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Sterling wins Football Writers' Association Player of the Year by overwhelming majority

The Manchester City forward took a whopping 62% of the votes to see off Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk.

The 24-year-old has enjoyed the best season of his career.
The 24-year-old has enjoyed the best season of his career.
Image: Steven Paston

RAHEEM STERLING HAS been recognised as the Premier League’s Player of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association. 

Voted on by 400 FWA members, the Manchester City attacker claimed 62% — 100 votes more than Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk, who was runner-up. 

Sterling’s City team-mate Sergio Aguero finished third. 

The news comes hours after Van Dijk was named Professional Footballs Association (PFA) Player of the Year, with Sterling picking up Young Player of the Year thanks to 17 goals and 10 assists for Pep Guardiola’s side, who are still involved in a title race with the Reds.

“Raheem Sterling is an exemplar of the talent and values our founding fathers sought to reward when they established the FWA in 1947,” said FWA chair Carrie Brown.

“To have been voted the 2019 Footballer of the Year by our members, and with such an overwhelming majority, clearly acknowledges the contribution from a player over one season.”

On the pitch, Raheem has evolved into one of the most dangerous forwards in the world,” Brown added. 

“A player long admired for his tactical intelligence, link-up play and quick feet has now added a devastating finish to his game. The Manchester City forward’s Champions League opener against Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium drew comparisons with Lionel Messi’s goal against Manchester United.

“Are we approaching a time where Barcelona’s maestro will be forced to cast a watchful glance over his dropped shoulder at the rising star of Sterling?”

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The 24-year-old’s courage off-the-field in publicly taking a stand against racism was also recognised.

“Raheem didn’t set out to be a leader, but he is setting examples in society and in the game which the world is following with interest.”

Manchester City and England forward Nikita Parris collected the Women’s Footballer of the Year — narrowly seeing off Arsenal & Netherlands striker Vivianne Miedema.

Parris, 25, is the all-time top goalscorer the FA Women’s Super League (WSL), which was set up in 2011, and this season she has helped her side reach the FA Women’s Cup final, where West Ham stand in their way at Wembley Stadium this Saturday. 

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Ben Blake

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