Leicester's Mahrez wins PFA Player of the Year
Leicester City forward Riyad Mahrez won the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Player of the Year 2015-16 award. The Algerian international has been instrumental in Foxes' fairytale campaign, scoring 17 goals, and 11 assists, to lead them to the cusp of a maiden Premiere League title. Mahrez dedicated the award to all his Leicester teammates. He was also named in PFA Team of the Year.
What are the PFA awards?
Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) awards annually celebrate the best of English football, to recognise the outstanding performers in every division. PF awards were first given for 1973-74 season. The categories of PFA awards include: PFA Players' Player of the Year, PFA Young Player of the Year, the divisional Team of the Year for all five divisions and PFA's Merit Award.
Some of previous Player of the Year winners
Previous winners of the prestigious PFA Players' Player of the Year award include Luis Suarez, Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs. The 2014-15 award winners were Eden Hazard (Men's) and Ji So-Yun (Women's) - both from Chelsea.
PFA awards voting system
PFA representatives deliver the ballot forms to the training grounds of 92 league clubs and 8 WSL clubs. A player is not allowed to vote for a player that is in the same club as themselves. This applies for both PFA Players' Player of the Year Award and Young Player of the Year award. 23 years is the cut-off age for Young player award.
Introduction of PFA awards to women
PFA awards for women football players were first introduced in 2012-13 season, when PFA Women's Players' Player of the Year was awarded for the first time. The inaugural Player of the Year award was won by Arsenal's Kim Little. From the next season 2013-14, two more titles - PFA Women's Young Player of the Year and FA WSL Team of the Year were added.
Nominees for 2016 PFA player awards
The nominees for 2015-16 Men's PFA Players' Player of the Year were - Dimitri Payet (West Ham), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), N'Golo Kante (Leicester) and Riyad Mahrez (Leicester). Nominees for Men's PFA Young Player of the Year were - Dele Alli (Tottenham), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jack Butland (Stoke City), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Romelu Lukaku (Everton) and Ross Barkley (Everton).
Dele Alli named Young Player of the Year
Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli, 20, was named PFA Young Player of the Year. Former Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs, the most decorated player in the English game, won the PFA Merit Award.
PL team of the Year, PFA Women's awards
Manchester City forward Izzy Christiansen won the Women's Player of the Year award while Sunderland striker Beth Mead, 20, was named Women's Young Player of the Year. PFA Premier League team of the Year was dominated by players from Leicester and Tottenham. Players of Team of the Year comprised - De Gea, Rose, Alderweireld, Morgan, Bellerin, Payet, Kante, Alli, Mahrez, Kane and Vardy.