Coming off one of the best seasons of his career for both club and country, Denmark captain Daniel Agger captured his country's footballer of the year award in Copenhagen on Tuesday evening, beating out finalists Nicklas Bendtner, William Kvist, and Niki Zimling for the honour.
"Winning this award is one of the greatest things you can achieve as a Danish footballer," said Agger when he claimed the prize. "I have to admit that there were times when I doubted that I would ever stand here. I have been down and out with injuries, but [moments] like this make me want to keep going."
His 24 starts and a further three substitute appearances in the league last season mark the most he's ever played in the Premier League, just edging out the 23 starts and four substitute appearances made when he first arrived at the club for the 2006-07 campaign. So far, having started ten of eleven matches this season, he's on pace to shatter both marks should he remain injury free.
However, when it comes to Agger and injuries, the defender has today withdrawn from the Denmark squad for their friendly against Turkey after revealing he played against Chelsea after suffering a minor groin strain, believing Martin Skrtel's illness left the club with too few options at the back for him to ask for the night off. Luckily, playing doesn't appear to have made the injury worse, meaning Agger should be ready to face Wigan on Saturday after taking a few days off.
As for Skrtel, on the strength of a 2011-12 season that saw him named Liverpool's player of the season he has been awarded player of the year honours at England's Northwest Football Awards, beating out fellow finalists Vincent Kompany and Antonio Valencia. The honour comes a year after Lucas captured the award against similarly strong competition, though at this point, any expectation a Liverpool player might make it three in a row come next year seems a touch far fetched.