Liverpool dominate men’s PFA awards, but which Premier League teams did the same?
Even though they fell short of their Quadruple goal, Liverpool enjoyed a successful season after finishing the 2021-22 campaign as runners-up in both the Premier League and Champions League while also winning two domestic cups.
Liverpool’s collective efforts were fully recognised at the Professional Footballers’ Association’s (PFA) awards on Thursday night as forward Mohamed Salah was handed the PFA men’s Player of the Year award for the second time in his career.
Having previously taken the top honour in 2018, Salah became only the seventh player in history to be crowned PFA Player of the Year for a second time when he pipped Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (himself a fellow multiple-time winner) in the 2022 poll.
Liverpool enjoyed more success in the men’s PFA Team of the Year stakes too as six of their players were named in the best XI. Alisson Becker, Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Thiago Alcantara and Sadio Mane all took their places alongside Salah to ensure a majority for Jurgen Klopp’s side. In comparison, Premier League winners Man City only had three players included.
⚽️ The PFA Premier League Team of the Year!
🇵🇹 João Cancelo
🇸🇳 Sadio Mané#PFAawards | #TOTY pic.twitter.com/x1MPQBOHrF
— Professional Footballers’ Association (@PFA) June 9, 2022
So with Salah winning Player of the Year and over half of the corresponding Team of the Year hailing from Liverpool, we wondered if any one club has ever been as dominant when it comes to the PFA awards in the Premier League era?
8. Manchester City, 2018-19 (6 x players included in PFA Team of the Year)
City completed a domestic Treble by winning the Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup which saw them end up with well-deserved numeric supremacy in the PFA Team of the Year as Ederson, Aymeric Laporte, Bernardo Silva, Fernandinho, Raheem Sterling and top-scorer Sergio Aguero all received the nod.
However, the PFA Player of the Year award went to a Liverpool stalwart after Van Dijk’s imperious performances for the Reds.
7. Blackburn Rovers, 1994-95 (1 x winner of PFA Player of the Year, 6 x players included in PFA Team of the Year)
After owner Jack Walker’s millions were pumped in to the club, Blackburn were shock winners of the Premier League title in 1994-95 and players (Tim Flowers, Colin Hendry, Graeme Le Saux, Tim Sherwood, Chris Sutton and Alan Shearer) fill out the PFA Team of the Year.
Having scored 34 goals in a single season (a jointly held record that is yet to be bettered), Shearer was understandably also handed the PFA Player of the Year and Premier League Player of the Year awards too.
6. Manchester United, 2000-01 (1 x winner of PFA Player of the Year, 6 x players included in PFA Team of the Year)
Manchester United won the title for the third-successive season as Teddy Sheringham finished the campaign as the club’s top goal scorer.
The veteran striker was crowned PFA Player of the Year after notching 21 times in all competitions and was also one of six United players who found their way into the PFA Team of the Year alongside goalkeeper Fabien Barthez, Jaap Stam, Wes Brown, Roy Keane and Ryan Giggs.
5. Arsenal, 2003-04 (1 x winner of PFA Player of the Year, 6 x players included in PFA Team of the Year)
Having marched to the Premier League title without suffering a single defeat it’s unsurprising that Arsenal’s impervious “Invincibles” were well represented at the PFA awards of 2003-04.
Firstly, the mercurial Thierry Henry was named PFA Player of the Year as well as collecting the Football Writers’ Association’s Footballer of the Year, the PFA Fan’s Player of the Year and the Premier League Player of the Year trinkets.
Henry then took up position in the PFA Team of the Year alongside Lauren, Sol Campbell, Ashley Cole, Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires.
4. Manchester United, 2008-09 (1 x winner of PFA Player of the Year, 6 x players included in PFA Team of the Year)
Man United became the first team in English football history to win three consecutive titles on two separate occasions, equalling Liverpool’s record of 18 league titles in the process.
Giggs saw his instrumental role rewarded with the PFA Player of the Year award, while he and five further United players found their way into the Team of the Year including goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, defensive trio Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra, and Cristiano Ronaldo, who departed for Real Madrid soon thereafter.
3. Chelsea, 2014-15 (1 x winner of PFA Player of the Year, 6 x players included in PFA Team of the Year)
Chelsea secured a Premier League and League Cup double as the goals of Diego Costa helped fire the Blues to glory on two fronts in what might have been a difficult transitional year for the club following the exit of midfield lynchpin Frank Lampard.
Costa and Eden Hazard picked up the slack, with the Belgian in particular enjoying a virtuoso campaign on his way to being named PFA Player of the Year, FWA Footballer of the Year and Premier League Player of the Year.
Chelsea had six players named in the PFA Team of the Year with Costa and Hazard taking their place alongside colleagues Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry, Gary Cahill and Nemanja Matic.
2. Man City, 2020-21 (1 x winner of PFA Player of the Year, 6 x players included in PFA Team of the Year)
Last year, Pep Guardiola’s side matched Liverpool’s impressive feat in their title-winning 2020-21 campaign after seeing De Bruyne named PFA Player of the Year and then having six players included in the corresponding PFA Team of the Year.
1. Manchester United, 2006-07 (1 x winner of PFA Player of the Year, 8 x players included in PFA Team of the Year)
The most dominant display by a single Premier League club in the history of the PFA awards came in 2006-07 when newly crowned champions United nearly managed a clean sweep of the entire evening.
After scoring 23 goals in 53 games in all competitions while winning his first Premier League title, Cristiano Ronaldo won the PFA Player of the Year and was joined in the PFA Team of the Year by Van der Sar, Gary Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Paul Scholes and Giggs.