Israeli soccer star Eran Zahavi was named the most valuable player in the Chinese Super League on Saturday after finishing the season as the top goal scorer.
Zahavi, 30, won the award in only his second year in the Chinese league, which has attracted dozens of top international players in recent years with huge salaries.
He was also awarded the Golden Boot, given to the league’s leading goal scorer. His 27 goals for the season were one short of tying the league record of 28.
Despite his individual success, Zahavi’s Guangzhou R&F club only finished fifth in the league.
Zahavi, who has a $7 million a year contract with the club until 2020, was coy on his future with the team at the awards ceremony, saying he would have to consider whether he would remain with the squad next season.
Prior to China, Zahavi spent most of his career in Israel, except for an unsuccessful spell in Italy at Palermo, where he scored only twice in two years before moving to Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2013.
Until September, Zahavi was the captain of Israel’s national soccer team; he announced his resignation from the squad hours after he was given a 12-month suspension as a punishment for tearing off his captain’s armband during a vital qualifying World Cup game that Israel lost.
AFP contributed to this report.