LONDON: In-form Leicester City’s midfielder Riyad Mahrez became the first African player to be named English football’s Player of the Year on Sunday, after getting votes by his fellow professionals on his performance in premiere league.
French-born Algerian international, played outstandingly this season with Leicester City and helped his team to take incredible charge towards the Premier League title, received the trophy at a lavish awards ceremony in London.
Mahrez has scored 17 goals and made 11 assists in 34 league games to take Leicester to the top of the table.
On the other hand Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli, who scored ten goals and assisted nine times was named Young Player of the Year at the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) Awards.
He gave tributes to his team-mates, who succeeds Chelsea’s Eden Hazard as the winner of the prize, told the ceremony: “All the credit is for them, seriously.
And for my manager (Claudio Ranieri) and the staff. Without them, I wouldn’t receive this award, and I wouldn’t score. It’s the team spirit, and I want to dedicate it to them.
I’m very grateful to receive this award; it’s a pleasure. It’s extra special because if the players vote for me, it’s because they’ve seen I’ve been great this year, so I’m happy.
But it’s more team things. Without my team-mates, I wouldn’t get this award.
Both top two teams Leicester and Tottenham have manged to provide eight players between them for the Professional Footballers’ Association Premier League Team of the Year.
25-year-old Mahrez is one of a quartet of players from league leaders Leicester while Alli is one of four men from Spurs.
Former Real Madrid player Mesut Ozil, a PFA Player of the Year nominee, misses out.
Many players from champions Chelsea, Manchester City, and Arsenal, dominate the Women’s Super League 1 Team of the Year.
Second grade Club Burnley, battling for promotion to the Premier League, have four players in the Championship Team of the Year.
Mahrez is the first African to win the award and just the second non-European, after Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, then of Liverpool, in 2014.
Mahrez have bought for £400,000 ($580,000, 514,000 euros), and the signing was from French Ligue 2 side Le Havre in January 2014, Mahrez has contributed 17 goals and 11 assists to help put Leicester on the edge of becoming English champions for the first time.
He had also scored the opener in the Foxes’ 4-0 thrashing of Swansea City on Sunday at the King Power Stadium, which helped Claudio Ranieri’s side eight points clear of second-placed Tottenham with three games left to play.