Premier League - Suarez named PFA Player of the Year

Controversial Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was named the English Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Player of the Year on Sunday.

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Premier League - Suarez named PFA Player of the Year
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Eden Hazard and Luis Suarez show off their PFA awards (PA Photos)

The 27-year-old Uruguayan, who will lead his country at the World Cup in Brazil in June, has scored 30 goals and contributed 12 assists this season as Liverpool head the Premier League table with two matches remaining.

"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.

He claimed the honour ahead of team mates Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge, as well as Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard, Manchester City's Yaya Toure and Adam Lallana of Premier League surprise packages Southampton.

[SHAW, LALLANA MAKE PFA TEAM OF THE YEAR]

The irrepressible Suarez, the first Liverpool player since Ian Rush in 1986-87 to score 30 league goals in a season, has helped the likes of fellow striker Sturridge to flourish.

His personal haul has arrived despite missing the first five league games of the season as he served the remainder of a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic last April. That incident occurred just before Tottenham Hotspur forward Gareth Bale claimed last season's award and the announcement of Suarez in the Premier League team of the year was met with rumblings of discontent.

Suarez tried to engineer a move to Arsenal in the off-season, before returning to Liverpool with devastating effect, leading the Anfield club back into the Champions League and taking them to the brink of a first title in 24 years.

He has tormented top-level defenders with his speed, guile and deadly finishing and none of his 30 goals have come from the penalty spot.

"He's a remarkable player. His determination and his desire is at such a high level. He gets his rewards," manager Brendan Rodgers said of Suarez after he scored a hat-trick against Cardiff City last month, his third of the season. "He's a world-class player who is enjoying his football and long may it continue."

Suarez was one of three Liverpool players named in the PFA team of the year along with midfielder Steven Gerrard and fellow striker Daniel Sturridge.

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, defender Gary Cahill and midfielder Eden Hazard were also included as well as Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany and midfielder Yaya Toure, Southampton left back Luke Shaw and midfielder Adam Lallana, and Everton right back Seamus Coleman.

Hazard was named PFA Young Player of the Year.

EUROSPORT'S VIEW

Unrepentant he may be about racially abusing Patrice Evra, but there is no doubt Suarez is the outstanding Premier League player this season and so he merits such recognition. The fact that even Evra voted for the Liverpool striker proves this award is not a judgement on character, but ability. It would have been foolish for the pros to vote anyone else as their Player of the Year.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT

Liverpool attempt to keep hold of one of the world's very best players when the inevitable bids arrive this summer, with clubs like Real Madrid likely to be in the hunt. If Liverpool win the league title then perhaps Suarez will be content to stick around - either way they have Champions League football next season to look forward to, and that could persuade the striker to stick with Brendan Rodgers.

WHAT THE MEDIA SAID

Phil McNulty (BBC Sport): The PFA honour is just reward for a season of sustained brilliance that has moved him into the same rarefied company occupied by Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. It is also recognition for the manner in which he has become the focal point for the dazzling attacking football that has given Liverpool genuine hope of their first title triumph in 24 years. Suarez has been called many things since he arrived at Anfield from Ajax - alongside the ill-fated £35m signing Andy Carroll on 31 January 2011 - but no-one has dared to call him anything less than a world-class player.

Chris Bascombe (Daily Telegraph): It is quite a turnaround for a player who missed the first six fixtures of the current campaign because of that incident (biting Branislav Ivanovic). In the previous season Suarez was banned and fined for using racial language towards Manchester United defender Patrice Evra. At that time, there were questions as to whether Suarez would flee English football, but aside from the occasional diving controversy his disciplinary record has improved greatly over the past 12 months and, added to his performances, is said to have even persuaded Evra to vote for him.

WHAT THE FANS SAY

Jingoistic Maniac (Yahoo-Eurosport user): Fantastic player, often misinterpreted, an absolute genius and we are lucky to have him playing in our country. Top class player, and modest and magnificent.

jbjbjb27 (Eurosport mobile user): Thoroughly well deserved. Should win ballon d'or next.

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