MADRID: Real Madrid president Florentino Perez on Friday picked up the Efe Award for best Ibero-American football club on behalf of his team, which was being recognised for its sporting achievements in 2017 and its social work.
Perez was awarded the trophy at the Efe news agency headquarters here by the Spanish secretary of state for international cooperation for Latin America and the Caribbean, Fernando Garcia Casas, reports Efe.
"It is a great honour for Real Madrid to receive this award as the best Ibero-American Club of the year," Perez said during his speech.
"Firstly because of the Efe Agency's enormous prestige, and also because of the historic and emotional ties our club has enjoyed, and continues to enjoy in Ibero-America," he added.
Florentino Pérez accepts the EFE Trophy as "Best Ibero-American Club 2017" on behalf of Real Madrid which recognizes sporting achievements and social work in 2017. pic.twitter.com/t7tEwxByMZ— Spectating Madrid (@Spectate_Madrid) March 23, 2018
Efe president Jose Antonio Vera said the award had been generally given to soccer players in the past, but the 28th edition had been deservedly handed for the first time to an institution of international renown like Real Madrid, given their triumphs and close links to Ibero-America.
In 2017, Real Madrid won four titles including La Liga, the UEFA Champions League, the Spanish Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.
The Director of Efe's sports department, Luis Villarejo, insisted that the prize rewarded "the team over the individual" and echoed Real Madrid's late Honourary President Alfredo di Stefano's comment: "No player is as good as all the players together."
Villarejo said Madrid's successes in the basketball league and its signing of soccer players from Ibero-America, such as Brazilians Marcelo and Casemiro, as well as Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo and Costa Rican Keylor Navas, were taken in consideration while awarding the honour.