Liverpool’s Luis Suarez (Andrew Yates/AFP/Getty Images)

In 2011, Liverpool soccer star Luis Suarez was banned for eight games following accusations of racial abuse towards another player. Last year, Liverpool soccer star Luis Suarez made headlines for biting his opponent during a game. Today, Suarez is England’s Professional Footballers’ Association player of the year. Uh, what?

Suarez beat out Manchester City’s Yaya Toure and his own teammatse Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard to earn the coveted prize Sunday night. How did this bad boy do it?

For starters, the 27-year-old Uruguayan stopped acting like a bad boy. Since returning to the game after his most recent suspension, Suarez’s attitude has been a lot better. So much better, in fact, that he even got to don a captain’s armband, and he began to mentor younger players, The Mirror reports.

More importantly, though, Suarez has netted 30 Premier League goals in 31 appearances this season, giving Liverpool its first real hope in 24 years that the club can win a league title.

That kind of dominance not only earned Suarez the respect of Liverpool and its fans, but also that of his peers, who vote for the PFA awards. For example, Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey told SkyNews that he voted for Suarez because “he has had an unbelievable this season.” It’s safe to assume many other players thought the same way.


Suarez celebrated after the award ceremony by thanking his fans in a Youtube video:

The Daily Mail translated the Spanish-language video, which also featured his wife:

“Hello everyone. We’ve just got back from the Player of the Year awards. I’m really happy. Thanks to all the players who voted for me and to my teammates, who I wouldn’t have won this prize withoutAbove all, I want to thank my wife Sophie, who has been enjoying the evening with meAnd to my two children Delfina and Benjamin, who I love with all my soul. And to all my fans, too.”

Nope, that speech doesn’t bite. 

Other PRF awards

Men’s Young Player of the Year: Eden Hazard of Chelsea

Women’s Player of the Year: Lucy Bronze of Liverpool

Women’s Young Player of the Year: Martha Harris of Liverpool