Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has been named the PFA Player of the Year for the 2019/20 season.
The Belgian equalled Thierry Henry’s Premier League record of 20 assists in a single season – a total of 23 assists and 16 goals in all competitions last term.
De Bruyne saw off competition from team-mate Raheem Sterling and Liverpool quartet Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson, and Sadio Mane to win the accolade.
He also joined David Silva in the Team of the Year alongside former team mate and City legend David Silva.
Remarkably – De Bruyne, 29 – was the first Manchester City men’s player to ever win the prize which is voted for by fellow professionals.
Both Izzy Christiansen and Lucy Bronze have won the women’s equivalent in previous campaigns.
“It’s strange that I’m the first one at City given all the good players that have played here before and who are still playing here but it’s nice to represent the club.” said De Bruyne of the award.
He added: “I think it is [the ultimate honour] because you compete against them, they want to win the trophies, they want to be the best.
“When they vote for you, and it’s everyone who is voting not just a few players, that means you’ve done really well during the season.”
City Manager Pep Guardiola said: “To win this award is an outstanding achievement, and Kevin is so deserving of it.
“To be recognised by other players is the most that any footballer can ask for, because they understand not only what it is to compete against you, but also the level of commitment it takes to play at the very top.
“There have been many great players in this club’s history, especially over the last decade working with Roberto [Martinez], Manuel [Pellegrini] and myself.
“We have won many titles, but Kevin is the first to receive this prestigious award.
“This recognition is also a tribute to all the fantastic players who have come before him.
“We are so proud of Kevin and this will only strengthen what he means to this club and our fans. From all the players, coaches and staff at Manchester City, I would like to congratulate him.”