Ex-Liverpool midfielder Raul Meireles won the PFA Fans' Player of the Year in 2011

Raul Meireles won the PFA Fans' Player of the Year in 2010/11 with Liverpool

Raul Meireles' two years in England were quite memorable.

The Portuguese midfielder moved to Liverpool from Porto in the summer of 2010 for a fee of around £11.5m.

Meireles arrived with a decent reputation, especially as he had been part of the Portuguese national team since 2006.

So it wasn't much of a surprise to see Meireles adjust quickly to the combative nature of the Premier League in 2010/11.

But, do you remember the gritty midfielder being one of the stars of that season? Nope, neither do we.

Meireles celebrates with Lucas Leiva

Meireles scored five times and notched the same number of assists in 33 outings for the Reds, but it's hard to remember the now 36-year-old turning in a plethora of memorable performance.

However, he must have done, because he was actually awarded the PFA Fans' Player of the Year in 2011.

What makes the award even more bizarre is that his five goals actually came in a run of seven matches, so essentially it was just a purple patch.

Nevertheless, the fans believed he earned the accolade over that season's top goal scorer and title winner with Manchester United, Dimitar Berbatov.

Berbatov scored five in one game that season vs Blackburn

That's right, the Bulgarian's 20 goals that sealed yet another Premier League crown for Sir Alex Ferguson weren't enough to pip Meireles to the award.

So you may ask, is the PFA Fans' Player of the Year crown often awarded to a rather unexpected recipient? On the contrary.

In every year bar 2011, the winner of the award - which was started in 2001 - is pretty much exactly who you would expect it to be.


Gerrard was the first winner of the award

2001 - Steven Gerrard

2002 - Ruud van Nistelrooy

2003 - Thierry Henry

2004 - Thierry Henry

2005 - Frank Lampard

2006 - Wayne Rooney

2007 - Cristiano Ronaldo

2008 - Cristiano Ronaldo

2009 - Steven Gerrard

2010 - Wayne Rooney


2012 - Robin van Persie

2013 - n/a

2014 - Luis Suarez

2015 - Alexis Sanchez

2016 - Riyad Mahrez

2017 - Harry Kane

2018 - Mohamed Salah

2019 - Eden Hazard

Hazard was immense during his final season with Chelsea

Some of the Premier League's greatest ever players.

Oh and one guy who scored five goals in seven matches one season.

You'll have to go a long way to find a stranger winner of a major PFA award.

Meireles went on to join Chelsea after just one season on Merseyside, helping the Blues lift the Champions League in 2012.

He then signed for Fenerbahce shortly after, where he played until he retired in 2016.

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