NorthEast United FC’s Federico Gallego wins Hero-of-the-Month award for January

NorthEast United FC’s Federico Gallego has been voted as the Hero-of-the-Month for January following a vote that ended at 12 noon on Thursday. Fans and experts cast their votes between February 1 (from 12 noon) and February 4 (till 12 noon) and the pick of the bunch was the 30-year-old Highlanders midfielder.

As per the voting criteria, fans' votes count towards 50% of the vote share and experts' votes account for the remaining 50%. Gallego came out on top among a shortlist of five players which included FC Goa midfielder Jorge Ortiz, Mumbai City FC’s Rowllin Borges and Bartholomew Ogbeche as well as Odisha FC’s Diego Mauricio.

A total of 10,348 fan votes were cast and the Uruguayan playmaker received 4,844 of them. He also got nine of a total of ten expert votes, with Borges bagging the remaining one. Ogbeche came second in terms of the fans’ votes, getting 2,419 votes. Ortiz and Mauricio managed to get 1,734 and 756 respectively, while Borges came fifth on the list with 595 fan votes.

Gallego, who bagged 68.41% of the combined votes, has cut a rejuvenated figure for the Highlanders in the second half of this season and his contributions in January has propelled his team into contention for a place in the top four. He scored two goals and assisted four for his team in the month gone by. In addition to this, he also created a massive 27 goal-scoring opportunities in six matches.

The talisman for the Highlanders scored against Hyderabad FC in their 4-2 loss before going on to assist twice in their 2-1 win over Jamshedpur FC. In the 1-1 draw against Bengaluru FC prior to the Jamshedpur game, he provided an assist. Gallego also assisted his teammate Luis Machado’s goal before scoring a brilliant goal from outside the box in a 2-1 win over ATK Mohun Bagan in what was the second encounter between the teams in the month. In NorthEast’s last match in January, Gallego created four chances in an important 2-1 win over leaders Mumbai City FC.

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