Nemanja Nikolic - Chicago Fire - celebration

Chicago Fire striker Nemanja Nikolic received some high-profile recognition for his excellent 2017 campaign on Wednesday night, winning ESPN’s ESPY Award for Best MLS Player.

Nikolic was a smash hit in his first MLS season, scoring 24 goals to win the MLS Golden Boot as the league’s top scorer while leading the Fire back to the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time in five years.

The Hungarian international claimed the ESPY prize ahead of fellow nominees Diego Valeri of the Portland Timbers and the Sporting Kansas City duo of Tim Melia and Ike Opara.

Other soccer categories recognized at this year’s ESPYs: Cristiano Ronaldo won Best International Men's Soccer Player, while the Chicago Red Stars' Australian striker Sam Kerr won the Best International Women's Soccer Player prize and Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC, U.S. women's national team) won Best NWSL Player.

All-time list of ESPY Best MLS Player winners

2018 – Nemanja Nikolic, Chicago Fire
2017 – David Villa, New York City FC
2016 – Sebastian Giovinco, Toronto FC
2015 – Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy
2014 – Tim Cahill, New York Red Bulls
2013 – Thierry Henry, New York Red Bulls
2012 – David Beckham, LA Galaxy
2011 – Landon Donovan, LA Galaxy
2010 – Landon Donovan, LA Galaxy
2009 – Landon Donovan, LA Galaxy
2008 – David Beckham, LA Galaxy
2007 – Landon Donovan, LA Galaxy
2006 – Landon Donovan, LA Galaxy