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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr, 27, 2008

Ronaldo scoops PFA Player of the Year award

Cristiano Ronaldo has been named Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year for the second time in succession.

The Manchester United midfielder has enjoyed another outstanding campaign having scored 38 goals in all competitions for the Barclays Premier League champions.

The 23-year-old beat off competition from Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard, Cesc Fabregas, Emmanuel Adebayor and David James to land the prize.

Arsenal midfielder Fabregas was named Young Player of the Year - an award which Ronaldo also won in 2007 - at a star-studded ceremony at London's Grosvenor House Hotel tonight.

Ronaldo did not attend the event in person but was shown on screen accepting his trophy from United manager Sir Alex Ferguson at the club's Carrington training ground.

United are currently preparing for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final against Barcelona on Tuesday night.

Ronaldo told PA Sport: 'I feel very happy. When you work all season to play good, to do something for the team, to do your contribution for the team and then at the end of the season the PFA give you this award, it is a great moment, it is an honour, a pleasure.

'It is a great motivation to carry on like that, to work more and get better.

'I feel very good but it is not just my award, my team-mates have helped me a lot this season.

'They give me good passes to score goals - and I score - but it is a good moment for me.'

Ronaldo, who joined United in a £12.24million move from Sporting Lisbon in 2003, feels he has improved considerably during his time at Old Trafford.

As well as scooping both PFA awards last year he came third in the FIFA World Player of the Year poll and he is looking forward to achieving even more success, individually and collectively, with United in future.

The Portuguese star added: 'I am sure I am better player than four or five years ago. Than last year? I have improved a little bit better still.

'This is my ambition to learn more and play better and I think I am in the right place. I want to carry on and this for me is a good moment to stay at the club and play at the best level.'

Barcelona present Ronaldo's next challenge at Old Trafford this week, the sides having drawn 0-0 in the Nou Camp last week.

United, with superior goal difference, also remain favourites to retain their Premier League crown despite Chelsea drawing level with them at the top with yesterday's 2-1 victory at Stamford Bridge.

Ronaldo added: 'I look forward to Tuesday against Barcelona, it is the biggest game of the season in my opinion. If you win you are in the final.

'It is a good motivation for me, for my colleagues, for my friends, everyone. I hope to win and the two league games are very important as well, if you win you are champions as well.'

Ronaldo admits his own vote for the top award went to Arsenal striker Adebayor, the Togo international who has netted 27 this term.

He said: 'I voted for Adebayor because I think he has had a great season as well.

'But you have many players who have had a good season - Torres, Fabregas, many players. But I think I deserve to win!'

The voting was reversed for the young player award with Spain international Fabregas finishing ahead of Ronaldo. Torres, Micah Richards, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Ashley Young had been the other nominees.

'I'm very proud. It's a very prestigious trophy,' said Fabregas.

'Football is a collective game and you prefer to win trophies with team-mates but it's always nice to have this type of award.

'I dedicate it to my team-mates because without them I would not have won.'

Chelsea's push for double glory in the Premier League and Champions League was not recognised in the PFA's top flight team of the year, with no Blues players featuring.

United had three representatives in Ronaldo, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic while Fabregas, Adebayor, Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy featured for Arsenal.

Liverpool duo Gerrard and Torres were included, as was Portsmouth and England goalkeeper James and Aston Villa midfielder Young.

Former England and Blackpool full-back Jimmy Armfield, 72, still involved in the game as a broadcaster, received the Merit award for his services to the game.

Armfield, also a former Leeds manager, overcame a battle with cancer last year.

Armfield said: 'When you wait for honours you appreciate it even more. The thing is to be honoured by your own professionals, that's the way I look at it.'

Among the guests was England manager Fabio Capello who, speaking publicly in English for what is believed to be the first time, proposed a toast to the PFA.

PFA teams of the year

Premier League: David James (Portsmouth), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Rio Ferdinand (Man Utd), Nemanja Vidic (Man Utd), Gael Clichy (Arsenal), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd), Ashley Young (Aston Villa), Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal), Fernando Torres (Liverpool).

Championship: Wayne Hennessy (Wolves), Bradley Orr (Bristol City), Ryan Shawcross (Stoke), Dan Shittu (Watford), Paul Robinson (West Brom), Brian Howard (Barnsley), Marvin Elliott (Bristol City), Liam Lawrence (Stoke), Jonathan Greening (West Brom), Ricardo Fuller (Stoke), Kevin Phillips (West Brom).

League One: Kieren Westwood (Carlisle), Angel Rangel (Swansea), Garry Monk (Swansea), Danny Livesey (Carlisle), Julian Bennett (Nottm Forest), Andy Robinson (Swansea), Ferrie Bodde (Swansea), Kris Commons (Nottm Forest), Richie Wellens (Doncaster), Jermaine Beckford (Leeds), Jason Scotland (Swansea).

League Two: Jon Lewis (Peterborough), Craig Pead (Brentford), Stephen Foster (Darlington), Danny Swailes (MK Dons), Dean Lewington (MK Dons), Jason Puncheon (Barnet), Keith Andrews (MK Dons), Lloyd Dyer (MK Dons), George Boyd, (Peterborough), Jack Lester (Chesterfield), Aaron McLean (Peterborough).

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