Footballers playing in the Bundesliga, Germany’s primary football competition, have voted Hungarian Pál Dárdai, whose Berlin club Hertha BSC finished in seventh place in the 18-member league, best lead coach of the 2015-2016 season.
A total of 235 players who took part in the vote, organised by well-known German sports magazine Kicker, with the Hungarian trainer collecting 17.5 per cent of votes. The Berlin-based club was a major positive surprise of the season, struggling for survival in 2014-15 but securing seventh place – and participation in the Europa League – in the subsequent season.
In February 2015, when Hertha BSC appointed Mr. Dárdai, formerly coach of the Hungarian national team, was 17th on the 18-team Bundesliga table after losing both of its championship matches.
Pál Dárdai was contracted by the German capital’s top team in 1997 and finished his professional career at Hertha in 2011, becoming coach of its under-15 teams. He is not the first Hungarian to act as Hertha BSC’s lead coach: fellow Hungarian Pál Csernai was in charge of the team between November 1990 and March 1991. In December 2015, he was voted Berlin coach of the year in an online poll.
Among fielders, Armenian national Henrikh Mikhtaryan, who scored 11 goals and 20 assists at 31 championship matches, came first, while Manuel Neuer was chosen as the season’s best goalkeeper. The season’s two rising stars were named as Julian Weigl and Julian Brandt – both of whom have been secured a place in the German national team’s composition for European Championships, while Mario Götze’s performance caused the most dissapointment. 90 per cent of respondents said that the Bundesliga-winning Munich club Bayern München will remain successful under the leadership of Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti.
The best players of the 2015-2016 Bundesliga season, according to Kicker’s vote:
Best fielder: 1. Henrikh Mikhtaryan (Borussia Dortmund) 31.1 per cent , 2. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern München) 20.5, 3. Thomas Müller (Bayern München) 13.6
Best goalkeeper: 1. Manuel Neuer (Bayern München) 23.8, 2. Loris Karius (Mainz) 13.6, 3. Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen) 12.8
Winner of the season (coaches): Pár Dárdai (Hertha BSC)
Loser of the season (coaches): Thomas Schaaf (Hannover)
Rising star of the season: Julian Weigl (Borussia Dortmund) and Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen)
Disappointment of the season: 1. Mario Götze (Bayern München) 30.2, 2. Max Kruse (Wolfsburg) 17.5, 3. Kevin Kampl (Bayer Leverkusen) 9.8
Surprise of the season: 1. Hertha BSC, 2. Darmstadt, 3. Mainz, 4. Ingolstadt
Negative surprise of the season: 1. Wolfsburg, 2. VfB Stuttgart, 3. Hannover
Best referee: 1. Felix Brych, 2. Manuel Gräfe, 3. Florian Meyer