Monday Kickoff: Suarez wins POY award; Dani Alves suffers racist abuse; and more

Luis Suarez of Liverpool gives a thumbs up

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Less than one year after being booed at the Professional Footballers’ Association awards dinner following his ten-match FA ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic, Liverpool’s Luis Suarez received a standing ovation to accept an individual honor.

The Uruguayan forward was awarded the PFA Player of the Year award for leading Liverpool to the brink of the English Premier League title and scoring 30 goals in 31 league matches. Eden Hazard of Chelsea was awarded the Young Player of the Year award.

Suarez was joined by Liverpool teammates Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard on the PFA Team of the Year. Also included are Petr Cech, Luke Shaw, Vincent Kompany, Gary Cahill, Seamus Coleman, Eden Hazard, Yaya Toure, and Adam Lallana.

Here are some more stories to start off your week:

DANI ALVES RECEIVES ABUSE, WORLD STANDS BEHIND HIM

Barcelona right back Dani Alves was the subject once more of racist abuse on Sunday and this time he took matters into his own hands.

The Brazilian speedster was getting set to take a corner kick during Barcelona’s 3-2 victory at Villarreal when a fan threw a banana at him. Instead of losing his cool, Alves peeled the banana, took a bite, and went off to take the corner kick and get back to action, not letting the abuses get to him.

In response, many players and entities around the world have backed Alves against any kind of racist abuse. Barcelona released a statement in defense of Alves.

“FC Barcelona wishes to express its complete support and solidarity with our first team player Dani Alves, following the insults he was subject to from a section of the crowd at El Madrigal on Sunday during the game against Villarreal,” the statement reads. “FC Barcelona accepts that the perpetrators of these insults are in no way connected to Villarreal and we value very positively the support the club offered to our player. The club’s immediate condemnation of the incidents is a step in the right direction to firstly isolate and then eradicate completely from the sporting arena this kind of behavior.”

MAN UNITED CLOSING IN ON VAN GAAL

Manchester United have identified a handful of candidates to take the club forward into next season, and leading the charge is current Netherlands National Team manager Louis Van Gaal.

The Dutchman is reportedly keen on the job and ready to return to club management. According to the latest reports, Man United are hoping to agree a deal with Van Gaal by the end of this week to become the club’s next manager.

Prior to taking the Netherlands job, Van Gaal was the manager at both Barcelona (twice), Bayern Munich, Ajax, AZ Alkmaar, and the Netherlands again from 2000-2002.

Van Gaal begins his official World Cup preparations on May 7, and Man United want a deal to be completed before then.

QUICK KICKS

The Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba staged their second test match in front of nearly 18,000 people, as the Local Organizing Committee tested a number of the stadium aspects to ensure their feasibility during the World Cup. (REPORT)

Diego Forlan scored twice for Cerezo Osaka to take his season-tally to five goals. (REPORT)

Bayern Munich reserve Xherdan Shaqiri could be on his way to Sevilla as a replacement for Ivan Rakitic, who is rumored to be leaving this summer. (REPORT)

Alessandro Del Piero has turned down the chance to become Sydney FC’s next coach as he released a statement on his website saying he and his family would be leaving Australia for destinations unknown. (REPORT)

Uruguayan club Peñarol enjoyed their largest ever derby win against Nacional when they won, 5-0, on Sunday. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you agree with Suarez winning Player of the Year? Shocked at the racist abuse hurled at Dani Alves? Think that Van Gaal can lead Man United back to the UEFA Champions League?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, South American Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Monday Kickoff: Suarez wins POY award; Dani Alves suffers racist abuse; and more

  1. William the Terror says:

    What’s the difference between Luis Suarez and McGruff the Crime Dog? McGruff takes a bite out of crime.

  2. Gerard D. says:

    Could United already be making a terrible decision?

    Van Gaal is not going to play counter attacking football, you can bet your bottom dollar on that. They don’t have the talent to play his more technical game.

    • slowleftarm says:

      Unless they’re going to completely overhaul the squad it doesn’t matter who the manager is.

    • arsenal says:

      They already came out and said they are going to spend money this summer. With a myriad of players leaving and aging, I wouldn’t be surprised if it is a lit of money. Especially, with the new TV contracts, I believe, giving them more money to spend than normal.

    • Increase says:

      Van Gaal is a great manager. He is a short term guy(Cause he is mental) but he will build you a team and he actually pays attention to youth squads. He is the guy that got Mueller and Alaba playing. I know that sounds obvious but Mueller doesn’t exact light it up in a traditional fashion and I think he converted Schweinsteiger to his current position.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Compare 2012-2013 to 2013-2014 and note that MUFC’s GA are relatively flat but the attacking fell off without RvP healthy. The whole reason they won the season before is they could outscore the opposition no matter how bad their defense. So re-emphasizing attack is surely a goal, and van Gaal will do that. With MUFC’s prestige and cash and van Gaal in I don’t see it as a potential mismatch of team to players….he can buy new ones.

