LONDON: Luis Suarez has been named as the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year at an awards ceremony in London on Sunday.
The Uruguayan, 27, travelled down to the ceremony after Liverpool’s potentially crucial 2-0 home defeat by Chelsea in the Premier League. He insisted that, despite this upset, Liverpool could still win the title for the first time in 24 years.
Chelsea’s Eden Hazard was voted Young Player of the Year.
Suarez’s strike partner Daniel Sturridge, 24, and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard joined him in the Premier League Team of the Year, along with three Chelsea players – goalkeeper Petr Cech, defender Gary Cahill and midfielder Eden Hazard.
The line-up was completed by Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany and Yaya Toure, Southampton left-back Luke Shaw and midfielder Adam Lallana, plus Everton right-back Seamus Coleman.
Liverpool defender Lucy Bronze was named the Women’s Players’ Player of the Year while her team-mate Martha Harris was voted the Young Player of the Year.
The award capped a remarkable rehabilitation for Suarez who is the Premier League’s top scorer this season with 30 goals, despite missing six games at the start of the season as part of a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic last April.
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.”
His named was booed when it was read out at last year’s ceremony as he was beaten to the award by Tottenham’s Gareth Bale,just days after his ban for biting started.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers stuck by him during his suspension but the Uruguayan’s Anfield career appeared to be in doubt when in August he claimed thatLiverpool had reneged on an agreementto let him leave if they failed to qualify for the Champions League.
Arsenal had two summer bids turned down for Suarez – the second an offer of £40m plus one pound, which was an attempt to trigger a clause the Gunners believed was in the 26-year-old’s contract,
Suarez returned to the team after his ban ended and scored 19 goals in 13 games to help fire the Merseyside club into contention for their first league title in 24 years.
He signed a new four-and-a-half-year contract with Liverpool in December and admitted his close bond with Liverpool’s fans was an important factor in his decision, particularly their backing during his biting ban.
Hazard, 23, who did not play against Liverpool on Sunday through injury, said of his individual prize: “It’s always good to win awards because it means you’ve had a good season, but I prefer to win things collectively.”
Player of the Year
2013-14: Luis Suarez (Liverpool)
2012-13: Gareth Bale (Tottenham)
2011-12: Robin van Persie (Arsenal)
2010-11: Gareth Bale (Tottenham)
2009-10: Wayne Rooney (Man Utd)
2008-09: Ryan Giggs (Man Utd)
2007-08: Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd)
Premier League Team of the Year: Petr Cech (Chelsea), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Vincent Kompany (Man City), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Seamus Coleman (Everton), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Yaya Toure (Man City), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Southampton), Luis Suarez (Liverpool), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool).
Championship Team of the Year: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester), Kieran Trippier (Burnley), Aaron Cresswell (Ipswich), Wes Morgan (Leicester), Jason Shackell (Burnley), Danny Drinkwater (Leicester), Andy Reid, Craig Bryson (Derby), Will Hughes (Derby), Danny Ings (Burnley), Ross McCormack (Leeds).
League One Team of the Year: Carl Ikeme (Wolves), Sam Ricketts (Wolves), Danny Batth (Wolves), Harry Maguire (Sheffield United), Jake Bidwell (Brentford), Bakary Sako (Wolves), Adam Forshaw (Brentford), Kevin McDonald (Wolves), Ben Pringle (Rotherham), Britt Assombalonga (Peterborough), Callum Wilson (Coventry).
League Two Team of the Year: Tommy Lee (Chesterfield), Michael Smith (Bristol Rovers), Ian Evatt (Chesterfield), Liam Cooper (Chesterfield), Michael Rose (Rochdale), John-Joe O’Toole (Bristol Rovers), Antoni Sarcevic (Fleetwood), Gary Roberts (Chesterfield), Ian Henderson (Rochdale), Sam Winnall (Scunthorpe), Scott Hogan (Rochdale).