Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

'I can't believe it': Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips shocked by what West Ham's Declan Rice said to him

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips was left stunned after West Ham United’s Declan Rice presented him with the BT Sport England Player of the Year award yesterday, with footage shown on England’s official Twitter channel.

Phillips rewarded

Phillips was voted by England fans as their top performer over 2021, with Rice chosen to present the trophy.

The Leeds and West Ham midfielders have struck up a good partnership both on and off the pitch, with the pair now becoming close friends.

And their conversation with each other was particularly heart warming yesterday.

“Kalvin Phillips is behind me, and he is England’s BT Player of the Year. He doesn’t know it yet, but it’s fully deserved. Top boy, top player and we’re going to go over there now and surprise him with this amazing reward,” Rice said, before going over to hand Phillips and his award.

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And the Leeds midfielder was shocked. He replied: “What? Swear down! Oh my God.”

“Mate, fully deserved. Unbelievable. And as your midfield partner I had to present it.”

“I can’t believe it! That’s sick. I can’t believe it! I thought you were going to do something to me.”

“Over 40,000 votes! Unbelievable. Made your debut last September. Would you have expected that?” Rice questioned.

“No, I wouldn’t have even expected to play to be honest.”

“It just shows how far you’ve come and how well you’ve played in the Euro’s and everything.”

“40,000 people, yeah? Definitely Leeds fans.” Phillips laughed to finish.

Massive progress

Photo by Justin Tallis – Pool/Getty Images

A fair chunk of the votes may well have been Leeds fans, but few can argue that the award wasn’t merited.

Phillips really was England’s breakout star at the European Championships as the team made the final.

Phillips’ talents were well known at England road, but he proved beyond all doubt that he could perform at the very top level over the summer.

The Leeds man went on to start in every one of England’s games, as Gareth Southgate’s side made their best progress at a tournament since 1966.

Phillips is now one of the first names on the team sheet for his country, and is likely to feature prominently over the upcoming international break.

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