Turns out, Eden Hazard will not have to share the PFA Player of the Year award this year, as he had promised to do so if he had won it for the second time in three seasons.
“If I win the Player of the Year award, I'll invite N’Golo Kanté onto the stage and we'll share the trophy. He deserves to win.”
-Eden Hazard; source: HLN
Would’ve been a grand gesture, to be sure, but it appears that most voters agreed with Eden Hazard by not voting for him and voting for N’Golo Kanté instead! Kanté lost out on the award to then-teammate Riyad Mahrez last season. No such disappointment for him this season!
“It means the world to me. To be chosen as the Player of the Year is a great honour.”
-N’Golo Kanté; source: Chelsea FC
A man of few words, Kanté of course looked adorably uncomfortable posing with the trophy.
The Men's PFA Players' Player of of the Year goes to....@ChelseaFC's @nglkante! Congratulations! #PFAawards pic.twitter.com/fK64Op8MVH— PFA (@PFA) April 23, 2017
Kanté had already been named into the PFA Team of the Year, alongside teammates Eden Hazard, David Luiz, and Gary Cahill. He is the third Chelsea player to be named PFA Player of the Year, joining John Terry (04/05) and Eden Hazard (14/15). The award has been given out since 1974, and is one of the big three annual individual recognitions alongside the Fans’ Player of the Year and the Football Writers’ Player of the Year, both of which will be awarded next month.
The other big winners on this night included Dele Alli, who won Young Player of the Year for the second straight season, Birmingham City’s Jess Carter who won Women’s Young Player of the Year, and Manchester City’s Lucy Bronze who won Women’s Player of the Year. This year’s Merit Award went to David Beckham, while Kelly Smith collected a special recognition award for her services to women’s football for both Arsenal and the England national team.