      For that matter, the much less fancied Swansea has elevated up the ladder and stayed in the EPL with a dedication to playing attractive football. Everton also did well this year under Martinez. Arsenal plays slick ball even if they lack striking. Liverpool can score. If these sides can knock it around so can ManU. [Meanwhile I will be interested what CFC does on the opposite tack towards defense.]

    • Brad C says:

      It’s going to be Tottenham 2.0. Bring in a ton of new talent and hope they get along. If I were them though I would sign Garay.

  3. ga1atic0 says:

    Whatever happened to the Forlan to MLS rumors. Why Did he end up in Japan. Wasn’t Seattle the destination?

  4. Tony in Quakeland says:

    The headline should not be “Dani Alves Suffers Racist Abuse”

    It should be “Dani Alves Makes Mockery of Racist Idiot”

    Let’s not give this pea brained racist moron any power He WANTS to cause suffering. He bevies causing suffering gives him some sort of power. We need to belittle people like this – and that is exactly what Alves did. Good for him. I’m sure he suffered no more than the passing thought that it is a shame morons like the banana thrower still exist.

  5. marta in miami says:

    My favorite rumor … Del Piero to MLS might be coming back around!!! I hope MLS ponies up the cash so we do not lose the great talent of a Forlan or Del Piero type to add creativity to the league. My other favorite rumor, Beckham to re open the team in Miami and bring back our beloved Miami Fusion, might help fill that void of watching a creative, dynamic team live !!!!

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      He’s 39 and has been playing a Valderrama role in Sydney for 3 years. Juninho.

  6. Tony in Quakeland says:

    The “comment awaiting moderation” thing has reared its head again?

  7. Yo says:

    DANI ALVES. I love his reaction.
    EPIC

    • Increase says:

      It was great. Taking a cue from Donovan. Sun glasses/banana that’s a gift man he should use it.

  8. Brad C says:

    Is it me or does it seem like most of the racial abuse issues arise from Spain?

    • Maykol says:

      Spain and italy are two of the big spots

    • Gerard D. says:

      More just what you might hear when it happens to a major club like Barcelona or Madrid.

      Spain has racial issues–but nothing comes close to the Eastern European leagues. France is awful as well.

    • Yo says:

      Now this may sound sarcastic

      but you never hear anything like that in Germany

      recently there were news of Chelsea fans abusing fans in Paris for the CL match with PSG and yelling ethnic slurs.

      and of course Spanish/Italian football is full of racial slurs being slung around and incidents such as bananas or worse. what is the deal? there are more and more Black players in the league. Not saying that is the solution to the problem but what’s the mentality there? I can understand 1 is a racist or sexist but leave your thoughts when it comes to the game of football. It is art and neutral. do not corrupt it please

      • Increase says:

        It’s not that there isn’t racist in Germany.(Its everywhere.) But It’s kinda like America in that its totally unacceptable to be publicly racist. We have an advantage in the US in that were not homogeneous to begin with and this contributes to cultural conflict issues present in racism as well.

        • NATO says:

          so true.

          These days you can’t be publicly SEXIST OR RACIST OR HOMOPHOBIC without a reaction from someone?

          either of those and def all are purely idiotic and unacceptable but what happens when it occurs? The person claims “i’m not racist or homophobic. I have friends who are….”. nothing changes. people are allowed to believe what they believe but why believe in such filth.

          we are all human. we all bleed RED.

          ‘the real fight is CLASSISM. Poverty and lack of access to education keeps us with these sick racist/sexist ideals which harm society

      • Lost in Space says:

        I’ve heard it said that since Europe never went through a civil rights movement they still have the long held racest beliefs among many of the factions of their society.
        I don’t know if I believe that it is the truth, but it may be a contributing factor. Regardless racist behavior has been seen in most of the leagues….be it Holand (Jozy), Spain, Italy, etc….
        Hasn’t always been reported on or punished by the leagues or FIFA. Hopefully with Clubs and FA’s will punish the culprits, or that FA’s/FIFA will hand out santions to make it painful to clubs who do not punish/discurrage this type of behavior.

  9. Yo says:

    when will Diego Forlan retire?

    He was 1 of the best strikers in Europe in the 00’s and won the Golden Ball at the last WC but needs to retire. he won’t start ahead the likes of Suarez and Cavani

    • Dinho says:

      Why should he retire? He is still making boat loads of money, whether or not he will play for Uruguay….

      If I could have played professionally and get paid handsomely, I’d play till my legs fell off.

  10. bryan says:

    Sounds like Adidas is trying to get Del Piero to MLS. Now we find out he didn’t sign a new contract. DC United being linked to him. Hoping Adidas pays most of his salary. If they do, is be ok with DC signing him.

  11. NATO says:

    what about the news of Steven Gerrard.

    a record 8th time in the Premier League Team of the Season. 16 years as a pro and half of that on the selection of the best squad.