Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah has been named Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) Player of the Year for the second time, while Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo was named in the Premier League Team of the Year, it was announced on Thursday.
Salah finished joint top scorer alongside Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-Min with 23 goals.
The Egypt international also recorded 13 assists as he helped Liverpool to finish second in the league, as well as winning the Carabao Cup and FA Cup.
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“It’s a great honour to win a trophy, individual or collective and this one is big so, very happy and very proud of that,” Salah said in a statement.
“This one is a really good one to win, especially because it’s voted by players. It shows you that you’ve worked really hard and you get what you worked for. I have my room with trophies in a cabinet and I made sure that I had another space for one more. I always keep space and just try to imagine that the trophies are going to come.”
Salah, who has pledged to remain at Liverpool next season despite his contract having just a year to run, previously won the award in 2018.
The 29-year-old won the prestigious Football Writers’ Association (FWA) Footballer of the Year award in April, but was pipped by City’s Kevin De Bruyne to the Premier League’s Player of the Year award.
“When you get older, you feel like you’re more stable and you know exactly what you want from football, so I’m just trying to be really chill and help the team,” Salah said. “That’s why I think I also won the playmaker because it’s like you’re more aware of the game, so you just try to make the people next to you better and try to make yourself better as well.”
The 22-year-old becomes the fifth male player to win the award in successive years, joining Ryan Giggs, Robbie Fowler, Wayne Rooney and Dele Alli.
“I’m really honoured to be honest, especially to win it back to back,” he said in a statement. “It shows that I’ve come a long way this year with the consistency of my game, and I’m really pleased to win it again.
“All the best players in the world have got to show consistency and keep performing at the highest level, and this year I’ve just tried to do that and try and help my team as much as possible — I’ve been really happy with my performances this year.
“Hopefully I can win the main award in the future, but it’s all about taking small steps and improving. I always love winning individual awards, it’s just nice to look at and see how far you’ve come so, yeah, I’m really pleased.”
Ronaldo made the Team of the Season after scoring 18 goals in the Premier League in his return to England for the first time since 2009. The Portugal captain was selected but there was no room for Spurs forwards Harry Kane or Son.
Elsewhere, the 2022 PFA Merit Award was given to 74-year-old Roy Hodgson for his outstanding contribution to football.
The former England manager announced his retirement from football management last month after failing in his pursuit to keep Watford in the Premier League last season.
“It is a real honour to receive this award, it is unexpected but that makes me all the more grateful,” he said. “I never won any trophies as a player, unfortunately, so it is nice to be recognised by fellow professionals. It will have pride of place.
“When you have had a long career and you have had some success with it, you have to look back with great gratitude and humility. I have always tried to do the job with passion, I have had a certain enthusiasm and energy that I have always tried to bring to the job and those two qualities are very important for anyone in football either player, manager or coach.
“I will look back with great gratitude and humility for what football has given me and it’s wonderful to get a trophy which proves that people believe I have given something back, I will treasure this trophy.”
PFA Premier League Team of the Year:
Alisson — Liverpool
Trent Alexander-Arnold — Liverpool
Virgil van Dijk — Liverpool
Antonio Rudiger — Chelsea
Joao Cancelo — Manchester City
Kevin De Bruyne — Manchester City
Thiago Alcantara — Liverpool
Bernardo Silva — Manchester City
Sadio Mane — Liverpool
Cristiano Ronaldo — Manchester United
Mohamed Salah — Liverpool