AIFF Awards: Sunil Chhetri, Manisha Kalyan win top-drawer awards

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The All India Football Federation (AIFF) Player of the Year Awards are the awards that are given annually to the best football players of India. The awards hold a lot of significance and are prestigious in several ways. Announced first in 1992, the AIFF awards mark the best performances from the footballers and is one of the most sought-after awards in the Indian footballing circuit.

Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri bagged the AIFF Player of the Year Award 2021-22 for his stupendous performances this year. He has the third most international goals among the current active crop of players; he is just behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

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Indian women’s team mid-fielder Manisha Kalyan won the Player of the Year award in the women’s category. The coaches’ prizes were bagged by Igor Stimac and Thomas Dennerby for the Indian men’s team and women’s team respectively.

The Emerging Player Award was won by 20-year-old Vikram Pratap Singh for his outstanding performances in the Indian Super League (ISL) and the AFC Champions League.

Martina Thokchom won the women’s emerging player of the year award.

When speaking about skipper Chhetri, head coach Igor Stimac was all praises.

“Sunil was our highest goal-scorer, scoring 5 goals, and also the Player of the Tournament in the SAFF Cup. Furthermore, he led from the front scoring 4 goals in 3 games in the 3rd round of AFC Asian Cup qualifiers in Kolkata. His commitment, leadership, discipline and hard work were impressive throughout bad and good times.” Said Igor Stimac.