Luis Suarez Has Redemption at Liverpool with Champions League Qualification

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Luis Suarez Has Redemption at Liverpool with Champions League Qualification
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

In the same week a year on from biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic, Luis Suarez proved he has put his demons behind him by being awarded the PFA Player of the Year, a high accolade to receive from his fellow professionals.

Suarez may well have won it in 2013 had it not been for his darker past.

In a season that has seen the 27-year-old Uruguayan not only excel as a player, but also mature as a man, the Liverpool forward will feel proud to have reached a different, happier part of his journey.

His sensational form has helped his path of enlightenment this season. He notched 30 goals in 31 appearances in the Premier League this campaign and created 85 chances for his teammates, according to Squawka.

Michael Regan/Getty Images

It is perhaps his relationship with his teammates, Brendan Rodgers and the club that has helped Suarez progress the most.

He cast a miserable and frustrated figure at times during Liverpool's 2012-13 campaign, leading to a summer of aggravation in which he tried to force himself out of Anfield.

But now, having formed wonderful understandings on the pitch with the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling, Suarez wears a characteristic smile across his face.

Suarez never made any secret of his desire to be playing Champions League football next season, and with that secured for Liverpool, Rodgers says they can look forward to a long-term loyalty from the forward, as per Peter O'Rourke of Sky Sports:

That was key to it. That's what he was missing.

A player of Luis Suarez's ability has to be playing at this level.

His loyalty in staying at Liverpool, to continue to fight for the club to get us there, is remarkable really. Hopefully he gets the rewards for that with those big European nights next season.

I've convinced players to stay and enjoy the style of football, which they do, but they also want to be competing in the best competitions.

It was a turbulent summer that Liverpool will be better placed to shrug off despite the inevitable transfer speculation that will come Suarez's way.

Michael Regan/Getty Images

On Merseyside though, there is a sincere feel that the club are fulfilling Suarez's desires and that he no longer wants to be anywhere else.

Last month, Suarez told FourFourTwo magazine, per Alex Richards of the Mirror, that he longed to experience the famous Champions League nights at Anfield:

Everyone says Champions League nights at Anfield are amazing - memories you guard forever.

It would be an unforgettable experience and it's been too long since that happened. I'd actually prefer not to win this Golden Boot and for Liverpool to qualify for the Champions League this season.

Any player would miss the Champions League. We've not been good enough since I've been here to qualify, but this could definitely be our year.

Whether Liverpool's season has a fairy-tale ending is yet to be seen, but in the narrative of Suarez's career, he has turned around some difficult moments to be the admiration of his peers.

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