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Afellay named ‘Young Player of the year’ (

16 mei 2007 - Source:

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PSV’s 20-year-old midfielder <L CODE="C01">Ibrahim Afellay</L> has won the Johan Cruijff Award after being named ‘Young Player of the year’ by a twelve-man jury, chaired by Johan Cruijff. Arjen Robben won the award last year. Afellay beat AZ’s striker Moussa Dembélé by a short head. “It was a close finish and eventually the details proved to be decisive”, explained Cruijff in the Dutch daily newspaper De Telegraaf. “Afellay has performed just a tiny little bit better with PSV in the domestic league and made appearances at a high level in the Champions League. When faced with setbacks, Afellay copes well and he has the capacity to play with a little something extra. He has been recognized for his talent and the ball is now in his court. But bearing in mind how former winners have developed, I am not the slightest bit worried about Afellay’s future.” The jury was made up of twelve members: Cruijff, Marco van Basten, Danny Blind, Foeke Booy, Henk ten Cate, Willy Dullens, Ruud Gullit, Wim Janssen, Willem Jonk, Erwin Koeman, Ronald Koeman and John van’t Schip. All members of the jury were asked to select three players and as Afellay and Dembélé had received the same number of votes, the number of second places became relevant. Afellay, who had done slightly better in that respect, was then named winner. Ajax player Urby Emanuelson finished third.
Ibrahim Afellay will be handed the award at the Footballer of the Year gala night on Monday 3 September, just like the winners of the Golden Shoe, the Silver Shoe (Phillip Cocu) and the Bronze Shoe (Alex).