, who has had a great 2020 for both club and country deserved the award which is divided into four levels. The winner is decided by the votes of 16 most prominent Russian coaches, 16 most prominent sports directors and managers, 16 journalists of the most prestigious Russian sports portal Sport express, and readers of the same portal.
The value of Vlašić’s victory is greater because all the players of the Russian league were nominated in the selection, but also all the Russian players who also play abroad. All of them were defeated by the Croatian midfielder, and very convincingly. He was the best in the opinion of coaches, sports directors, journalists and fans, in all four categories.
In the end, Vlašić got 251 points, Alexei Miranchuk (Atalanta) 113, while Roman Zobnin (Spartak Moscow) was third with 106 points.
Vlašić’s victory is no surprise, although his club CSKA had another disappointing year in which he finished the championship only in fourth place, they welcomed the winter break in second place, and in the Europa League they finished last in the group won by Dinamo Zagreb.
In 25 championship games, Vlašić scored 13 goals, to which he added 6 assists. He was also a player of the match on eight occasions. If we look only this autumn, Vlašić is the fourth top scorer in the league with 8 goals and shares first place for the most assists in the league with five.
He also has the most (53) shots, the most key (53) passes, and he is also the fourth best dribbler (34) in the league.