FWA Chair described winger as a "player of style and a man of substance"
Raheem Sterling has been named as the 2019 Football of the Year by the Football Writers' Association. The England winger polled 62% of the vote, ahead of Virgil van Dijk and teammate Sergio Aguero.
Sterling has been instrumental in City's quest for a domestic treble this season, and has scored 23 times in 48 appearances.
FWA chair, Carrie Brown, said: “Raheem Sterling is a player of style and a man of substance. More than 70 years ago Charles Buchan, one of the founding fathers of the Football Writers’ Association, suggested there be an award presented to the player who by ‘precept and example’ is considered the Footballer of the Year.
“Raheem Sterling is an exemplar of the talent and values our founding fathers sought to reward when they established the FWA in 1947. To have been voted the 2019 Footballer of the Year by our members, and with such an overwhelming majority, clearly acknowledges the contribution from a player over one season.
“But it also recognises the huge impact of Raheem’s courage to challenge preconceptions and fight racism, which will leave a legacy not just for future generations in football but society as a whole. Eyes have been opened, voices found, we are listening and will be at the forefront of the continued drive for equality.
“On the pitch, Raheem has evolved into one of the most dangerous forwards in the world. A player long admired for his tactical intelligence, link-up play and quick feet has now added a devastating finish to his game.
“The Manchester City forward’s Champions League opener against Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium drew comparisons with Lionel Messi’s goal against Manchester United. Are we approaching a time where Barcelona’s maestro will be forced to cast a watchful glance over his dropped shoulder at the rising star of Sterling?”
Brown added on the FWA website: “Raheem didn’t set out to be a leader, but he is setting examples in society and in the game which the world is following with interest. I look forward to presenting him with the Sir Stanley Matthews Trophy on 9 May.”