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FOOTBALL

Moroccan international Hakim Ziyech wins Netherlands Footballer of the Year award

Moroccan international Hakim Ziyech wins Netherlands Footballer of the Year award

OLAF KRAAK

AFP

The Ajax midfielder scored nine goals and delivered 15 assists at the 2017/18 season.

Moroccan international Hakim Ziyech was elected on Monday the best player of the year in the Eredivisie.

The Dutch Footballer of the Year award – known as the Gouden Schoen (Golden Boot) – is given by newspaper De Telegraf in partnership with the country’s football federation.

Ziyech becomes the third Moroccan to receive this award after Karim El Ahmadi last year and Mounir Hamdaoui in 2009.

Well-deserved recognition for Ziyech

Last season, the 25-year-old Ajax midfielder scored nine goals and delivered 15 assists in 34 league appearances, as the Amsterdam side finished second in the Eredivisie.

'Ziyech is a piece of jewelery for Dutch football,' Ajax coach Erik ten Hag expressed.

'I think he plays football in a nice team, with lots of good footballers around him and it runs smoothly, which gives him pleasure and motivation to achieve even more.'

At the annual awards ceremony, the Moroccan did not fail to thank his mother for her support.

'I want to thank everyone,' said Ziyech before a crowd of personalities invited to the sporting event. 'But my mother in particular. Mom, all my strength comes from you, this price is for you,' he added.

Ziyech: “The best phase of my career”

In the recent months, the midfielder has struggled to find a place in Ajax after being linked with a move to AS Roma.

On several occasions, Ziyech expressed his desire to leave the Amsterdam side. However, Ajax managed to renew the Moroccan’s contract with a large pay rise.

“I did not expect to stay even this season, but now I am here and I will give everything for this jersey, I am very happy and I think I am in the best phase of my career,” the midfielder said.

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