Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne has been named the PFA Mens’ Players’ Player of the Year, beating team-mate Raheem Sterling and four Liverpool players to the award.
Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne has added the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award to his Premier League Player of the Season prize after enjoying a stellar year for the Citizens. De Bruyne becomes the first male City player ever to win the PFA’s main prize and fought off four Liverpool players to win.
Despite winning four titles since 2011-12, City had previously seen their stars beaten by Robin van Persie, Luis Suarez, Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk in their title-winning campaigns.
And despite finishing second to Liverpool in 2019-20, it is De Bruyne who has been crowned the English top-flight’s stand-out performer.
The 29-year-old enjoyed a sensational season that saw him equal Arsenal legend Thierry Henry for the record number of assists in a single campaign, with 20.
On top of that, the Belgium international also scored 13 goals. No other Premier League player was directly involved in as many goals as the midfielder.
“It is a big honour,” he said upon receiving the award, as voted for by his fellow professionals.
“To be voted by your colleagues, your competitors from other teams who we play against on the field, is amazing.
“It is maybe strange that I’m the first one at City, with all the good players who played there before and are still playing, but it is nice to represent the Club.
“I think it is [the ultimate honour] because you compete against them [fellow professionals].
“They want to win the trophies; they want to be the best. It is everybody voting, not a few players, so that means you have done really well in the season.”
While City boss Pep Guardiola said of De Bruyne, who was also named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year: “To win this award is an outstanding achievement, and Kevin is so deserving of it.
“To be recognised by other players is the most that any footballer can ask for, because they understand not only what it is to compete against you, but also the level of commitment it takes to play at the very top.
“There have been many great players in this club’s history, especially over the last decade working with Roberto, Manuel and myself.
“We have won many titles, but Kevin is the first to receive this prestigious award. This recognition is also a tribute to all the fantastic players who have come before him.
“We are so proud of Kevin and this will only strengthen what he means to this club and our fans. From all the players, coaches and staff at Manchester City, I would like to congratulate him.”
De Bruyne beat Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, winner of the FWA Footballer of the Year award, Van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Sadio Mane and City team-mate Raheem Sterling to be named the winner.
The Young Player of the Year award, won by Sterling in 2019, this year went to Liverpool right-back Alexander-Arnold.
He defeated Chelsea duo Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount, Manchester United pair Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford and Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka.
The 21-year-old England defender broke his own record for the most assists in a Premier League season, mustering 13 in addition to four goals in 38 games en route to the Reds’ first title since 1990.
Alexander-Arnold, last month named the Premier League Young Player of the Season award, said: “Being a part of the names that I’ve seen on here, and to be a part of such an amazing trophy and be able to receive it, is an unbelievable honour for me and my family. It’s something we’ll always be proud of.
“These types of awards, when it’s voted by people who have played against you and can maybe admire or respect the things you do on the pitch, is amazing.
“It’s a big thanks to all those that voted for me and have decided I deserve this trophy. It’s a big thanks to them. It’s huge for me to achieve this and it’s something I’ll never forget.”
Alexander-Arnold is the first Liverpool winner of the Young Player of the Year award since Steven Gerrard in 2000-01.
PFA awards winners in full
PFA Mens’ Player’s Player of the Year: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
PFA Mens’ Player’s Young Player of the Year: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
PFA Merit Award: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
PFA Premier League Team of the Year: Nick Pope (Burnley); Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Caglar Soyuncu (Leicester), Andy Robertson (Liverpool); David Silva (Manchester City), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City); Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal), Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
PFA Womens’ Players’ Player of the Year 2020: Bethany England (Chelsea)
PFA Womens’ Young Player of the Year 2020: Lauren Hemp (Manchester City)
PFA WSL Team of the Year: Ann-Katrin Berger (Chelsea); Magdalena Eriksson (Chelsea), Leah Williamson (Arsenal), Millie Bright (Chelsea), Maren Mjelde (Chelsea); Caroline Weir (Manchester City), Kim Little (Arsenal), Ji So-yun (Chelsea); Bethany England (Chelsea), Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal), Chloe Kelly (Everton/Manchester City)