Real Madrid CF's player, Asier Illarramendi, received the award for last season's Liga BBVA Breakthrough Player, beatingAlberto Moreno (Sevilla FC) and Léo Baptistão (Rayo Vallecano/Club Atlético de Madrid), the other nominees, to the gong. Also Illarra won the award for the Best Liga BBVA Midfielder of last season at the Liga de Fútbol Profesional Award Ceremony. The ex-Real Sociedad de Fútbol player was selected over Beñat Etxebarria (Real Betis Balompie/Athletic Club) and Javi Fuego (Rayo Vallecano/Valencia CF).
Illarramendi, who wore the colours of Real Sociedad de Fútbol last year, showed that he is up for a challenge we he took over the txuri-urdin midfield in the team from Donostia's brilliant Liga BBVA campaign. With Phillipe Montanier at the helm, the young midfielder pulled the team's strings in 32 matches in the season that took the team from the Anoeta to the UEFA Champions League.
'Illarra' established a name for himself at the Basque team last season, surprising everyone with his quality performances in the centre of the pitch. His class last year earned him a contract with Real Madrid, where he shares a dressing room with Isco Alarcón, who won the same award at the Fourth LFP Awards Ceremony when he was still playing at Málaga CF.
"These prizes are also a recognition of teamwork, because I think we did a great job and I would like to dedicate this to all of my teammates from last season. You work every day in order to improve, and that's what I am doing. I have changed team, and right now I am training hard in order to get opportunities. I am very happy with these awards, but I cannot stop here, I have to keep working day to day and keep improving", explained Illarramendi.
Illarramendi's outstanding season with Real Sociedad,during which he played 32 Liga BBVA matches, was enough to trump those of the other players. Under the tutelage of Phillipe Montanier, the player made a place for himself in the txuri-urdin midfield and became one of the Frenchman's regulars.
Skill, vision and physical presence are just some of the qualities the Mutriku-born player brings to any midfield.
These virtues did not go unnoticed at Real Madrid CF, who snapped him up in the summer after a great campaign with Real Sociedad, or in the Spanish under-23 team where he pulls the strings from the midfield.