LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 08: Ramires of Chelsea celebrates as he scores their third goal during the FA Cup sponsored by Budweiser Third Round match between Chelsea and Portsmouth at Stamford Bridge on January 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ramires might have been snubbed by the Brazil national team but happily his performance over the past season isn't going completely ignored back home:
Ramires has won ESPN Brasil's 'Futebol no Mundo' award, given to the best foreign-based Brazilian player. #CFC— Paulo Freitas (@Cynegeticus) June 16, 2012
There are several excellent foreign-based Brazilians with whom Ramires had to compete - the likes of Thiago Silva, Hulk, Marcelo and our own David Luiz spring to mind - and it's wonderful that he's been given the award over all of them. It's really difficult to overstate just how excellent his season was. He was our best player under Andre Villas-Boas when making attacking runs out of a midfield three, and was also superb as a winger once Chelsea made the transition to 4-2-3-1 under Roberto di Matteo.
His goals towards the end of the year were vital. We'll always remember the lob over Victor Valdes at the Camp Nou, but he also scored the opener in our FA Cup final win as well as the key third during Chelsea's demolition job of Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup semifinal (he's at two goals in two Wembley games now). This obviously isn't a major award, but it's a great indication of just how far Ramires has come since his awkward early days under Carlo Ancelotti. Well done Ramires!