Paris Saint-Germain right-back Serge Aurier has ended 2016 on a high note by being voted the Ivory Coast Player of the Year.
Aurier, 23, was denied entry to the United Kingdom for PSG’s Champions League clash away at Arsenal because of his ongoing appeal against a “convertible” two-month prison sentence for assaulting a police officer in May.
On top of that, Aurier was investigated by FIFA for a gesture made when celebrating a goal he assisted for Les Elephants.
Mali coach Alain Giresse and national team coordinator Fousseni Diawara praised the Ivorian for helping to save the life of Moussa Doumbia after he suffered an epileptic fit during the match.
The French champions also suspended Aurier after he insulted then coach Laurent Blanc on social media and Clement Chantome, who was a former teammate at PSG, recently said he was concerned about the defender’s “disturbing” behaviour.
Aside from those controversies, Aurier managed to finish above Manchester United’s Eric Bailly, Aston Villa’s Jonathan Kodjia, TP Mazembe’s Sylvain Gbohouo and Nice’s Jean-Michael Seri.
The PSG star finished with 39.49 percent of the votes, while Bailly managed 18.12 percent and Kodjia was just behind with 17.90.
Aurier was delighted with the award and took to Twitter to share his delight, writing that he was “very proud and pleased to have been elected the Ivorian footballer of the year for 2016. Thank you for the strength.”
Despite making headlines for his numerous off-field issues, Barcelona have reportedly shown an interest in the PSG man.
However, Aurier recently told TF1’s Telefoot he is happy in Paris and is planning his future at Parc des Princes.