Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has been named the PFA Player of the Year for 2013/14, with the Uruguay international picking up his award at a lavish ceremony in London on Sunday evening.
The 27-year-old, who beat off competition from the likes of Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, Manchester City’s Yaya Toure, and his two Liverpool teammates Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge to win top prize, has been nothing short of unstoppable for the majority of this season, propelling his side into the throngs of the title race, with Liverpool gunning for a first Premier League triumph since 1990.
Things had taken a turn for the worse for both Suarez and Liverpool earlier on in the day however, with the Reds succumbing to the tactical might of Jose Mourinho and his stubborn Chelsea side at Anfield.
The Blues’ 2-0 win has handed the impetus back to rivals Manchester City with only a few games to go, with this season’s title race a stunningly unpredictable roller-coaster event.
Suarez being named this season’s Player’s Player of the Year comes as no great surprise however, with the revitalised striker embarking on a record-breaking campaign, having overcome the ignominy of a deserved ten-game suspension at the start of the season for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic last April.
“The Premier League is full of really great players and so it is a great honour when these players recognise your work on the pitch,” Suarez said after receiving the enormous trophy, and it is that recognition from his fellow professionals that will mean so much to the previously demonised hitman.
Booed at last year’s PFA ceremony, and on the very edge of leaving Liverpool in the summer, Suarez had consistently pointed out the almost pantomime villain status he had acquired during his then two-year stay in the English top-flight.
He received little sympathy from fans and pundits alike, with the Ivanovic nibble one of a number of unsavoury incidents that tarnished his reputation almost irredeemably.
But redeem it he has, and in some style. After signing a new deal to stay on Merseyside in the summer, not only has he focused solely on his football, keeping his tempestuous emotions in check, but his 30 goals so far this season make him the first Liverpool player to hit the landmark since club legend Ian Rush in 1987.
Couple that with him becoming the joint-fastest player to make it to 20 goals (having even missed the first five matches through suspension), which he managed by January, it really was a foregone conclusion that the South American be the star of the show at this year’s ceremony dinner.
Suarez added: “I always try my best for the team and it is nice to get awards but really this is for my team-mates and the staff at Liverpool because without their help I wouldn’t have this prize.”
The striker has a lot to be grateful for, with the faith Brendan Rodgers gave and showed in him throughout the campaign arguably top of the list. He can also be thankful for such a viscious partner up top, one Daniel Sturridge, and also the consistency of his team to provide him with the necessary ammunition that has fired him to the very peak of the footballing community.
But Suarez should take a moment to reflect on the success of his own personal journey, with the striker a real role model this season, having beaten down his inner demons, and become the Premier League’s standout player for the 2013/14 season.
Check out the photo below, with a grinning Suarez very chuffed to get his hands on the trophy:
What do you think? Is Luis Suarez a worthy winner of the PFA Player’s Player of the Year award? Let me know in the comments below…