FC Twente playmaker Theo Janssen has won the 2010/11 player of the year award in the Netherlands while AFC Ajax starlet Christian Eriksen picked up the young player prize.
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Theo Janssen's achievements with FC Twente have earned the midfielder the 2010/11 player of the year award in the Netherlands, while AFC Ajax starlet Christian Eriksen picked up the young player prize.
Janssen, who helped Twente win the Dutch Cup, finish runners-up in the Eredivisie and reach the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals, beat off competition from Wesley Verhoek of ADO Den Haag and Roda JC's Ruud Vormer in the top player standings – a chart composed of ratings provided by former Netherlands internationals after every match.
Though pleased at having received the illustrious honour, the 29-year-old, who plundered a personal best 13 goals in 30 Eredivisie outings this season said that he would have rather his side retained the league title, which they conceded to AFC Ajax after a final-day defeat against Frank de Boer's side. "I do not especially aim for winning individual prizes," said the former Vitesse playmaker, who has been capped five times by the Netherlands. "It is a nice appreciation for me but obviously it is only the championship that really counts."
Eriksen's prize, voted for by a jury supervised by Johan Cruyff, crowned a memorable campaign for the 19-year-old Ajax midfielder. "For me this is an unforgettable year," said the Danish international, who will now have an artificial mini-pitch, or Cruyff Court, installed in his home country. "When I think about it, it is bizarre. My first real season as a the first-team regular and I end up celebrating the Dutch title and becoming young player of the year."
"Christian Eriksen is a derserved winner, but also a player I really like with all my heart," added Cruyff. "This prize is just the beginning, a stimulus to get the maximum out of his career. The talent is there, the recognition also; now it is up to the player himself. He is a typical product of the Danish school. You can compare him with Brian and Michael Laudrup. Only time will tell if Eriksen can reach the same level as them."
The prizes will be handed out at the official awards ceremony on 29 August.