Belfast Telegraph

Player of the Year award retained by free-scoring Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo was last night named the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year for the second season in a row. The Manchester United midfielder has enjoyed another outstanding campaign having scored 38 goals.

The 23-year-old beat off competition from Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard, Cesc Fabregas, Emmanuel Adebayor and David James to land the prize. Arsenal midfielder Fabregas was named Young Player of the Year – an award which Ronaldo also won in 2007 – at a ceremony at London's Grosvenor House Hotel.

Ronaldo said: "I feel very happy. When you work all season to play good, to do something for the team, to do your contribution for the team and then at the end of the season the PFA give you this award, it is a great moment, it is an honour, a pleasure. But it is not just my award, my team-mates have helped me a lot this season. They give me good passes to score goals - and I score."

The voting was reversed for the young player award with Spain international Fabregas finishing ahead of Ronaldo. Torres, Micah Richards, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Ashley Young had been the other nominees.

Chelsea's push for double glory in the Premier League and Champions League was not recognised in the PFA's top flight team of the year, with no Blues players featuring.

Former England and Blackpool full-back Jimmy Armfield, 72, still involved in the game as a broadcaster, received the Merit award for his services to the game. Armfield, also a former Leeds manager, overcame a battle with cancer last year.

Among the guests was England manager Fabio Capello who, speaking publicly in English for what is believed to be the first time, proposed a toast to the PFA.

Premier League team of the year: James (Portsmouth), Sagna (Arsenal), Ferdinand (Man Utd), Vidic (Man Utd), Clichy (Arsenal), Gerrard (Liverpool), Fabregas (Arsenal), Ronaldo (Man Utd), Young (Aston Villa), Adebayor (Arsenal), Torres (Liverpool).

Belfast Telegraph


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