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De Bruyne emulates Ronaldo & Henry after Man City star wins back-to-back men’s PFA Player of the Year awards as Foden named Young Player of the Year

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The midfielder has been recognised by his fellow professionals once again after another outstanding season at the Etihad Stadium

Manchester City talisman Kevin De Bruyne has emulated Cristiano Ronaldo and Thierry Henry by scooping the PFA Player of the Year award for a second successive year.

De Bruyne has seen off competition from City team-mates Ruben Dias, Ilkay Gundogan and Phil Foden to retain the prize he won for the first time in 2019-20.

Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes and Tottenham striker Harry Kane also missed out after the latest annual vote amongst the members of the players’ trade union, with the Belgian recognised for another stellar campaign which saw him help City win a fifth Premier League title and fourth consecutive Carabao Cup.

What’s been said?

De Bruyne has now joined United legend Ronaldo and former Arsenal star Henry as the only players to win the PFA accolade two years on the bounce, and expressed his delight.

“The fact the players chose me for this award means that I’ve done very well,” said the 29-year-old.

“You want to win all the trophies with the team and this is probably the most important one as an individual trophy in the league. To be voted by your competitors, by players who you compete with every game – to choose you, that says a lot.

“They’re the people in my view who know the most about the game. 

“When you have these things you can show your kids and say ‘Look! this is what Daddy did when he was younger’.”

De Bruyne’s stellar 2020-21 season

De Bruyne contributed 10 goals and 18 assists to City’s cause in 40 outings across all competitions this term, despite also dealing with a string of injuries which saw him sit out a further 12 matches.

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In addition to adding two more domestic trophies to his illustrious CV, the midfielder also played a key role in the club’s run to their first Champions League final, which they lost 1-0 to Premier League rivals Chelsea.

Who won the PFA Young Player of the Year award?

Foden was the only man to be nominated in both categories this year and, while he ultimately missed out on the senior award to his Etihad Stadium colleague, he has become the 39th winner of the PFA Young Player of the Year.

Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka, Manchester United starlet Mason Greenwood, West Ham’s Declan Rice, Chelsea playmaker Mason Mount and Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, who got the nod last season, were also up for the prize, but Foden edged them out after coming of age in Pep Guardiola’s City squad.

“I’m really honoured,” the man who scored 16 goals and laid on a further 10 across 50 appearances for City in 2020-21 said of his PFA win. “There have been some great players in the past who have won it, and I feel so lucky because there have been so many great young talents this year.

“I’m feeling really happy to win it and it’s a special moment. I would like to thank my parents, all of the coaches and the players as well, because without them creating chances for me, I wouldn’t score, and maybe I wouldn’t win the awards.

“Without them, it wouldn’t have been possible.”

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