PFA Players' Player of the Year

The Professional Footballers' Association Men's Players' Player of the Year (often called the PFA Men's Players' Player of the Year, the Players' Player of the Year, or simply the Player of the Year) is an annual award given to the player who is adjudged to have been the best of the year in English football.[1] The award has been presented since the 1973–74 season and the winner is chosen by a vote amongst the members of the players' trade union, the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA).[2] The current holder is Kevin De Bruyne, who retained the award on 6 June 2021. The 2020 ceremony was postponed from its usual date in April or May due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[3]

PFA Men's Players' Player of the Year
2020 and 2021 winner Kevin De Bruyne
SportAssociation football
CompetitionAll levels of English football
CountryEngland and Wales
Presented byPFA
History
First award1973–74
Editions48
First winner Norman Hunter
Most recent Kevin De Bruyne (2021)
WebsiteOfficial website

The first winner of the award was Leeds United defender Norman Hunter. As of 2021, only Mark Hughes, Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Kevin De Bruyne have won the award on two occasions, and only Henry, Ronaldo and De Bruyne have won the award in consecutive seasons. Of the five, only Shearer won his two awards playing for different teams. Although there is a separate PFA Young Player of the Year award for players under the age of 23, young players remain eligible to win the senior award, and on three occasions the same player has won both awards for a season, Andy Gray in 1976–77, Ronaldo in 2006–07 and Bale in 2012–13. Only three non-European players have won the award: Luis Suárez (Uruguay) in 201314, Riyad Mahrez (Algeria) in 201516 and Mohamed Salah (Egypt) in 201718.

Every spring, each member of the association votes for two players.[4] A shortlist of nominees is published in April and the winner of the award, along with the winners of the PFA's other annual awards, is announced at a gala event in London a few days later.[5] The award is regarded by the players themselves as extremely prestigious, with Teddy Sheringham describing it in 2001 as "the biggest personal award you can get in the game",[6] and John Terry stating in 2005 that he considered it "the ultimate accolade to be voted for by your fellow professionals whom you play against week-in and week-out".[7]