SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Chapecoense goalkeeper Danilo, who was killed in the Colombian air crash last month, was posthumously named Brazil’s Player of the Year after a vote by fans on Monday.
Danilo, whose last gasp save in the semi-final against San Lorenzo helped his side into the Copa Sudamericana final, got 48 per cent of the internet vote.
His mother Ilaides Padilha collected the award on his behalf at a ceremony in Rio de Janeiro.
“In the name of Chapecoense, I want to thank everyone for their affection and ask for their prayers,” said Padilha, who touched the hearts of millions when she hugged a reporter whose colleagues were also killed in the Nov. 28 tragedy.
“May the future warriors that come to Chapecoense be like the warriors that left there.”
Players, directors and reporters were among the 71 people who died when their plane crashed into a mountainside outside Medellin.
The plane was taking the small team from southern Brazil to face local side Atletico Nacional in the final of the Copa Sudamericana, the biggest match in their history.
Brazilian league winners Palmeiras were the big winners in the Football Writers Player of the Year awards.
Players from the Sao Paulo club filled seven of the 11 spots in the team of the year. Cuca took Coach of the Year and striker Gabriel Jesus, who is about to join Manchester City, lifted the Player of the Year gong.
Santos midfielder Vitor Bueno was elected Young Player of the Year.
(Writing by Andrew Downie, editing by Nick Mulvenney)