English Premiership

Mahrez named PFA Player of the Year

2016-04-25 10:21
Riyad Mahrez (TEAMtalk)

London - Leicester City's Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez on Sunday became the first African player to be named English football's Player of the Year, as voted for by his fellow professionals.

The 25-year-old French-born Algerian international, outstanding in Leicester's incredible charge towards the Premier League title, received the trophy at a lavish awards ceremony in London.

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli was named Young Player of the Year at the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) awards.

Paying tribute to his team-mates, Mahrez, 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."

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.

A £400,000 signing from French Ligue 2 side Le Havre in January 2014, Mahrez has contributed 17 goals and 11 assists to help put Leicester on the brink of becoming English champions for the first time.

He had scored the opener in the Foxes' 4-0 thrashing of Swansea City earlier in the day at the King Power Stadium, which left Claudio Ranieri's side eight points clear of second-placed Tottenham with three games left to play.


Mahrez was then flown by helicopter to the ceremony as he pipped club colleagues Jamie Vardy and N'Golo Kante as well as West Ham United's Dimitri Payet, Tottenham's Harry Kane and Arsenal's Mesut Ozil to the award.

Alli, 20, held off competition from Kane, Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland, Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho and Everton duo Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley to take the young player gong.

Alli, who won Football League Young Player of the Year 12 months ago, joined Tottenham from third-tier Milton Keyes Dons in 2015 and was expected to be used sparingly in his first season at White Hart Lane.

However, he has been outstanding in midfield for Spurs and has already won six caps for England, scoring once.

He was not there to pick up his award in person as Tottenham play West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League on Monday, but recorded a video message.

"Sorry I can't be there tonight, but we have a big game tomorrow. Thank you for to everyone who voted for me," Alli said.

"I feel honoured to win such a prestigious award and thank you to my friends, family and all the staff at Tottenham."

Manchester United great Ryan Giggs, now the assistant to manager Louis van Gaal, followed in the footsteps of his former manager Alex Ferguson by winning the PFA Merit Award.

Manchester City midfielder Izzy Christiansen won the PFA Women's Player of the Year award, with Sunderland forward Beth Mead taking home the young player equivalent.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

29 October 2016
Sunderland v Arsenal, Stadium of Light 13:30
Manchester United v Burnley, Old Trafford 16:00
Middlesbrough v Bournemouth, Riverside Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Hull City, Vicarage Road 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City, White Hart Lane 16:00
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 18:30
30 October 2016
Everton v West Ham United, Goodison Park 15:30
Southampton v Chelsea, St. Mary's Stadium 18:00
31 October 2016
Stoke City v Swansea City, Britannia Stadium 22:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2016/17 season?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.