Soccer

Free-scoring Van Persie picks up 2nd English award

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LONDON (AP)

Robin van Persie has been voted the 2012 Footballer of the Year by England's writers, the free-scoring Arsenal striker's second prestigious award in three days.

Van Persie received the Professional Footballers' Association award after voting by his fellow English Premier League players on Sunday.

The Netherlands international topped the poll of football journalists ahead of Manchester United pair Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes. Fulham forward Clint Dempsey was fourth.

Van Persie has scored 34 goals in all competitions for Arsenal, virtually carrying his team on his own at times after its poor start to the season.

Steve Bates, chairman of the Football Writers' Association, says Van Persie was the ''overwhelming choice'' because ''the quality of his goals, attacking movement and consistency in a turbulent season for the Gunners has been eye-catching.''

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