Luis Suarez receives Golden Shoe
London, October 16
Barcelona forward Luis Suarez has been presented with the Golden Shoe trophy by his former Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish at a ceremony in the Spanish city.
Suarez receives the award having finished last season – along with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo – as scorer of the most league goals in Europe.
The pair each netted 31 times, Suarez’s goals being notched for Liverpool before his summer switch to Barca.
The 27-year-old Uruguay international said on receiving the trophy from Dalglish, who he reportedly had specifically requested be involved in the ceremony: “I want to thank all the most important people in my life, my wife and my children.“And of course everyone at Liverpool – all my colleagues, not just last year but over the whole three and a half years I was at the club.”
“They were spectacular years and it was thanks to this man here (Dalglish) that they signed me, that they noticed me. Now I am moving on to a new period, and I have to enjoy this next stage of my life – it is a dream come true.”
Earlier this week, Suarez suggested Liverpool would never have mounted their unexpected Barclays Premier League title challenge last season – which ended with them finishing second – without him.
But at Wednesday’s ceremony the controversial forward appeared particularly keen to pay tribute to those he had played with during his stint with the Reds.
“On a personal and individual level it is always welcome to win these titles,” Suarez said.
“But you would not win them if it was not for the whole of the team and for your colleagues and for the joint effort that everyone makes every day to achieve results.”
A message from Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was played during the event in which the midfielder had nothing but kind words for his former team-mate Suarez.
“Huge congratulations from myself, Luis’ ex-team-mates and everyone connected to Liverpool Football Club,” the midfielder said.
“This is a very special award and it is thoroughly deserved. You were unbelievable all season for us, a magical player, and Barcelona are very lucky to have your services moving forward. I’m sure there are many more individual awards to come. Good luck for the future mate, we miss you very much.”
During the World Cup over the summer Suarez sank his teeth into Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini – the third offence of that nature in the Uruguayan’s career – and was hit with a four-month suspension.
He subsequently joined Barcelona and is set to make his competitive comeback from his latest ban next week when the Catalans take on Real Madrid in a Bernabeu El Clasico.
Suarez has emphasised he is fit and raring to go for the game after featuring in two friendlies for his country over the past few days.
Asked if he was 100 per cent ready for the Real match, he said, “If you had asked me that a week ago, before the two games with Uruguay, I may have had doubts.”
“But I have played in those two games and I am probably in better condition than I thought I was. So I think I can say now, yes, 100 per cent, I am ready to play.”