Algerian star Riyad Mahrez was named the PFA Player of the Year award in a Gala night held at the Grosvenor Hotel in London last night.
Mahrez who has scored 17 goals with 11 assists this season beat off competition from Dimitri Payet, Harry Kane, Mesut Ozil and fellow Leicester men Jamie Vardy and N’Golo Kante to win the award and immediately dedicated the award to his team-mates.
“All the credit is for them, seriously,” Mahrez said after emerging the first Leicester City player in the history of the Premier League to win the award.
“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.”
Mahrez now joins a glittering list of former winners that includes Kenny Dalglish, Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry, current Real Madrid superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
Bookmakers had the Foxes at 5000-1 to be crowned champions at the start of the 2015/16 campaign, but, with three games left, they stand on the brink of arguably the greatest shock in English football history.
“The secret has been team spirit,” Mahrez said.
“We work so hard for each other. We are like brothers, it’s everywhere on the pitch. That’s our strength.
“If sometimes we are not good, we know we are going to run and make the effort for our team-mates. That is the secret of our success.”
Mahrez was flown to the ceremony by helicopter from the King Power Stadium, after he helped Claudio Ranieri’s men hammer Swansea 4-0 to move eight points clear at the top of the Premier League log.
Jamie Vardy was given an award for becoming the first player to score in 11 consecutive premier league matches while Dele Alli won the Young Player of the Year gong.