Manchester City striker Erling Haaland has won the prestigious Football Writers’ Association (FWA) Footballer of the Year award after his impressive debut season in England, it was announced on Friday.
Haaland, 22, won the award by a record margin, securing 82% of the vote ahead of Arsenal players Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard, who finished second and third respectively.
– When can Manchester City win the Premier League?
– Stream on ESPN+: La Liga, Bundesliga, more (US)
Elsewhere, Chelsea striker Sam Kerr became the first back-to-back winner of the Women’s Footballer of the Year. The Australia international won twice as many votes as Aston Villa’s Rachael Daly, who finished second, and Kerr’s team-mate Lauren James in third.
Both strikers have played key roles with their clubs as both Manchester City and Chelsea look to retain the league title.
“It’s an honor to win the Football Writers’ Award in my first season in English football,” Haaland said in a statement. “I try every day to be the best I can be, and to be recognized means a lot to me.
“I’ve loved my time at City so far — my team-mates are incredible, and they give me the chance to score goals. I want to thank them all, because without them I wouldn’t have won this award.
“I also owe a lot to Pep [Guardiola] And team behind team here at City. Everyone has treated me so well since I joined and I have never worked with such top professionals.
“Thank you to everyone who voted for me. It’s a real honor to win this award. I’m now focused on finishing the season as strongly as possible and helping City win trophies.”
– Haaland is nowhere near Messi’s record for goals in a single season
Haaland enjoyed a sensational debut campaign with the Premier League champions and scored 51 goals in all competitions.
The Norway international broke the Premier League’s single-season scoring record with his 35th goal in last week’s 3-0 win over West Ham United.
Records have fallen on an almost-weekly basis for Haaland at the Etihad Stadium since his transfer from Borussia Dortmund last summer.
He surpassed the previous record for most goals by a Premier League player in all competitions. His 51 goals surpassed Ruud van Nistelrooy’s tally for Manchester United in 2002-03 and Mohamed Salah’s 44 in 2017-18.
Haaland still has a way to go to surpass the all-time record for the most goals in England’s top division. The legendary Dixie Dean scored 60 goals for Everton in 1927-28.
The FWA confirmed that both Haaland and Kerr will receive their awards on May 25.