The votes have been counted and the result is in. As voted by you – the fans – our 2019-20 Player of the Season is Rafael!
It has been an eye-catching first season in English football for the Brazilian.
Since joining Reading from Sampdoria last summer, it hasn’t taken long for the shot-stopper to become a favourite of the Royals faithful.
Hardly could he have wished for a better start to his life in Berkshire than by making a couple of vital penalty saves in a shoot-out on his debut, away at local rivals Wycombe Wanderers – helping us march on to the next round of the Carabao Cup.
Some of the saves have been simply exceptional. Who could forget that triple-save on New Year’s Day away at Fulham? Or that incredible 90th-minute stop to deny QPR a share of the spoils on Boxing Day?
Over the course of the campaign, 13 clean sheets is a great reflection on some of his displays between the sticks, as well as those teammates in front who have done their utmost to reduce his workload.
Off the pitch, he remains a hugely popular figure too. He mastered the English language quicker than you would have thought possible, he’s always keen for a chat with any Royals supporter… and in the dressing room, a key member of the team too.
In our Honesty Box feature earlier in the season, fellow ‘goalkeepers union’ member Sam Walker coined the term ‘Brazilian wall’, as well as calling him ‘genuinely one of the best blokes I’ve come across in the game’. You won’t find a bad word said about his character.
Those are just some of the factors that have contributed to him being so well-liked by the Royals fans… and making him a very worthy winner of the Player of the Season award for 2019-20.
Congratulations, Rafael – your name goes onto our roll of honour!
|Season||Player of the Season|
|2012-13||Adam Le Fondre|