MILAN – Milan’s Marriott hotel played host to a fantastic evening last night, featuring stars from the world of sport and showbusiness.
The Gentleman Awards are always a very emotional event, but yesterday’s edition was an evening that one man in particular will never forget. There was applause as well as a sincere standing ovation for a man who has starred in Milanese, Italian and world football over the past two decades.
But first on to the other awards:
Jonathan Cicero Moreira, better known as Jonathan, landed the gong for Most Improved Player. The Brazilian explained that it was "important to be recognised in what’s been a huge season for me. But now we’re thinking about Lazio, we need the fans’ support to win our two remaining games." The Nerazzurri wideman was all smiles and has a clear idea on where his future lies.
Two more Nerazzurri stars also won awards: Samir Handanovic was named Nerazzurri Gentleman, while Rodrigo Palacio claimed the Nerazzurri Goal of the Season prize.
All that came before the main event: the spotlight fell on the Inter legend who won the Platinum Gentleman award. There was rapturous applause before his name was even read out, as everyone rose to acclaim Javier Zanetti.
"I’m emotional, it’s the last Gentleman Award I’ll receive as a player. Coming to Italy was a dream, I’d like to thank Inter and the Moratti family for believing in me when I was nobody. Defending Inter’s and Argentina’s colours while wearing the captain’s armband has been a priceless experience."