Monday 23 April 2012
Arsenal striker Robin van Persie has been named the Professional Footballers' Association's Player of the Year for 2011/12.
The Gunners captain has scored 34 goals in all competitions for the club this campaign, with 27 coming in the Barclays Premier League in only 35 appearances.
"It's even more special if your opponents are saying it"
- Robin van Persie
The award was voted for by Van Persie's peers, and the 28-year-old - who beat off competition from Wayne Rooney, Scott Parker, Sergio Aguero, Joe Hart and David Silva - admits that makes winning all the more enjoyable.
"If other people are saying it, it is special, but it is even more special if your opponents are saying it," said Van Persie.
"It is very special because you are playing against them week-in, week-out and every single player does everything to win. In the end, if they make up their minds that I am the best player it is a big honour."
Tottenham Hotspur defender Kyle Walker, 21, won the Young Player of the Year award, ahead of the other five nominees Aguero, Gareth Bale, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck.
"I was a bit surprised because defenders don't normally get these awards and get the limelight as much as the centre-forwards," said Walker.
"It is always an honour to be selected by the people you play against and hopefully I can get a few more of these and some medals with Tottenham along the way."
Joe Hart (Man City); Kyle Walker (Tottenham), Vincent Kompany (Man City), Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle), Leighton Baines (Everton); David Silva (Man City), Yaya Toure (Man City), Gareth Bale (Tottenham), Scott Parker (Tottenham); Robin van Persie (Arsenal), Wayne Rooney (Man Utd).