Football News

The Internet reacts as Phil Foden wins FWA Men’s Footballer of the Year

By CJ Smith

Published: 16:30, 3 May 2024

Manchester City star Phil Foden has been named the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year for 2023/24.

The 23-year-old has enjoyed another excellent campaign with 24 goals and 10 assists in 48 appearances across all competitions, helping City lift Fifa Club World Cup and Uefa Super Cup titles, while they’re favourites to retain the Premier League and have reached the FA Cup final.

Foden faced stiff competition to win the award, with Declan Rice in second and teammate Rodri third, while Martin Odegaard, Ollie Watkins and Cole Palmer completed the top six. However, the England international was the standout candidate with 42% of the vote.

“Being named the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year is a huge honour,” said Foden. “I’m very, very happy to receive this award but I could not have done it without the help of my team-mates. We have a very special squad of players at City, and I’m privileged to be a part of that group.

“I want to thank all my team-mates as well as Pep and the coaches for all the support and advice they have given me.

“I strive to be the best that I can be every single day and that is all down to the way the manager and my colleagues always seek to improve and get better.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who voted for me as well as my fellow nominees.”

It’s the fourth time in six years that a Manchester City player has won the FWA top honour, with Erling Haaland taking the crown last year following successes from Ruben Dias in 2020/21 and Raheem Sterling in 2018/19.

Last 10 winners of the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year

  • 23/24: Phil Foden (Manchester City)
  • 22/23: Erling Haaland (Manchester City)
  • 21/22: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
  • 20/21: Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
  • 19/20: Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)
  • 18/19: Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
  • 17/18: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
  • 16/17: N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
  • 15/16: Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
  • 14/15: Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

Alongside Foden, Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw has been named the Women’s Footballer of the Year for 2024, meaning it’s the second time in five years that Manchester City have picked up both major honours in the same season following Raheem Sterling and Nikita Parris’ double in 2019. Shaw, 27, is the WSL top scorer this season with 21 goals in just 18 appearances.

Foden added: “I’m immensely proud to have won this award. Now I am focused on seeking to finish the season as strongly as possible and to try to help City win more trophies.”

An award that has been running since the 1947/48 campaign, Foden’s win is the 39th by an English player so far, followed by nine from Scottish players. France is the most-represented non-British nation with seven awards, four of which were won by Arsenal’s Thierry Henry (x3) and Robert Pires (1) between 2002 and 2006.

Liverpool remain the award’s most successful team with 15 wins, followed by Tottenham and Manchester United on nine. This is Man City’s seventh success, leaving them behind only that aforementioned trio and Arsenal (8) overall, while it’s the first time a club has retained the award since Cristiano Ronaldo won it back-to-back in 2006/07 and 2007/08 for Manchester United.

Foden’s award was met with mixed reactions among fans of all clubs. Man City supporters were, obviously, ecstatic to see their homegrown icon take home the crown, while fans of other clubs felt that others were, perhaps, more suitable candidates.

Former teammate Fernandinho was in no doubt that Foden was a deserving winner, as was the case with Pep Guardiola.

Guardiola will need his Stockport-born forward at his very best as Man City tackle remaining Premier League fixtures against Wolves, Fulham, Tottenham and West Ham, sitting a point behind Arsenal in the title race but with a game in hand. The Cityzens also have an FA Cup final against Manchester United to look forward to for the second year in a row as they seek to clinch the double.