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Man City-bound Gabriel Jesus says goodbye to Brazil with Golden Ball award

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 736

Pin Gabriel Jesus will join City in January. Goal
Gabriel Jesus will join City in January. Goal

Man City-bound Gabriel Jesus says goodbye to Brazil with Golden Ball award

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 736

The young striker's 12 goals helped propel his team to the Brasileirao crown, while Robinho and Chapecoense were also honoured in Monday's emotional ceremony.

Palmeiras striker Gabriel Jesus was honoured with the Brazilian Serie A Golden Ball in recognition of his efforts in firing the Sao Paulo side to the title in 2016. 

The 19-year-old phenomenon has played his final game for the Verdao, having already agreed a move to Manchester City in January. 

But he signed off with the prestigious prize on Monday, having scored 12 goals in a breakout season at his boyhood club. 

Jesus joins an elite group of players who have taken the Bola de Ouro, which includes Romario, Ronaldinho, Neymar, Roberto Dinamite, Pele and Zico.

Palmeiras paid tribute to their outgoing star with a message posted on Twitter shortly after he received the award. 

"We could not be prouder of our little urchin. Congratulations for winning the Golden Ball, Gabriel Jesus," the club beamed via the social network. 

Elsewhere, Atletico Mineiro striker Robinho was also recognised with a place in the Best XI of the 2016, where he accompanies Jesus up front. 

The former Manchester City and Real Madrid man chipped in with 12 goals to send the Belo Horizonte side into the 2017 Copa Libertadores and made a list otherwise dominated by Palmeiras, who contributed a total of six players plus coach Cuca. 

The Bola de Prata (Silver ball) ceremony was filled with emotion due to the tragic plane crash that devastated Serie A side and Copa Sudamericana side Chapecoense in Medellin. 

Goalkeeper Danilo's mother, who lost her son in the accident, accepted a special prize on behalf of the team. 

"I would have loved for him to receive this tribute while he was still alive. We are doing everything possible to keep their memory fresh and for this moment to become eternal," Ilaides Padilha said. 

"I am truly grateful for all the support we have received in Chapeco." 

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