Inter dominate Serie A season awards

football24 May 2024 18:00| © AFP
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Lautaro Martinez © Gallo Images

Champions Inter Milan dominated the Serie A end-of-season awards on Friday with Simone Inzaghi voted coach of the year and Lautaro Martinez player of the year.

Inzaghi, 48, was chosen by a panel of sports publication directors, said the league.

"It could only be Simone Inzaghi," Lega Serie A CEO Luigi De Siervo said in a statement.

"Inter have both the best attack and best defence and also went on a 28-game unbeaten run," said the statement, adding that Inzhagi "has had his players continuously play an exciting brand of football while maintaining compactness and solidity".

Argentina forward Martinez became team captain at the start of the season and was top scorer in Serie A with 24 goals in 33 games.

"Lautaro Martinez's season has been extraordinary in terms of performance and leadership," said De Siervo.

The awards will be presented ahead of Inter's last match of the season at Verona.

Two other Inter players were honoured as Serie A gave awards to five other players.

Hakan Calhanoglu was selected midfielder of the season and Alessandro Bastoni as the best defender.

Michele Di Gregorio of Monza picked up the goalkeeper award and Dusan Vlahovic of Juventus was the best striker.

Joshua Zirkzee, a 23-year-old Dutch striker with Bologna, was named best player under 23.

Going into Sunday's final round, Inter hold a 19-point lead over second-placed AC Milan.

Since Inzaghi took over at Inter in 2021 he has led the club to three Italian Supercups, two Italian Cups and, last season, the final of the Champions League.

While they went out in the round of 16 in both the Champions League and Italian Cup this season, they dominated Serie A with 29 wins, six draws and just two defeats.

Inter changed ownership on Wednesday, with US fund Oaktree taking over from Chinese group Suning, which was unable to repay a debt worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Oaktree said on Friday that it had taken control of 99.6 per cent of the club's capital.

Inter's fans also discovered on Friday that season ticket prices for matches at the San Siro next season would rise between 12 per cent and 23 per cent - a decision made before Oaktree's takeover.