Luke Montebello, Marta Grosso claim Best Player Awards in MFPA Awards 2024

Ħamrun Spartans and Malta forward Luke Montebello and Marta Grosso, who plays for Women’s League champions Birkirkara, hogged the limelight at the MFPA Awards after securing the two most coveted prizes – the MFPA Men’s and Women’s Best Player respectively.

The performances and feats of the most outstanding players in the senior football competitions during the 2023-24 season came under the spotlight at the MFPA’s annual event, held on Sunday at the Radisson Golden Sands Hotel. 

Winning the MFPA Men’s Best Player Award for the first time, Montebello, 28, has crowned arguably the best season of his senior career so far after firing Ħamrun Spartans to their 10th national title, topping the best scorers’ chart with 21 goals.

Montebello garnered the highest number of votes from his peers ahead of Floriana striker Kemar Reid and Sliema Wanderers midfielder Geoffrey Acheampong.

In the female category, Grosso, 22, played a leading role in Birkirkara’s march towards their 12th league title in another memorable season for the Stripes who also won the Super Cup and Knock-Out. The Italian midfielder was Birkirkara’s leading scorer in the championship with 17 goals.

The other finalists for the MFPA Women’s Best Player Award were Stephania Farrugia, the Birkirkara defender, and Swieqi United goalkeeper Patricia Araujo Da Silva.

Photos courtesy of domenic aquilina

Carlo Zammit Lonardelli was rewarded for his brilliant season with Floriana as he was voted MFPA Men’s Best Young Player while Nicole Sciberras, the Hibernians and Malta midfielder, captured the MFPA Women’s Best Young Player award.

A total of 35 awards were given out during the MFPA Awards 2024 with 22 presented to the players earning a berth in the MFPA Best XI for both men and women.

Champions Ħamrun Spartans claimed four spots in the 2023-24 MFPA Men’s Best XI as Montebello was joined by Emerson Marcelina (centre-back), Ryan Camenzuli (left-back) and Roko Prsa (midfielder). Floriana had three nominees in the final XI – Oualid El Hasni (centre-back), Zammit Lonardelli (right-back) and Reid (forward) while their Italian mentor, Mauro Camoranesi, was named best coach.

The other players in the 2023-24 MFPA Best XI 4-3-3 formation were Sliema Wanderers duo Rashed Al-Tumi (goalkeeper) and Acheampong (midfielder),  Marsaxlokk’s Yuri Messias (midfielder) and Naxxar Lions’ Pablo De Carvalho (forward).

In the MFPA Women’s Best XI, champions Birkirkara were represented by six players – Stephania Farrugia (centre-back), Ann-Marie Said (left-back), Valentina Rapa (right-back), Grosso (midfielder), and Alishia Sultana and Arianna Del Moral (forwards). 

The other players in the best selection are goalkeeper Araujo Da Silva, of Swieqi United, Hibernians pair Natalee Grace Geren (centre-back) and Sciberras (midfielder), Mġarr United’s Brenda Borg (midfielder) and Swieqi United’s Salamatu Abdulai who completed the forward line.


The Challenge League honours were shared as Melita, the winners of the second-tier championship, provided two winners, Matthew Debattista (midfielder) and Andre Penha Da Costa (forward) while Matthew Grech (goalkeeper) and Rodolfo Soares (defender) clinched the other two awards after helping Żabbar St Patrick gain promotion to the Premier League. Melita’s Debattista secured the MFPA Challenge League Best Overall Player award. 

The MFPA Best Amateur League Player award went to Mtarfa’s Kurt Borg who excelled during his team’s successful promotion campaign.

FIFA referee Trustin Farrugia Cann made it six in a row after being voted best referee of the season.


The recipient of this year’s MFPA Assikura Merit Award was Carmel Busuttil. Regarded as one of the all-time greats of Maltese football, Busuttil, who came through the youth ranks of his home club Rabat Ajax, made 113 appearances and scored 23 goals for Malta during his illustrious career. At club level, he also played for KRC Genk in Belgium, Verbania in Italy and Sliema Wanderers where he concluded his playing career.

Busuttil received the award from Carlo Mamo, General Secretary of the MFPA.


During the Awards Night, the MFPA celebrated 10 years of membership within FIFPRO. David Terrier, President of FIFPRO Division Europe, paid tribute to the achievements of the MFPA which, over the years, has upped its commitment to offer more support to its member players while also becoming an active contributor within FIFPRO.

A series of short features helped to shed light on the MFPA’s progress and greatest achievements over the past decade, including the abolition of transfer fees for out-of-contract players in 2020, the ongoing legal assistance, education  and wellbeing programmes, and a multitude of other initiatives.

The MFPA Awards 2024 were presented by Keith Demicoli and Claire Agius Ordway.


MFPA Men’s Best Player: Luke Montebello (Ħamrun Spartans)

MFPA Women’s Best Player: Marta Grosso (Birkirkara)

MFPA Men’s Best Young Player: Carlo Zammit Lonardelli (Floriana)

MFPA Women’s Best Young Player: Nicole Sciberras (Hibernians)


Goalkeeper: Rashed Al-Tumi (Sliema Wanderers)

Centre-backs: Oualid El Hasni (Floriana); Emerson Marcelina (Ħamrun Spartans)

Right-back: Carlo Zammit Lonardelli (Floriana)

Left-back: Ryan Camenzuli (Ħamrun Spartans) 

Midfielders: Geoffrey Acheampong (Sliema Wanderers); Roko Prsa (Ħamrun Spartans); Yuri De Jesus Messias (Marsaxlokk)

Forwards: Pablo De Carvalho (Naxxar Lions); Luke Montebello (Ħamrun Spartans); Kemar Reid (Floriana)

MFPA Best Coach: Mauro Camoranesi (Floriana)


Goalkeeper: Patricia Araujo Da Silva (Swieqi United)

Centre-backs: Stephania Farrugia (Birkirkara); Natalee Grace Geren (Hibernians)

Right-back: Valentina Rapa (Birkirkara)

Left-back: Ann-Marie Said (Birkirkara)

Midfielders: Brenda Borg (Mġarr United); Marta Grosso (Birkirkara); Nicole Sciberras (Hibernians)

Forwards: Salamatu Abdulai (Swieqi United); Arianna Del Moral (Birkirkara); Alishia Sultana (Birkirkara)

MFPA Best Challenge League Player: Matthew Debattista (Melita)

MFPA Best Challenge League Goalkeeper: Matthew Grech (Żabbar St Patrick)

MFPA Best Challenge League Defender: Rodolfo Soares (Żabbar St Patrick)

MFPA Best Challenge League Midfielder: Matthew Debattista (Melita)

MFPA Best Challenge League Forward: Andre Penha Da Costa (Melita)

MFPA Best Amateur League Player: Kurt Borg (Mtarfa)

MFPA Best Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann

MFPA Assikura Merit Award: Carmel Busuttil