Luis Suarez Wins PFA Player of the Year 2014 Award

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2014

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Liverpool superstar Luis Suarez is the latest recipient of the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year award after an outstanding display of form throughout the 2013-14 campaign.  

BBC Sport noted the honor for the 27-year-old forward:

Suarez beat out fellow shortlisted stars Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Adam Lallana (Southampton) and Yaya Toure (Manchester City), as well as teammates Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge to win the award. It's his first time capturing the coveted individual accolade.

Suarez spoke about the distinction (via Rob Harris of The Associated Press):

It's amazing how much has changed over the past year for the Uruguayan international.

At the end of last season, Suarez was dealing with a suspension that would carry over to the new campaign after biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic. It was the type of head-scratching moment that had plagued the striker throughout the early portion of his career.

Apparently, the latest unsportsmanlike act was finally enough to serve as a wake-up call. When he returned to the pitch this season after the ban was lifted, he was virtually unstoppable, showcasing the type of talent and game-changing ability Liverpool supporters always knew he possessed.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 4:   Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates his first goal from a long range effort during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Norwich City at Anfield on December 4, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Jan
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Suarez certainly never lacked talent, but there were questions about whether he would ever realize his full potential. This season, he was finally able to keep his emotions in check and the results were nothing short of spectacular.

He's scored 30 goals in 31 league appearances while also chipping in 12 assists. His ability on a weekly basis to spearhead the attack is a sight to behold. As Paul Carr of ESPN noted, it has been the type of attacking season Liverpool fans hadn't witnessed in nearly three decades:

His success also played a crucial role in a surprising Premier League campaign that placed Liverpool squarely in the title race. The Reds didn't garner much preseason hype, but have exceeded all expectations this season.

It wouldn't have been possible without Suarez. And the good news for Liverpool is it sounds like he wants to stay at Anfield. Ben Rumsby of The Telegraph passed along comments the forward made in FourFourTwo magazine:

I'm 27, at my peak, and I feel very happy within the club because I'm part of the best football in the world—the Premier League. I'm enjoying every game I play and my family life here, which is very important. I like winning. I hate losing—I've done enough of that.

I'm one of the best players in the world, so having the opportunity to win everything—and losing only occasionally—is what drives me. I'm ambitious. I want to win and won't stop until I score one, two or more goals.

At 27, Suarez should just be reaching the peak of his powers on the pitch, and with a maturing head on his shoulders, the sky is the limit. Liverpool must do everything in their power to make sure those prime campaigns happen in a Reds uniform.

John Brewin of ESPN FC touched on the importance Suarez brings to Liverpool:

The Premier League's ability to attract or even retain the greatest talents has faded in recent years. Ronaldo moved to Spain; Lionel Messi is beyond reach. Suarez, though, has played at a level to approach those modern greats. Liverpool may face a test this summer to retain him. For the moment, they and English football can enjoy a genuine world star. His fellow professionals recognise that.

An important summer is also on the horizon for Suarez as he leads Uruguay into the World Cup. The South American squad is part of the secondary group of contenders capable of getting hot and making a run to the title if everything falls into place. Uruguay will look for a scoring barrage from Suarez to make that happen.

Before he can even think about that, though, Suarez has a well-deserved award to celebrate and a championship to chase with Liverpool.