Liverpool striker Luis Suarez completed his sweep of the major footballer awards in England by being chosen for the Football Writers Association (FWA) Footballer of the Year award. On a day where his side could have kept pace in the Premier League title race but instead dropped vital points from a three goal advantage, the Uruguyan at least has this award to comfort him.
Just a year removed from being one of the most hated men in football after some nasty incidents involving a racist remark to Patrice Evra and a bite to Branislav Ivanovic’s arm, Suarez’s redemption in the eyes of the media appears to be complete. There were also the accusations levied against him for diving, which he addressed by “diving” in front of David Moyes after scoring a goal in a Merseyside derby.
FWA chairman and Sunday Mirror columnist Andy Dunn on Luis Suarez:
“Those members who have been fortunate enough to be working at a match involving Luis Suarez have witnessed an astonishing talent first-hand. 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 remarkable gifted addition to the long and distinguished list of winners of our award.”
While he did nothing illegal off the pitch, it seemed that Suarez had been building quite the reputation as a villain on it. It is a wonder what scoring a bunch of goals can do to a player’s reputation no matter what he has done in the past. They say that in America the fans love a good redemption story. A star athlete gets caught in a scandal, apologizes through the media, then wins the public over by simply winning. It is now apparent that the fans, and media, of English football suffer from a similar sort of sentimentality. At least for those who have not yet forgotten the shame Suarez brought to the game, he will only have his individual awards to celebrate this year.
Follow us on Twitter at @PrideOLondon
Like us on Facebook at The Pride of London