Ricardo Almeida Santos said he felt humbled after picking up the Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year awards following a hugely successful debut season for Bolton Wanderers Football Club.
The big defender starred for Wanderers as they bounced back to Sky Bet League One at the first attempt, featuring in every single minute of action for Ian Evatt’s men.
His imperious and eye-catching displays were acknowledged by the Wanderers fans who voted unanimously for him to be the club’s 2020/21 Player of the Year, while he was also the stand-out candidate among his team-mates who selected him to be their Players’ Player of the Year.
Speaking to bwfc.co.uk, Almeida Santos said: “I’m very grateful. It’s pleasing to see that the fans and my boys have acknowledged how hard I’ve been working. I’m grateful, humbled and cannot wait to get going next year.”
After getting off to a difficult start to life in League Two, Wanderers turned their fortunes around in February after going on a monumental run which culminated in them finishing third.
And the former Barnet and Peterborough man, believes that the camaraderie in the Wanderers changing room was a significant factor.
He added: “In football there are lots of ups and downs and it really matters how you deal with those downs.
“Basically, we didn’t start too well but we all stuck together and ended up getting promoted.
“There is a good togetherness in this team and a great bond.”
He is full of praise for his team-mates who he acknowledges helped him to raise his performance levels.
“I couldn’t get the award without them and I’m grateful for their support the whole time I’ve been here. They stuck by me and enabled me to go out there and play with confidence, so I want to thank them and I cannot wait to go again next season.”
With just over 5,000 season ticket holders already renewing for next season, the Portuguese-born defender cannot wait to finally play in front of the Wanderers fans once restrictions have been lifted.
“I wish I had been playing in front of our fans this season but next year they will be there and I cannot wait for that,” he said.
“It’s going to be great!”
Join Rico and over 5,000 other Bolton Wanderers supporters who have already renewed for next season as Ian Evatt’s men get set for Sky Bet League One. Renew during the Early Purchase Period and you will pay less than you did for the 2020/21 campaign. Click here for more information and renew today.