Sunday, April 27, 2008

Cristiano Ronaldo named player of the year



Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo has been named as the Professional Footballers' Association player of the year.

The 23-year-old wins the award for the second successive season after another outstanding campaign that has seen him score 38 goals in all competitions.

"I feel very happy. It is a great moment, it is an honour, a pleasure," said the Portuguese star.

Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas picked up the young player of the year award.

Ronaldo beat off competition from Liverpool duo Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard, 20-year-old Fabregas and Gunners team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor and Portsmouth goalkeeper David James.

The Portugal international was also in the running to scoop the young player of the year award, a feat he achieved last year, but was pipped to the prize by Spain star Fabregas.

Torres, Micah Richards, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Ashley Young were the other nominees.

Cristiano Ronaldo : "I feel very good but it is not just my award, my team-mates have helped me a lot this season"

Ronaldo did not attend the event, as he is busy preparing for Man Utd's Champions League semi-final second leg clash with Barcelona on Tuesday night, but was presented with the award by United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

"When you work all season to play good, to do something for the team, and then at the end of the season the PFA give you this award, it is a great motivation to carry on like that, to work more and get better," said Ronaldo.

"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."

Ronaldo revealed he voted for Arsenal striker Adebayor, but believes the right man walked away with the award.

"I voted for Adebayor because I think he has had a great season as well," he said.

"But you have many players who have had a good season - Torres, Fabregas, many players. But I think I deserve to win!"

Of his award, Fabregas said: "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."

BBC broadcaster and former England and Blackpool full-back Jimmy Armfield received the merit award for his services to the game.

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