Suarez claims PFA award
Liverpool striker Luis Suarez won the Professional Footballers’ Association’s (PFA) Player of the Year award on Sunday. This time last year the Uruguay international was starting a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, but now Suarez has been chosen by his fellow top-flight professionals in England as the outstanding player in the Premier League after spearheading Liverpool’s title bid. Suarez received the award during a ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House hotel after flying down from Liverpool following a 2-0 defeat by Chelsea at Anfield that dented the Merseysiders’ challenge for a first English title in the Premier League era. The 27-year-old Suarez has scored 30 league goals in 31 appearances, despite his ban for biting Ivanovic carrying over into the start of this season. “The Premier League is full of really great players and so it is a great honor when these players recognize your work on the pitch,” Suarez said. Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, who did not play at Anfield due to injury, was named the PFA Young Player of the Year.
Fenerbahce win 19th title
Fenerbahce won the Turkish league title with three games to spare on Sunday after a 0-0 draw at home to Caykur Rizespor in front of a crowd made up exclusively of women and children. The Istanbul giants have 68 points and cannot be caught by nearest challengers, and bitter rivals, Galatasaray, who won 1-0 at Sanica Boru Elazigspor, but trail by 12 points. No adult males were allowed to attend the match after a one-game ban was handed down by the Turkish Football Federation earlier this month. Nevertheless, thousands of Fenerbahce fans took to the streets in the club’s home district of Kadikoy, on Istanbul’s Asian side, to celebrate. It is the 19th time that Fenerbahce have won the title, putting them level with Galatasray, their rivals from across the Bosphorus who reached the landmark last season. Fenerbahce, who last won the title in 2010-2011, will not be allowed to compete in the UEFA Champions League next season as they complete a two-year ban from Europe following a sanction for match-fixing. As a result, the second-placed side qualifies for the Champions League.
Ex-Real coach Boskov dies
Former Yugoslavia and Real Madrid coach Vujadin Boskov, who took the Spanish giants to the 1980-1981 European Cup final, died on Sunday at the age of 82, his former club Vojvodina announced. Boskov coached Real to the 1979-1980 La Liga title, but saw his team miss out on the European Cup a year later when they were edged by Liverpool 1-0 in the final in Paris. He also led UC Sampdoria to the Serie A title, but was again was foiled in the European Cup final when the Italians lost 1-0 to Barcelona in 1991-1992. However, he did win a continental crown when Sampdoria triumphed in the 1989-1990 UEFA Cup Winners Cup.
Alves bites back at racism
Barcelona fullback Dani Alves had a banana thrown at him as he took a corner in his side’s match at Villarreal on Sunday — and decided to eat it. The Brazilian picked up the banana and took a bite out of it, before continuing with the game. Alves has been a regular target of racist abuse during his 11 years in Spain with both Sevilla and Barcelona. “I have been in Spain 11 years and it has been the same for 11 years. You have to laugh at these backward people,” he said. “We are not going to change it, so you have to take it almost as a joke and laugh at them.”