Eden Hazard became only the second person in the award’s 50-year history to collect it for a third time. The brilliant Belgian, who played such a big part in helping to recapture the Premier League crown this season, not least with his 16 goals scored, was voted no.1 by Chelsea supporters via the club’s website, as he was the previous time we won the league two seasons ago.
His first Chelsea Player of the Year award was for 2013/14 meaning he has collected the trophy in three of the past four years. The other triple winner is Frank Lampard (2004, 2005, 2009).
Hazard’s appreciative manager, Antonio Conte, was the man chosen to announce this year’s award winner with the Yokohama Player of the Year trophy presented by president of Yokohama Europe, Mr. Hashimoto.
N’Golo Kante was the choice of his team-mates for 2016/17, mirroring his winning of the nationwide PFA Players’ Player of the Year Award last month.
Those two added to the Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year and Premier League Player of the Year gives a remarkable haul of individual honours for the French midfielder who has excelled as a team player too, winning back-to-back Premier Leagues with Leicester and Chelsea.
This was the one trophy not handed over on the night. That had already happened when David Luiz and Kurt Zouma, in possession of a microphone, had stormed the dressing room at Cobham but Kante was still able to thank his colleagues in Battersea.
‘Because we spend so long together, and we win together and we lose together, to be named by the other players is something special,’ he said. ‘I spent a very good season here. ‘We were unlucky we did not win yesterday but it was a good season and hopefully next season we are going to be stronger.’