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Van Persie claims prestigious prize

Arsenal captain Robin van Persie has been voted 2012 Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers' Association.

Van Persie, 28, topped the poll of journalists with a landslide victory ahead of Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney in second place and his Old Trafford team-mate Paul Scholes third, with Fulham's Clint Dempsey fourth.

Van Persie's 34 goals in all competitions has helped propel the Gunners into the top four of the Premier League, leaving them on the brink of Champions League qualification for next season.

Van Persie - last week named the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year - will receive the prestigious FWA accolade, which has been running since 1948, at a gala dinner at the Lancaster London Hotel on May 3.

FWA chairman Steve Bates, chief football writer at The People, said: "Robin was the overwhelming choice of our members this season and deservedly so after a magnificent campaign for Arsenal.

"The quality of his goals, attacking movement and consistency in a turbulent season for The Gunners has been eye-catching.

"The considerable size of his majority in the votes cast by our members reflected the general view that he has been the season's most outstanding individual performer.''

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