The end-of-season PFA awards celebrate individual brilliance over the course of the English domestic campaign as stars of the season are named and honoured in front of their peers.
The 2014 ceremony took place at the Grosvenor House in London, where stars from all four divisions turned out in force to see who would scoop this season’s top prizes.
Premier League top scorer Luis Suarez was the hot favourite to take the PFA Player of the Year award to complete his rehabilitation from league bad boy to league sweetheart, but there was still plenty to be decided before the Uruguayan’s chance to join the history books came around.
The PFA Team of the Year was first on the night’s agenda and, naturally, it threw up a few surprises—per Mirror Football:
While each and every player in the line-up has enjoyed fruitful Premier League campaigns, it’s impossible to please everyone—pundit Robbie Savage and the Mirror’s John Cross to name a few:
PFA team an indication of just how good Petr Cech has been and continues to be. Staggered no Azpilicueta. And no Silva or Ramsey either...— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) April 27, 2014
Three Liverpool players—Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge and Suarez—made it into the Team of the Year, and the same three plus Raheem Sterling had chances of sealing individual honours as the night progressed.
Both Sterling and Sturridge were on the list of nominees for the Young Player of the Year award after superb seasons with the Anfield outfit, but they just came up short as Chelsea’s Eden Hazard scooped the prize.
Hazard has scored 14 goals for the Blues and been instrumental in their title-chasing campaign this season. Of course, the social media praise came in thick and fast after the Belgian was announced as the winner:
Chelsea FC were quick to congratulate their star man:
Squawka Football also got in on the act, showing us what the Belgian has brought to the Premier League this season:
Eden Hazard wins PFA Young Player of the Year award. No player has created more chances (87) or completed more take-ons (122) than him.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 27, 2014
It seems that the 23-year-old was so taken aback by his award that he couldn’t find more than a few monosyllabic words in his post-award interview, per ESPN’s Miguel Delaney:
Humphrey: "where did you watch the game today". Hazard: "at home". Humphrey: "how was that?" Hazard: "er... Good"— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) April 27, 2014
The accolade was fully deserved for the exciting winger, and the same can be said for the senior prize, which was taken by Liverpool’s Uruguayan sensation, Suarez.
With 30 Premier League goals this season and counting, the 27-year-old has been unplayable in the famous red shirt over the course of the campaign and has brought Liverpool closer than they’ve ever been to Premier League glory.
It’s been a remarkable transition from villain to hero for the talented striker, who was reportedly booed at this event last year. It was a totally different reception this time around, though, according to Delaney:
Suarez got booed at this event last year. Only cheers this year. Gives Hodgson a hug.— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) April 27, 2014
BBC Sporf gave its praise to both of Sunday night’s winners, who looked over the moon with their trophies. Well, Suarez did:
CONGRATULATIONS: Luis Suarez named PFA Player Of The Year & Eden Hazard named PFA Young Player Of The Year. pic.twitter.com/j4eE9qSQz7— BBC Sporf (@BBCSporf) April 27, 2014
Liverpool then lauded their striker’s achievement on the club’s official Twitter page:
While Suarez will always have his critics off the field, no-one in the world can argue against just how fantastic he’s been on the pitch this season. As every one of Liverpool's rivals will have feared in seasons past, he has finally stepped up and let the ball do the talking.
If Suarez continues to live up to his immense potential in this fashion, there's no doubt that he'll have many additional awards and achievements in his future.
It’s been a history-making, record-breaking, award-taking campaign for the Liverpool man, who is a worthy winner of the most prestigious individual honour in English football. And there are no signs that his impressive form will fade anytime soon.