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The spotlights were on Denis Alibec and Ioana Bortan as the Romanian professional footballers association, AFAN, celebrated its fourth annual awards gala in Bucharest.

Alibec received two awards for being both the Player of the Year and the Best Striker after a vote in which almost 950 players from Romania’s top three professional leagues participated.

 

In 2016, Alibec helped guide Astra Giurgiu to the Romanian title and the League Cup. Two weeks ago the 26-year old national team striker moved to Steaua Bucharest.

Three other players for Steaua collected trophies during the event: Florin Nita (Best Goalkeeper), Gabriel Tamas (Best Defender) and Fernando Boldrin (Best Foreign Player).

Lucian Sanmartean (Pandurii) was named Best Midfielder and Razvan Marin (Viitorul Constanta) received the prize for Best U-21 Player.

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Ioana Bortan was voted the Best Female Player. The 27-year old is a midfielder for reigning champions Olimpia Cluj, by far the best team in Romanian women’s football since 2011. Halfway the current season they have won all nine matches, scoring 84 goals, with only 3 against.

“The award is the result of all the hard work that I have done so far”, Bortan said in an interview with the Romanian FA. “This is an extra motivation for me.”

AFAN handed out career awards to four recently retired players: Adrian Mutu (77 caps), Ciprian Marica (69 caps), Dorin Goian (60 caps) and Daniel Pancu (27 caps).

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