LONDON (AP) - Leicester forward Jamie Vardy has won England’s Footballer of the Year award on the day his team could clinch an unlikely Premier League title.
The Football Writers’ Association said Leicester players swept the top three places and seven in total got votes for the award seen as the most prestigious individual prize in England.
Vardy won 36 percent of journalists’ votes “making him a clear winner” ahead of teammates Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante, the writers’ organization said Monday.
“It’s been an amazing season for all of us at Leicester, based on the teamwork not individuals, which you can see in the voting,” Vardy said in a statement. The 29-year-old forward gets the honor just four years after playing in the fifth-tier division.
His 22 Premier League goals include a streak of scoring in 11 consecutive early-season matches, which launched Leicester’s historic title challenge after being a 5,000-1 outsider.
Vardy also scored his first goals for England, against Germany and the Netherlands, in March.
Leicester will win the league with two rounds to spare if second-placed Tottenham fails to win at Chelsea later Monday. Victory for Leicester at home to Everton on Saturday would also secure the title.
Leicester swept the main individual awards, after 17-goal Mahrez won the players’ vote last week.
Coach Claudio Ranieri is near-certain to win the manager of the year award later this month.
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