Paulo Dybala has beaten Juventus team-mate, Cristiano Ronaldo, to this season’s Serie A Player of the Year award.
Lega Serie A announced Dybala as the winner of the annual prize on Tuesday, with Ronaldo failing to retain the title he won in his first year at the Allianz Stadium.
Italian football’s main governing body named the Argentina international as the 2019-20 ‘MVP’, with Juve’s newest signing Dejan Kulusevski grabbing the Young Player of the Year prize for an outstanding campaign on loan at Parma.
Juventus also had another winner in Wojciech Szczesny, who got the nod for best goalkeeper, while Inter’s Stefan De Vrij, Atalanta star Papu Gomez and Lazio talisman Ciro Immobile were acknowledged in defensive, midfield and forward roles.
Dybala has recorded 11 goals in 33 Serie A outings for Juve this term, along with 11 assists, bouncing back strongly after a testing final year under Massimiliano Allegri.
The 26-year-old struggled to adapt to a new role in the team following Ronaldo’s arrival at the Allianz Stadium from Real Madrid in 2018 but has rediscovered his best form since Maurizio Sarri’s appointment last summer.
The diminutive playmaker’s performances helped Juve secure an unprecedented ninth successive Scudetto, as Sarri’s men narrowly finished one point ahead of Inter following an intriguing title race which also included Atalanta and Lazio.
Ronaldo might have thought he had done enough to retain Serie A’s top individual accolade after contributing 31 goals to the Bianconeri’s cause, but his final tally was still five behind Lazio frontman Immobile, who earned the Capocannoniere and the European Golden Shoe.
There have been questions asked over whether Dybala and Ronaldo are capable of operating at full capacity in the same system, but Sarri noted a change in their relationship after a 3-1 win over Genoa on June 30.
After seeing both men geet on the scoresheet, the Italian boss told reporters: “They have learned to look for each other more often.
“They have realised that by benefitting from each other, both reap the rewards. It’s something I have noticed in training too.”