Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Chelsea’s Sam Kerr have won the 2022 Player of the Year award from the PFA.
After nearly losing a second Premier League title, striker Salah defeated Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne to win his second Player of the Year trophy.
The 29-year-old, who ended up being the league’s all-time leading goalscorer, also defeated Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Kane and teammates Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane to win the honor and was also voted in the PFA Premier League 2022 team of the year. . Tottenham’s Heung-Min Son, who shared the Golden Boot with Salah, was not on the shortlist or in the top 11.
Salah scored 23 league goals and 14 assists in the 2021/22 season, including a hat-trick and an assist at Old Trafford as Liverpool beat rivals Manchester United 5-0. The Egyptian also won the League Cup and FA Cup with Liverpool, but almost failed to win the Champions League and African Cup of Nations titles, losing both finals.
PFA members vote for the winners of each award, selecting the players they believe have achieved the best performance of the year. Salah is now one of only nine players in history to have won two PFA Player of the Year awards, joining Mark Hughes, Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lucy Bronze, Kevin De Bruyne and Fran Kirby.
Salah said: “It is a great honor to win a trophy, individual or collective and it is great, very happy and very proud of it.
“This is really good to win, especially because it is voted by the players. It shows you that you have worked hard and that you are getting what you worked for. I have my room with trophies in a cabinet and made sure I had another space for another, always saving space and just trying to imagine the trophies coming.
“When you grow up, you feel more stable and know exactly what you want from football, so I just try to really relax and help the team.
“That’s why I think I won the playmaker too, because it’s like you’re more aware of the game, so you’re just trying to make people around you better and you’re trying to make yourself better.”
Analysis: Salah joins elite with a second victory
Nick Wright and Sky Sports:
Mark Hughes, Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lucy Bronze, Kevin De Bruyne and Fran Kirby. And now Mohamed Salah. After his first success in 2017/18, the Egyptian becomes only the ninth player to win the PFA Player of the Year award for the second time.
He is in good company and no doubt deserves his place there.
Salah could not have prevented Liverpool from failing terribly in the Premier League title race, but his chance to receive top individual awards was nonetheless compelling.
Salah scored the most goals with 23 – sharing the golden boot with Tottenham’s Heung-Min Son – and also provided more assists. No one else has come close to scoring 36 goals, with the 29-year-old making up almost 40% of Liverpool’s figure.
Basic numbers also put it in a separate category.
Salah’s expected number of goals was the highest in the division and he also had more shots, shots on goal and touches in the opposing area. Only one player – Tottenham’s Harry Kane – created more chances. Salah also ranks among the best in dribbles and open play opportunities.
The size of his contribution makes him a worthy winner – and a well-deserved member of a select group of players who has won it twice.
Kerr becomes the first Australian to win an award
Golden Shoe winner Sam Kerr becomes the first Australian footballer to win the award after being narrowly beaten in 2021 by Chelsea team-mate Fran Kirby.
The striker beat Vivianne Miedema, Pernille Harder, Alex Greenwood, Lauren Hemp and Kim Little to win the trophy this year.
Kerr scored 20 goals to become the top scorer in the Women’s Super League this season. She was instrumental in Emma Hayes’s national team victory, scoring two goals – including an extra time winner – as Chelsea beat Manchester City to win the FA Cups.
The 28-year-old striker also scored two goals in WSL’s last game of the season against Manchester United, giving up on Arsenal’s title hopes and helping Chelsea to a third consecutive league title.
Kerr’s first PFA Award makes him the first Australian woman to win a PFA Award since Harry Kewell won the New Player of the Year award in 2000. Kerr’s performances this year have also made him the WSL Team of the Year. PFA.
Kerr said: “It’s a great honor, I think, every time your colleagues vote. I think it’s the greatest honor as a player, so it’s an amazing feeling. »
Asked about some of her appearances in the 2021/22 season, Kerr added: “I do a lot as a player, sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t, but I think you have to see yourself in those moments.
“I just honestly believe in myself. Just very confident that in the 90th minute or whenever the team will give me the ball and will rely on me. Knowing that my team trusts me gives me a lot of confidence. I love those big moments – this is what I live for as a footballer. »
Analysis: Kerr a worthy winner
Charlotte Swamp from Sky Sports:
Another week, another trophy for Sam Kerr to find a place – she already has a WSL title, an FA Cup trophy, the WSL Golden Boot and the FWA Women Footballer of the Year award to name a few this season.
She deserves them too. In a season where Fran Kirby, Pernille Harder and Bethany England were on and off the team due to injury and illness, Kerr has been ubiquitous for Chelsea and his attacking statistics rank among the best in the league.
She scored more WSL goals (20), scored more big chances (11) and finished second behind Vivianne Miedema in shot (70) and goal kick (39).
What makes her goal even more impressive is that she has not executed a penalty for Chelsea this season, with all her goals coming from an open game.
Only his last four goals of the season embody his class and his ability to perform in the big moments. Kerr’s double against Manchester United in the last WSL game of the season were two of the best goals you will see this year in any league.
She then scored a winning goal in extra time against Man City to prove once again indispensable for the Blues. Although it was a team game, Kerr won both trophies for Chelsea this season.
In interviews, she is extremely likable, but quite modest – her years at WSL have not seen her lose her quiet stance as an Aussie. But beneath the surface lies one of the best strikers in women’s football and a winning mentality that cannot be weakened.
A top-class player on and off the field and a worthy winner.
Hodgson and Powell receive the PFA Merit Award
The PFA 2022 Award of Merit honored two former England coaches, Roy Hodgson and Hope Powell by winning the trophy for their outstanding contribution to football.
Hodgson announced his retirement last month after more than 40 years in football management. When he received the award, he said: “It is a real honor to receive this award, it is unexpected, but it makes me even more grateful. I have never won trophies as a player, unfortunately, so it is good to be known by professional colleagues, he will have a place of honor.
“When you have had a long career and you have succeeded, you have to look back with a lot of gratitude and humility. You realize there are so many steps along the way where things have gone well for you, and I got that wealth that everyone needs. I have always tried to do the job with passion, I have had an enthusiasm and energy that I have always tried to bring to work and these two qualities are very important for anyone in football, whether player, coach or coach.
“I will look back with a lot of gratitude and humility for what football has given me and it is wonderful to receive a trophy that proves that people believe I have returned something, I will appreciate this trophy. »
Brighton Powell manager said: “It’s a real honor to receive this trophy, I feel lucky and blessed to be in the game after so many years, really grateful.
“One of the benefits of being involved in the game is the great experience I have had over the years, whether as a player or coach in the FIFA World Cups, European finals or the Olympic Games. Olympics and now at Brighton and Hove Albion. Each section has been very different but above all very entertaining and I feel very lucky and privileged to hold this position.
“I was never afraid to ask questions and challenge people, I think I helped shape the game and push it along with a lot of other people. So I hope I will be remembered as someone who was passionate about and wanted the best for women’s football locally and nationally. »