By Nick Ames

Robin van Persie was a proud man on Thursday night when he collected his Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year award - and the Arsenal captain says that it was completely unexpected.

Van Persie also won the coveted PFA Player of the Year trophy, voted for by his fellow professionals, and he believes that this recognition is incredibly valuable.

“On Thursday night I had the pleasure of receiving my Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year award,” he told the Official Matchday Programme. “It was a great evening, and I have to say that winning both this and the PFA award is a dream come true.

“It’s amazing when your colleagues on other teams vote for you, because you’re always taking each other on and competing. When most of them opt for you, it’s the greatest honour you can get as an individual.

“To win the writers’ award as well was just unbelievable. These are the guys who watch you in every single game and know almost everything about you. It’s a special thing if they vote for you, because they are both knowledgeable and objective.”

While the thought of making the shortlist for honours had crossed Van Persie's mind, the thought that he might come out on top had not occurred to him.

“Even if I had a really good season, I never seriously thought I would win these awards,” he explained.

“Perhaps I was hoping for a nomination, but that was it – I’d never had one before so it wasn’t especially in my mind. I’m really glad, and grateful for all the appreciation.”

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5 May 2012