Luis Suarez received a second European Golden Shoe of his career after becoming the leading scorer in Europe’s top domestic leagues last season.
The 29-year-old Barcelona forward scored 40 goals in 35 La Liga starts, helping Barca retain the Spanish title. He ended the 2015-16 campaign with 59 goals in 52 appearances for Barca in all competitions.
“I want to thank Barcelona for being here, for allowing me to achieve my dream and my aims,” said Uruguay international in his acceptance speech on Thursday.
“I have spectacular team mates, who make things easy for me although you have to be there to put the ball in,” said Suarez, acknowledging he had had “difficult times” before joining the club.
Those difficult times included a four month ban from FIFA after Suarez bit Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. A Liverpool player at the time, Suarez signed for Barcelona after the tournament but missed the start of the season because of the suspension.
He ended up winning the La Liga, King’s Cup and Champions League treble in his first campaign at Barca and last season, Suarez helped the club retain the league title and the King’s Cup.
His other golden shoe award came with Liverpool in the 2013-14 when he scored 31 times to help the Reds finish runners-up in the Premier League. He shared the prize that year with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.