Dušan Tadić of Ajax has been voted the best player of the 2020-2021 Eredivisie season. His teammate Ryan Gravenberch was named the greatest talent and Feyenoord player Marcos Senesi scored the best goal of the season. Björn Kuipers won the referee of the year award and Arjen Robben was presented with the Eredivisie Oeuvre Award for his impressive career.
The award ceremony took place at Lido Club Amsterdam, where ESPN put the footballers in the limelight during a live broadcast - unfortunately still without an audience this year. The Eredivisie Player of the Year award is an annual event organised by Eredivisie CV in collaboration with ESPN.
Eredivisie Player of the Year
More than sixty different statistics and over 83,000 votes from ESPN's Man of the Match election were the basis of a list of twenty nominees. The captains of the Eredivisie clubs then chose Dušan Tadić as the best player of the past season. For fellow countryman and former Ajax player Marko Pantelić, it was an honour to present the award: "quote"
Tadić himself thanked the fans, his teammates and all colleagues at Ajax:
Greatest Talent: Ryan Gravenberch
‘It all started in a small sports hall on IJburg, you were only 4 years old. I remember you walking up to us during one of the training sessions and saying: 'I'm just good, I score all the time. Your father and I couldn't stop laughing.
Now you are 19 years old and U21 footballer of the year. I wondered so many times if the penny would drop on you, but my prayers came true, it did. And now we are here and I can present to you this great prize. We know that you have worked very hard for it. You're not there yet, keep working hard, believe in yourself, keep investing in yourself because you won't get it for free, but most of all, BE YOURSELF. God bless you my son.’
Those were the words of Ryan Gravenberch's mother, Aretha Starke. The 19-year-old Ajax player made 32 appearances in the Eredivisie last season and made his mark on the Dutch pitch. Gravenberch was named best player U21 by the coaches of the Eredivisieclubs.
Senesi scores best goal
The best goal in the Eredivisie was scored by Feyenoord player Marcos Senesi early in the season. On Sunday 27 September 2020, the Argentine defender gave Feyenoord a 2-1 lead with a superb overhead kick against ADO Den Haag in the 57th minute. The overhead kick was voted Eredivisie Goal of the Year.
Nice words came from his fellow countryman and popular Feyenoord player Julio Cruz:
'A dream goal! I want to congratulate him because I think he has shown as a defender what many strikers would want. This goal was a really nice one and especially because he did not shoot it with his favorite leg. A big hug and greetings to Feyenoord!'
Bjorn Kuipers best referee
Recently, referee Bjorn Kuipers brought his impressive career to an end. After a successful last season in the Eredivisie, Kuipers, along with his regular assistants Erwin Zeinstra and Sander van Roekel, was active at the European Championships, the highlight being his selection for the final between England and Italy. For this impressive season, Kuipers received the Eredivisie Referee of the Year award from his assistants.
Oeuvre Award for impressive career Arjen Robben
Arjen Robben received the Eredivisie Oeuvre Award for his football career. This 'new' award is presented to a player with an exceptional service record and significance in terms of Dutch football. Robben was modest as always, but honoured:
The Eredivisie Player of the Year Event is supported by the partners of the Eredivisie: Main sponsor KPN, Social Partner VriendenLoterij and Partner Holland Casino.