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Vassiljev honoured as Estonia's player of the year

Published: Wednesday 23 November 2011, 12.23CET
"To be the best player for a second successive year is a great achievement," said midfielder Konstantin Vassiljev after winning the player of the year poll in Estonia once again.
by Mikhail Malkin
from Tallinn
Vassiljev honoured as Estonia's player of the year
Konstantin Vassiljev celebrates his goal against the Republic of Ireland ©Getty Images
Published: Wednesday 23 November 2011, 12.23CET

Vassiljev honoured as Estonia's player of the year

"To be the best player for a second successive year is a great achievement," said midfielder Konstantin Vassiljev after winning the player of the year poll in Estonia once again.

FC Amkar Perm midfielder Konstantin Vassiljev has been named the nation's player of the year by the Estonian Football Association (EJL) for a second year running.

Vassiljev, 27, who scored six times in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying, including Estonia's only goal in the 5-1 aggregate play-off defeat by the Republic of Ireland, won 89 points in a poll of Estonian football journalists and EJL representatives. AZ Alkmaar defender Ragnar Klavan took second place (40 points) while Wisła Kraków goalkeeper Sergei Pareiko (33) came in third. Vassiljev has registered 15 goals in 49 internationals.

UEFA President Michel Platini announced the winner via video link, and the former France playmaker revealed his admiration for Vassiljev: "The award goes to the attacking midfielder and free-kick specialist whose performances I follow especially closely. My congratulations, Konstantin Vassiljev!"

"To be the best player for a second successive year is a great achievement," said Vassiljev, who moved to Russian side Amkar in August from Slovenia's FC Koper. "This year the national team played even better than last year. Let's hope the future brings even more positive emotions and results."

Vassiljev may have taken the mantle from Estonia captain Raio Piiroja but he has some way to go to better Piiroja's four consecutive crowns between 2006 and 2009. Further ahead is six-time winner Mart Poom, the former Derby County FC and Sunderland AFC custodian, who is now the national team's goalkeeping coach and FC Flora Tallinn's sporting director.

The women's player of the year prize went to 21-year-old Põlva FC Lootos attacking midfielder Signy Aarna who scored 22 goals in 22 league games.

Last updated: 23/11/11 14.19CET

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