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.
The 22-year-old won the prize by a record margin, earning 72% 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+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)
Elsewhere, Chelsea striker Sam Kerr became the first back-to-back winner of the Women’s Footballer of the Year. The Australia international gained twice as many votes as Aston Villa‘s Rachel Daly who finished in second placed while Kerr’s teammate Lauren James came in third.
Both strikers have played a key role with their clubs as both Manchester City and Chelsea look to retain their league titles.
“To win the Football Writers’ Award in my first season in English football is an honour,” Haaland said in a statement. “I try every single day to be the best I can be, and to be recognised like this means a lot to me.
“I have loved my time at City so far — my teammates are incredible, and they provide me with the chances to score goals. I want to thank all of them, because I could not have won this award without them.
“I also owe so much to Pep [Guardiola] and the team behind the team here at City. Everybody has been so good to me since I joined and I have never worked with such top professionals.
“Thank you to everyone who voted for me. It’s a real honour to have won this award. I am now focused on ensuring I finish the season as strongly as possible and helping City win trophies.”
– Haaland nowhere near Messi’s single-season goal record
Haaland has enjoyed a sensational debut campaign with the Premier League champions and has scored 51 goals in all competitions so far.
The Norway international broke the Premier League’s single-season scoring record with his 35th goal coming in a 3-0 win over West Ham United last week.
Records have fallen on a near-weekly basis for Haaland at the Etihad Stadium since his transfer from Borussia Dortmund last summer.
He has already eclipsed the previous record for most goals scored in all competitions by a Premier League player. His 51 goals have far exceeded the 44 scored by Ruud van Nistelrooy for Manchester United in 2002-03 and Mohamed Salah in 2017-18.
Haaland still has a way to go to surpass the all-time record for the most goals scored in England’s top division, however. The legendary Dixie Dean struck 60 goals for Everton in 1927-28.
The FWA confirmed that both Haaland and Kerr will receive their awards on May 25.