In one of the most memorable Premier League seasons in recent years, there were plenty of individual performances worthy of additional praise and recognition. That's where the Professional Footballers' Association Team of the Year comes into play, as the organisation recognises the premier players from England's top four divisions.
Of course, all eyes are trained on the Barclays Premier League team of the year, and this year's selections were quite deserving.
Mail Online Sport passed along the full list of winners:
It was hardly surprising to see Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge, Eden Hazard, Yaya Toure and Adam Lallana make the squad, as all six were in the running for the PFA Player of the Year award.
Suarez has put together an epic season for Liverpool, leading the Premier League in both goals (30) and assists (12). The oft-controversial striker managed to keep himself out of trouble this year (outside of a few egregious flops) and has arguably been the best player on the league's best team this campaign.
It was one of the players of the year, Gerrard, who helped convince him to stay at Liverpool as other clubs came calling over the summer, as Suarez told FourTwoTwo in February:
He didn’t talk about me, or through me, in the press, but in person. In those moments I forgot that he was ‘world football great Gerrard’, a Liverpool legend, but as a humble person who spoke to me with all his heart for hours.
He said I was the best forward he’d ever played with, which given the amazing strikers that he’s played with at Liverpool, was amazing for me to hear. I’ll never forget that.
Both Suarez and Liverpool are eternally grateful for Gerrard's words, one would guess.
Of course, a strong case can be made for the aforementioned Gerrard and Sturridge as Liverpool's top player. Gerrard's 13 goals and 10 assists were impressive on his own, but his leadership has been a huge part of Liverpool's excellent season. And only Suarez has surpassed Sturridge's 20 goals this campaign, while his seven assists are also noteworthy.
While you may think another forward is third on the scoring list this year, it is in fact Toure, who has tallied 19 goals while also providing six assists and being an absolute rock in the middle of the pitch for City. His driving runs forward and composure on the ball are why the Citizens remain one of the most dangerous clubs in England.
Meanwhile, Hazard staked his claim as one of the top players in the world this year for Chelsea. His 14 goals and seven assists are impressive enough, but his dazzling runs down the flank, incredible ability to remain affixed to the ball even when surrounded by defenders and his playmaking talents make him one of the league's most compelling players to watch.
And then there is Lallana, star of the vastly improved Southampton. His nine goals and six assists don't ring out quite as much as the other numbers mentioned, but those stats don't do his impact justice, as Squawka Football noted last week:
Several of these players still have a major role to play down the home stretch of the Premier League season, which has been extremely competitive at the top of the table. And you can bet some of them, such as Hazard and Sturridge, will be in the running for this team in years to come.
Of course, Gerrard will argue he has a few good years left in the tank too. And while only 11 could be named for this squad, you can bet a number of extremely talented players left off the team will put their name back in the hat a year from now.
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