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Inter captain Icardi wins Serie A footballer of year award

Inter’s Mauro Icardi (L) won Serie A Player of Year, and the Best Goal award. © AFP / Miguel MEDINA

MILAN, Italy, Dec 4Inter Milan’s Argentina striker Mauro Icardi won the Serie A Footballer of the Year award at the Gran Gala del Calcio ceremony in Milan on Monday night.

The 25-year-old becomes the first player outside Juventus to win the Italian Players’ Association award, voted for by his peers, since Zlatan Ibrahimovic with AC Milan in 2011.

Icardi was joint top scorer with Lazio’s Ciro Immobile in Serie A last season with 29 goals.

The Argentine also won the best goal award for his spectacular backheel during a four-goal haul against Sampdoria last March.

Icardi disagreed with the choice, insisting his “one (goal) at AC Milan was more beautiful”.

Juventus were voted top team with Massimiliano Allegri winning coach of the year after the Turin side won a league and Cup double for the fourth consecutive year.

“It’s a group of great men, with a great club behind us,” said Allegri, who has won the award four times.

“I’m fortunate to have worked with so many marvellous players and tonight I see the maestro Andrea Pirlo too.”

Allegri’s side are on track for an eighth straight Serie A title, with Allegri hailing the impact of five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo who arrived last summer.

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“Ronaldo has brought professionalism, competitiveness and is a humble guy,” said Allegri.

Portuguese star Ronaldo finished runner-up to Croatia’s Luka Modric in this year’s Ballon d’Or prize which was awarded in Paris on Monday.

Fiorentina’s Italian international defender Alia Guagni won the Serie A women’s Player of the Year award.

Roma legend Francesco Totti and former AC Milan and Juventus great Pirlo both received Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Meanwhile, Gianluca Rocchi won the award for the best referee 24 hours after being whistled off the pitch at the Stadio Olimpico over his decision not to award Roma a penalty in a 2-2 draw against Inter Milan.

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