Luis Suarez was named Player of the Year, and Eden Hazard Young Player of the Year, by the Professional Football Association on Sunday.
A 2-0 defeat at home to Chelsea has dealt a serious blow to Liverpool’s chances of winning a first league title since 1990, but this shouldn’t deter from what has been a sensational campaign for Suarez. Having scored 30 goals in the Premier League thus far, the Uruguay international was always the leading candidate for the senior PFA Award.
And the former Ajax forward was in attendance to be honoured by his fellow professionals on Sunday evening, just hours after that damaging defeat to Jose Mourinho’s side. The 27-year-old pipped Manchester City’s Yaya Toure and Stamford Bridge ace Hazard in the pecking order, and dedicated the award to his family and team-mates.
“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,” an emotional Suarez said. “But really this is for my team-mates and staff at Liverpool because without their help I wouldn’t have this prize. This is for my team-mates and staff and for my wife and my children.”
Suarez will likely see this award as a turning point of his career in England, which has been shrouded in controversy due to two high-profile incidents. He was found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra in October 2011, and last season he received a suspension for biting the arm of Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic.
Meanwhile, the Young Player of the Year Award was handed to Hazard, who has scored 14 goals during his second season in England. The Belgian international said: “It is always good to win awards because it means you’ve had a good season, but I prefer to win things collectively and I must thank my Chelsea team-mates, staff and fans.” Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge came second, with Luke Shaw of Southampton in third.
As for the PFA Team of the Year, for the first time since 1990 there was no Manchester United player selected. This is hardly a surprise due to the hugely difficult season endured at Old Trafford, with the Reds set to finish trophyless and in seventh position, although some may feel goalkeeper David De Gea unfortunate to be overlooked.
The Team of the Year reads: Petr Cech (Chelsea), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Seamus Coleman (Everton); Yaya Toure (Manchester City), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Adam Lallana (Southampton); Luis Suarez (Liverpool), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool).