Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has emulated Premier League legends Cristiano Ronaldo and Thierry Henry by becoming only the third player to win consecutive PFA Players’ Player of the Year awards, while Chelsea’s Fran Kirby has been awarded her second PFA Women’s Players’ Player of the Year award.
De Bruyne, who is battling to be fit for Belgium’s Euro 2020 opener against Russia on Saturday after suffering a broken nose and fractured eye socket during City’s Champions League final defeat against Chelsea on May 29, has completed an awards double for the Premier League champions following the announcement of defender Ruben Dias as Footballer Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year last month.
Kirby tops off a stellar year in which she teamed up with Sam Kerr to become the Women’s Super League’s most effective strike parternships. She led the side to the league title, a Continental Cup and a runners-up medal in the Champions League. She previously won the PFA award in 2018.
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Having also won last season’s PFA award, De Bruyne now joins Ronaldo (2007 and 2008 with Manchester United) and former Arsenal forward Henry (2003 and 2004) as a back-to-back winner.
“The fact that players chose me for the this award means that I’ve done really well,” De Bruyne said. “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 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.’”
Kirby said: “First and foremost, my teammates are amazing, and I would never have won any of the awards or trophies that I have without them, but to win this is really special. I think what we’ve achieved has been incredible, so I’m really proud to be a part of this team.
“Hopefully I will be able to come back into the same kind of position as I came into last year because I’ve been playing like I love the game again and like I enjoy it and that’s when you get the best out of me.”
City’s Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden and Dias were also short-listed for the award, alongside Tottenham’s Harry Kane and United midfielder Bruno Fernandes.
De Bruyne’s City teammate Foden, 21, was voted PFA Young Players’ Player of the Year to seal a clean sweep of the men’s awards for the champions.
“I’m really honoured,” Foden said. “There have been some great players in the past that have won it, and I feel really lucky because there have been so many great young talents this year.”
Clubmate Lauren Hemp also claimed her third Young Player of the Year at the age of just 20, having previously won it in 2018 and 2020.