I just knew it! But I guess so did everyone else who even remotely follows football. Cristiano Ronaldo has been named Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year for the second time in succession at a star studded ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on Sunday night. Ronaldo was not present at the event to collect his award but was shown on screen accepting his trophy from Sir Alex at United Carrington training ground.
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.”
“It is a great motivation to carry on like that, to work more and get better. I feel very good 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 – but it is a good moment for me.”
The talented Portuguese star said “I am sure I am better player than four or five years ago. Than last year? I have improved a little bit better still. This is my ambition to learn more and play better and I think I am in the right place. I want to carry on and this for me is a good moment to stay at the club and play at the best level.”
United were preparing for the second leg of the Champions League Semi-final in which they play Spanish giants Barcelona at home after having drawn 0-0 at Nou Camp in the first leg.
Ronaldo added “I look forward to Tuesday against Barcelona, it is the biggest game of the season in my opinion. If you win you are in the final. It is a good motivation for me, for my colleagues, for my friends, everyone. I hope to win and the two league games are very important as well, if you win you are champions as well.”
Ronaldo admitted that he had voted for Arsenal’s Emmanuel Adebayor. He said: “I voted for Adebayor because I think he has had a great season as well. But you have many players who have had a good season – Torres, Fabregas, many players. But I think I deserve to win!”
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.
Cesc Fabregas was named the PFA Young Player of the Year. The other nominees were Ronaldo, Micah Richards, Torres, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Ashley Young.
“I’m very proud. It’s a very prestigious trophy.Football is a collective game and you prefer to win trophies with team-mates but it’s always nice to have this type of award. I dedicate it to my team-mates because without them I would not have won.” said Fabregas.
It was strange to see that none of the Chelsea players featured in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year :
David James (Portsmouth), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Rio Ferdinand (Man Utd), Nemanja Vidic (Man Utd), Gael Clichy (Arsenal), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd), Ashley Young (Aston Villa), Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal), Fernando Torres (Liverpool).
The ceremony was attended by Fabio Capello who speaking publicly in English possibly for the first time proposed a toast to PFA.
I am just so glad that two of my current favourite EPL players won. Next awards season, watch out for Fernando.