Athletic Club forward Iñaki Williams has been named LaLiga’s African mid-season Most Valuable Player.
The Black Stars striker received the accolade after a public poll among fans and votes submitted by prestigious sports journalists from across the African continent.
Born in Bilbao to Ghanaian parents, Iñaki Williams arrived at Lezama as an under-18 player after taking his first steps as a footballer in Pamplona.
The forward made his first-team debut in the 2014/15 season under Ernesto Valverde and since then has made a total of 362 appearances for Athletic Club, scoring 80 goals.
Iñaki recently ended his streak of consecutive LaLiga appearances, setting a record of 251 consecutive games after not missing a single match since April 2016. The second-placed footballer in this particular ranking is former Real Sociedad player Juan Larrañaga, with 202 games.
Williams also took part in the recent World Cup with Ghana, the country where his parents and grandparents are from. It is the first time an Athletic player has received an international cap for the Ghana Blackstars.
This is the second season in which LaLiga has presented this award to the most outstanding players linked to the African continent. In this edition, Williams won the vote over players such as Yassine Bono (Sevilla FC), Reinildo Mandava (Atlético Madrid), Joseph Aidoo (RC Celta), Pathé Ciss (Rayo Vallecano), Nicolas Jackson (Villarreal CF), Youssouff Sabaly (Real Betis) and Djené Dakonam (Getafe CF).
— Ferdinand A Baah