Premier League - Suarez named Footballer of the Year

Luis Suarez has beaten team-mate Steven Gerrard to the Football Writers' Footballer of the Year award.

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Premier League - Suarez named Footballer of the Year
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Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

The Liverpool striker, who had already claimed the Players' Player of the Year award, had his second gong confirmed after claiming 52 per cent of the vote.

Suarez's team-mate Gerrard came second in the Football Writers' Association poll, while Manchester City's Yaya Toure finished third.

The controversial Uruguayan striker, who missed the first five matches of the season due to his ongoing ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic last year, has scored 30 goals in 31 league matches this season, including three hat-tricks.

"Those members who have been fortunate enough to be working at a match involving Luis Suarez have witnessed an astonishing talent first-hand," said FWA chairman Andy Dunn, of the Sunday Mirror.

"Tireless endeavour allied to extraordinary imagination makes an irresistible combination. Add ingenious, impudent finishing and you have a footballer who truly quickens the pulse.

"Luis is a remarkably gifted addition to the long and distinguished list of winners of our award."

Suarez only second PL player to reach 30 goals without scoring a penalty

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.

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 giving them a chance 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.

His brilliance has often been undermined by the dark side of his character, however, with the Ivanovic bite and his racist abuse of Patrice Evra overshadowing him in recent years - and possibly even stopping him from winning last season's award.

"There was a groundswell of support for him last season, but our voting opened 12 hours after the biting incident at Anfield, so I think that was taken into account," Dunn told Sky.

"I must stress the importance in this award that the football writers are asked to base their decision on obviously the footballing contribution throughout the season, but also to take into account the player's behaviour - the original citation for the FWA award back in 1947/48 mentioned 'precept and example', so that is taken into account.

"While no-one would say Suarez is whiter than white, you would have to say his behaviour all throughout the season has been very good and I think the football writers have taken that into account, an element of redemption if you like, and allied with those 30 goals, and the sensational talent he has displayed all season, that made him a very, very popular choice."

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