Besiktas’ Atiba Hutchinson, right, and Porto’s Hector Herrera, left, challenge for the ball during the Champions League Groug G soccer match between Besiktas Istanbul and FC Porto in Istanbul, Turkey, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017. Veteran midfielder Hutchinson, who plays his club soccer for Besiktas in Turkey, has been named Canadian male soccer player of the year for the sixth time. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Lefteris Pitarakis

Atiba Hutchinson named Canada’s top male soccer player for sixth time

TORONTO — Atiba Hutchinson has been named Canadian male soccer player of the year for the a record sixth time.

The 34-year-old midfielder from Brampton, Ont., helped Besiktas to its second straight Turkish league title in 2016-17. Hutchinson and Besiktas have also reached the round-of-16 of the Champions League after a Turkish-record performance in the group stage.

Hutchinson leads the Turkish league in pass completion this season at 94.6 per cent.

It’s the fourth year in a row that Hutchinson has won the Canadian Soccer Association award, decided in voting by Canadian coaches and media. He also was honoured with the award in 2010 and 2012, setting the record for most wins last year at five.

“Obviously I’m very delighted,” Hutchinson said in an interview. “To have done it six times is something very special … It’s amazing. I’m very honoured and proud.

“I’ve put in a lot of work. To have people recognize it and appreciate what I’ve done, I’m very grateful for.”

Dwayne De Rosario won the award four times (2005, ‘06, ‘07, ‘11).

The women’s winner will be announced Thursday.

Hutchinson finished ahead of runner-up Scott Arfield of Burnley and Alphonso Davies (Vancouver), Patrice Bernier (Montreal), Milan Borjan (Red Star Belgrade) and Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City).

Hutchinson, who made his debut for Canada at the age of 19, has won 78 caps to tie Mark Watson for fifth on the all-time list. He has captained his country six times, most recently in a 2-0 win over Jamaica in September.

“He is playing at the highest level competing against the best in the world and his stats place him among the best of the best,” Canada coach Octavio Zambrano said in a statement.

“With Canada against Jamaica, you could just tell that his presence alone both on and off the field made a huge impact with the men’s national team. He is at the top of the game and he is more than worthy of winning this award for the 2017 season.”

Besiktas made waves by winning its Champions League group with a 4-0-2 record, finishing ahead of Portugal’s Porto, Germany’s Leipzig and AS Monaco. The only other teams to emerge unbeaten from the group stage were Barcelona, Liverpool and Tottenham.

The first Turkish team to top a group and qualify undefeated, Besiktas also set a record for most points (14), goals (11) and wins (4) by a Turkish team in group play.

Its reward is a round-of-16 date with five-time European champion Bayern Munich.

Hutchinson, known as the Octopus for his long legs and ability to shield the ball, led all Besiktas players in covering more than 50 kilometres over the five group games.

The Black Eagles currently stand fourth in the Turkish Super League with a 7-2-6 record, five points behind leader Galatasaray (10-3-2).

Hutchinson joined Besiktas in 2013 after three seasons with PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands. In 2015, he signed a two-year contract extension.

He started his career in Scandinavia with Osters and Helsingborg in Sweden and FC Copenhagen in Denmark.

His trophy cases includes four Danish titles (2006, 2007, 2009, 2010), one Danish Cup (2009), one Dutch Cup (2012) and two Turkish league titles (2016, 2017).

Hutchinson also led Besiktas to the Europa League quarterfinals last season.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Artist Nathan Scott’s The Face-off is one of Red Deer’s most recent public artworks. It was installed at Servus Arena. (Advocate file photo.)
Red Deer city council opts to leave public art selection to a commission

Only projects costing at least $1 million will now trigger art component

Red Deer City Coun. Michael Dawe spoke up about an attempted break-in at his home during a city council meeting that discussed policing priorities. (Advocate file photo).
All crimes should be reported, says Red Deer’s RCMP superintendent

Policing priorities are cracking down on property and drug crimes

The number of active cases of COVID-19 in the province sat at 4,477 Monday afternoon, up 826 from Friday’s 3,651, said Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw. File photo
COVID-19: Central zone active cases up Monday

Alberta reported 1,440 new COVID-19 cases on Monday from over the weekend,… Continue reading

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Three Red Deer based dealerships have donated $10,000 to various local organizations including the food bank. (File Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Three Red Deer car dealerships help organizations in need

Three Red Deer automobile dealerships have come together to donate $10,000 to… Continue reading

“Our members have decided they just can’t do this anymore. We’ve protected this province and you’ve treated us like dirt, so enough is enough,” says AUPE vice-president Bonnie Gostola, whose members protested outside the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre on Momday. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Updated: Hospital workers strike in Red Deer

Some surgeries and ambulatory care clinics postponed around the province

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Every new subscription to the Red Deer Advocate includes a $50 donation to the food bank. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Support the food bank with a subscription to the Red Deer Advocate

The community’s most vulnerable members are always in need of a hand,… Continue reading

The Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre could be affected by cuts to Alberta Health Services announced by the government Tuesday. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
David Marsden: Yes, we know how to do laundry

Union leaders would have us believe there’s something special about their members:… Continue reading

Los Angeles Rams cornerback Troy Hill (22) tips a pass in the end zone intended for Chicago Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney (11) during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. The ball was caught by Rams safety Taylor Rapp, behind, for a touchback. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis )
Rams dominate matchup of tough defences, beat Bears 24-10

Rams dominate matchup of tough defences, beat Bears 24-10

Matthew Raymond, charged with four counts of first degree murder, is taken from provincial court in Fredericton, N.B., on December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Mother of Fredericton shooter says she often advised him to see a doctor for help

Mother of Fredericton shooter says she often advised him to see a doctor for help

PM says budget update won’t have fiscal anchor, suggests one coming after crisis over

PM says budget update won’t have fiscal anchor, suggests one coming after crisis over

Saskatchewan Party Leader Scott Moe speaks during a press conference in south Regina on Wednesday Oct. 21, 2020. Moe will appear at a car rally with supporters this afternoon outside of Regina.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Bell
Four Moe Years: Scott Moe and Saskatchewan Party defeat NDP for 4th straight majority

Four Moe Years: Scott Moe and Saskatchewan Party defeat NDP for 4th straight majority

Bayern's Alphonso Davies controls the ball during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany on February 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matthias Schrader
Canadian star Alphonso Davies could be out for two months after injuring ankle

Canadian star Alphonso Davies could be out for two months after injuring ankle

B.C. Lions and Toronto Argonauts owner, Senator David Braley speaks after the CFL announced Vancouver will host the 2014 Grey Cup championship football game during a news conference in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday March 8, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
David Braley, owner of three Canadian Football League franchises, dead at 79

David Braley, owner of three Canadian Football League franchises, dead at 79

Most Read