Besart Ibraimi celebrating a goal; photo: KF Shkendija

Besart Ibraimi – best overall player at half-season

Besart Ibraimi celebrating a goal; photo: KF ShkendijaWith 13 goals and 10 assists, Besart Ibraimi gets the award for “Best Overall Player” during the first half of the season in the First League.

The outstanding performance by Besart Ibraimi made our decision very easy. He scored goals, created chances, assisted and proved to be a menace for opposing teams. In 18 players, meaning he played in every round this far, Ibraimi compiled 13 goals and 10 assists. Ibraimi was clearly the most valuable player who did the most for his club during the first half of the season.

Besart strengthened Shkendija this past summer when he arrived from Cypriot side Ermis. He immediately established himself as one of the key players, alongside Ferhan Hasani. Before Hasani’s ACL tear, they were the best attacking duo in the league, having combined for 15 goals and 13 assists in the first 9 rounds. After Hasani’s injury (he will likely miss the rest of the season), Ibraimi sustained his form despite drawing a lot of attention from opponents. Teams knew Ibraimi was Shkendija’s main threat post-Hasani, but they still had a difficult time stopping him. Besart was deployed all over in attack, playing center-forward and on the right and left wings.

Our runner-up for this award was Vardar midfielder Juan Felipe. Although he didn’t have gaudy statistics, those who watched him play know how vital he was to Vardar’s success. Juan Felipe amassed 3 goals and 4 assists, but was involved in the action for many other dangerous moments.

The third place honors went to another player of Vardar, Armenian right-back Hovhannes Hambardzumyan. As we already in our Team of the half-season article, Hovhannes is a complete player who was effective both offensively and defensively.

Ferhan Hasani was certainly going to be a legitimate candidate as well, but his injury prevented that. Hasani put up incredible numbers in only nine games (11 goals and 4 assists) before tearing his ACL on national team duty in mid-October. Other notable contenders were Rabotnichki striker Bazhe Ilijoski, tied as the top scorer with Besart Ibraimi, and Vardar left winger Dejan Blazhevski.

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