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MANCHESTER City striker Gabriel Jesus has been crowned Brazilian player of the year.
Jesus, who agreed a £27m move from Palmeiras in the summer, but was allowed to finish the Brazilian season before joining City, helped his club win the title for the first time in 22 years – scoring 12 goals in a season dominated by international call-ups.
His efforts saw him lift the prestigious Bola de Oura (Golden Ball), previously won by the likes of Ronaldinho and current Barcelona forward Neymar.
Palmeiras and Gabriel Jesus dominated the football writers’ awards, taking seven of the 11 spots in the team of the year; head coach, Cuca, also took home coach of the year.
Melhor atacante e craque do brasileirão.. Obrigado Senhor pelo ano maravilhoso 🙏🏽🙌🏽🏆⚽️ pic.twitter.com/m22e1xoAEQ
— Gabriel Jesus (@jesusoficial9) December 13, 2016
Chapecoense goalkeeper Danilo, whose last-gasp save in the semi-final against San Lorenzo helped his side into the Copa Sudamericana final, was posthumously awarded Fans’ Player of the Year in a poignant act from the public.
Danilo was among the 71 people who died when their plane crashed into a mountainside outside Medellin last month.
The plane was taking the Chapecoense team to face Colombian side Atletico Nacional in the final of the Copa Sudamericana – the biggest match in their short history.
Danilo, The Chapecoense goalkeeper killed in plane crash, has been named as Brazil’s player of the year
In Pic: Danilo’s mother pic.twitter.com/m2GU0wO53S
— Gautam (@gautyou) December 13, 2016
His mother, Ilaides Padilha, collected the award on his behalf at the ceremony in Rio de Janeiro.
Speaking at the ceremony, Padilha said: “In the name of Chapecoense, I want to thank everyone for their affection and ask for their prayers.
“May the future warriors that come to Chapecoense be like the warriors that left there.”