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Published: 08:19 | 25/4/16

Mahrez named PFA Player of the Year

Leicester star claims prestigious award

Leicester's Riyad Mahrez has been crowned PFA Player of the Year.

Mahrez has been pivotal in Leicester's push for the Premier League crown, scoring 11 goals and setting up 11 others to help the Foxes maintain their title challenge.

The 25-year-old held off competition from Tottenham forward Harry Kane, Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil, West Ham United midfielder Dimitri Payet and fellow Leicester men Jamie Vardy and N'Golo Kante to win the award at Sunday's ceremony in London.

Collecting the award just hours after scoring in Leicester's 4-0 win over Swansea, Mahrez paid tribute to his Leicester team-mates.

"All the credit is for them, seriously," Mahrez said. "And for my manager and the staff. Without them I wouldn't receive this award and I wouldn't score. It's the team spirit, and I want to dedicate it to them.

"I'm very grateful to receive this award, it's a pleasure. It's extra special because if the players vote for me it's because they've seen I've been great this year so I'm happy."But it's more team things. Without my team-mates I wouldn't get this award."

Tottenham's Dele Alli was named PFA Young Player of the Year to cap a sensational 12 months for the player who was loaned back to MK Dons.

"Thank you Ossie (Ardiles), the Tottenham legend for receiving this award for me," Alli said.

"Sorry I can't be there tonight, but we have a big game tomorrow. Thank you for to everyone who voted for me.

"I feel honoured to win such a prestigious award and thank you to my friends, family and all the staff at Tottenham."

Team-mate Harry Kane, Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland, Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho and Everton duo Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley had also been shortlisted for the prize.

Meanwhile, Ryan Giggs was honoured with the PFA Merit Award.

Giggs made 963 appearances for Manchester United, winning 13 Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two Champions Leagues.

He was named Player of the Year in 2009 and Young Player of the Year in both 1992 and 1993 and completed the treble by picking up the Merit Award on Sunday night.

"I'm chuffed to have to have won all three awards, the young player was a long time ago and then the player award was a big surprise," Giggs said.

"This is the culmination of around 25 years since my debut, so it's a credit to myself, my team-mates, staff, family and friends.

"When you win each award you look down the trophy and you see the players who have won it before and you realise what a great accolade it is.

"This is the same. I've been here on the nights when people have won it and it's legends of the game. I'm fortunate to win it and I'll enjoy it."

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