Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson has described his first season in English football as “near-perfect”.
The Brazilian became a Premier League champion on Sunday evening after Manchester United’s defeat to West Brom meant City had an unassailable lead with five matches remaining.
And just days before, his outstanding performances since arriving from Benfica last summer were recognised when he was confirmed as one of six nominees for the prestigious PFA Young Player of the Year award.
It’s been a whirlwind experience for the 24-year-old, who says it’s a “dream” to be playing for City.
“I am very happy,” he said.
“Everything happened very quickly. My two first years at Benfica, I was able to play, and now being a regular for City in the Premier League is a dream for me.
"And to win the title, be shortlisted for the Young Player of the Year and be able to be part of the team that conceded the least number of goals this season, I can assure with that this has been almost a perfect year!
“I am extremely happy at the club. My family is also very happy and is growing as well. We are over the moon.”
City’s title was confirmed in unexpected circumstances, with few predicting bottom-placed West Brom would beat United at Old Trafford.
But Jay Rodriguez’s header with just over 15 minutes remaining means City are champions with five matches to spare.
Ederson had returned to Portugal to enjoy a few days in the sun and when he found out the news, his celebrations soon began.
“I’ve celebrated with some friends I have here in Lisbon and with my wife,” he said.
“I was at the Benfica-Porto match, but my wife ended up not going as she was a bit sick, because she is expecting a baby, so she stayed at the hotel.
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“As soon as I heard we were Champions, she was the first person I rang to say that we are Champions of England and that she should get ready, because we were going out to celebrate.
“We went out for a meal and we had a few drinks to celebrate.”
City have lost just two league games all season and are on course to register the highest points total and the largest winning margin since the English top-flight was revamped in 1992.
It’s been a sensational campaign that has seen City win praise from across the football spectrum, so how do we improve next season?
“We must focus on the future, finish the season with five wins,” he said.
“I believe going out of the Champions League can be a good lesson for the next season, and I am sure we will learn from that.”