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FOOTBALL: Pires wins the writers' prize.

ARSENAL winger Robert Pires has been named the Football Writers' Association Player of the Year, just as he prepares to undergo an operation on his knee injury.

Pires won by just five votes from Ruud van Nistelrooy in a record poll, with David Beckham finishing a close third. He said: "It is a great honour. Times have been difficult with my injury, but this has given me something to smile about."

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said: "We're absolutely delighted. There is a fantastic spirit here and Robert is at the heart of it."

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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 21, 2002
Words:97
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