The plaudits keep coming for Tottenham Hotspur. This time, it’s Swedish international and winger-cum-midfielder Dejan Kulusevski, taking home the Guldbollen, the Swedish Football Association’s award for player of the year:
Dejan Kulusevski tilldelas !— Svensk Fotboll (@svenskfotboll) January 4, 2024
Dejan vinner Guldbollen för andra året i rad - stort grattis! ✨
Deki wins the award for the second year running, and you could say it’s somewhat of a surprise given the turbulent times both his national team and club side have faced in 2023, something he himself acknowledges:
Both times it’s been a shock. You don’t go around thinking every day about whether you’re going to get the Golden Ball or not. There will be a call in the evening. It makes you happy and proud, it’s a nice award that shows that you’ve done something good...
...There have been a lot of ups and downs this year both in the club team and in the national team, in the national team it has been a little tougher. Even though we’ve had a lot of good performances and good matches, we haven’t won and haven’t made it to the European Championships and that’s what hurt the most. At the club, I’ve tried to fight on and always done my best. I’ve been in the gym and worked out every day. At the end of the day, I win this award. I’m ready to sacrifice everything to be the best I can be. It may not be noticeable day by day but for a long time it will be noticeable.
The full set of quotes is worth reading, and includes a shout-out to his mother, which is always sweet!
Look, I could go on and on about how Kulusevski is just a rubbish Gio Dos Santos, or how he really needs to use his right foot, or how he runs like a duck, but he’s done some good work this year - and it’s nice for his waddling to be acknowledged.
All jokes aside (hopefully I’ve now insulted him enough that he scores a hat-trick tomorrow), congratulations to Deki! Here’s hoping the individual recognitions are just the start, and bigger, club-centered achievements are on the horizon.