Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Chelsea’s Sam Kerr have won the 2022 PFA Players’ Player of the Year awards.
After narrowly missing out on a second Premier League title, striker Salah defeated Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne to take home his second Player of the Year trophy.
The 29-year-old, who finished as the league’s joint top scorer, also defeated Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Kane and team-mates Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane to win the honour, and was also voted to be part of the PFA Premier League 2022 squad. the year. Tottenham’s Heung-Min Son, who shared the Golden Boot with Salah, did not make the shortlist or the best XI.
Salah scored 23 goals in the league and scored 14 assists during the 2021/22 season, including a hat-trick and assist at Old Trafford when Liverpool defeated rivals Manchester United 5-0. The Egypt international also had successes in the League Cup and FA Cup with Liverpool, but narrowly missed the Champions League and Africa Cup of Nations titles and lost both finals.
PFA members vote for the winners of each award and choose the players they believe have delivered the best performance throughout the year. Salah is now one of only nine players in history to have won two PFA Players’ Player trophies along with Mark Hughes, Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lucy Bronze, Kevin De Bruyne and Fran Kirby.
Salah said: “It’s a great honor to win a trophy, individually or collectively, and this one is so big, very happy and very proud of it.
“This is a really good one to win, especially because it’s been voted for by players. It shows that you’ve worked really hard and you’re getting what you’ve worked for. I have my room with trophies in a cupboard and I have made sure I had one more space for one more. I always keep space and try to imagine the trophies are coming.
“As you get older, you feel like you’re more stable and you know exactly what you want from football, so I’m just really trying to 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 just try to make the people next to you better and make yourself better too.”
Analysis: Salah joins elite with second win
Nick Wright of Sky Sports:
Mark Hughes, Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lucy Bronze, Kevin De Bruyne and Fran Kirby. And now Mohammed 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 a second time.
He is in good company and there is no doubt that he deserves his place there.
Salah couldn’t prevent Liverpool from falling painfully short in the Premier League title race, but his plea to claim the big individual trophies was nonetheless convincing.
Salah scored the most goals with 23 – sharing the golden boot with Tottenham’s Heung-Min Son – and also provided the most assists. No one else came close to his 36-goal total, the 29-year-old making up nearly 40 per cent of Liverpool’s total.
The underlying numbers also put him in a class of his own.
Salah’s expected goal score was the highest in the division and he also had the most shots, shots on target and touches in the penalty area. Only one player – Harry Kane of Tottenham – created more big chances. Salah was among the best for dribbles and also created open play opportunities.
The sheer magnitude of his contribution makes him a worthy winner – and a member of a select group of players who have won it twice.
Kerr becomes first Australian to win prize
Golden Boot winner Sam Kerr becomes the first Australian footballer to win the award after narrowly beating Chelsea teammate Fran Kirby in 2021.
The forward beat the competition from Vivianne Miedema, Pernille Harder, Alex Greenwood, Lauren Hemp and Kim Little to claim the trophy this year.
Kerr scored 20 goals to become the Women’s Super League top scorer this season. She was a key part of Emma Hayes’ domestic doubles winning side, scoring two goals – including an extra-time winner – as Chelsea beat Manchester City to win the FA Cups back-to-back.
The 28-year-old attacker also scored twice in the final WSL game of the season against Manchester United, wiping out Arsenal’s title hopes and helping Chelsea to a historic third consecutive league title.
Kerr’s first PFA award win makes her the first Australian woman to win a PFA award after Harry Kewell won the Young Player of the Year honor in 2000. Kerr’s performances this year also saw her become the PFA WSL Team of the Year.
Kerr said: “I think it’s a huge honor when you get voted by your colleagues. I think it’s the highest honor as a player, so it’s a great feeling.”
When asked about some of her appearances during the 2021/22 season, Kerr added: “I do a lot as a player, sometimes it comes out and sometimes it doesn’t, but I think you have to see yourself in those moments.
“I just honestly believe in myself. Just a lot of confidence that in the 90th minute or whenever it is, the team will give me the ball and rely on me. Knowing that my team trusts me gives me a lot of confidence. I love those big moments – that’s what I live for as a footballer.”
Analysis: Kerr a worthy winner
Charlotte Marsh of Sky Sports:
Another week, another trophy for Sam Kerr to find a place for – she already has a WSL title, FA Cup trophy, WSL Golden Boot and FWA Women’s Footballer of the Year award just to name a few call this season.
She deserves them too. In a season that saw Fran Kirby, Pernille Harder and Bethany England in and out of injury and illness, Kerr has been an ever-present for Chelsea and her attacking stats are among the best in the league.
She scored the most WSL goals (20), scored the highest number of big chances (11) and was second behind Vivianne Miedema for shots (70) and shots on target (39).
What makes her goals all the more impressive is that she has not taken penalties for Chelsea this season, as all of her goals came from open play.
Her last four goals of the season alone epitomize her class and her ability to perform at the big moments. Kerr’s double against Manchester United in the final WSL game of the season were two of the best goals you’ll see in any competition this year.
She then scored an extra-time winner against Man City to prove once again that she is indispensable to the Blues. Although it is a team competition, Kerr has won both trophies for Chelsea this season.
In interviews, she’s extremely likeable, but rather humble – her years in the WSL haven’t seen her lose her laid-back Australian demeanor. But beneath the surface lurks one of the best strikers in women’s football and an unstoppable winning mentality.
A real class player both on and off the pitch and a worthy winner.
Hodgson and Powell receive PFA merit award
The 2022 PFA Merit Award honored two former England managers, with Roy Hodgson and Hope Powell receiving the trophy for their outstanding contributions to football.
Hodgson announced his retirement last month after more than 40 years in football management. When he received the award, he said: “It’s a real honor to receive this award, it’s unexpected, but that makes me all the more grateful. Unfortunately I never won a trophy as a player, so it’s nice to be recognized by fellow professionals. It will take pride of place.
“When you have had a long career and have had some success with it, you should look back with great gratitude and humility. You realize that there are so many steps in the road where things have gone well for you, and I have had that fortune that everyone needs I’ve always tried to do the job with passion, I’ve had a certain enthusiasm and energy that I’ve always tried to bring to the work and those two qualities are very important for everyone in football be it player , manager or coach.
“I will look back with great gratitude and humility for what football has given me and it is great to get a trophy that proves that people believe I have given something back. I will cherish this trophy.”
Brighton manager Powell said: “It’s a real honor to receive this trophy, I feel lucky and blessed to be in the game after many years, really grateful.
“One of the great things about being involved in the game is the tremendous experience I’ve had over the years as a player or manager at FIFA World Cups, European finals or the Olympics and now Brighton and Hove Albion. section has been very different but largely very enjoyable and I feel very lucky and privileged to be in this position.
“I’ve never been afraid to ask questions and challenge people, I think I’ve helped shape the game and move it forward with a lot of other people. So I hope I’ll be remembered as someone passionate about was and wanted the best for women’s football on a local and national level.”