Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has hinted that Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was not a suitable winner of the Premier League's Player of the Season award and said he would have picked Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko to claim the prize.
Both the Professional Footballers Association and the English Football Writers Association picked Suarez as their star of the season after his outstanding displays for Liverpool, but the outspoken Mourinho begs to differ.
"My player of the year would always be from the champion. Always a representative of the champions, so if the champion is Man City, I think I would choose Dzeko," Mourinho told reporters at Chelsea's training base.
"Why? Because he was the third striker in the beginning of the season, he was even behind his manager's first choices and when the team needed him, in crucial moments of the season, or because of [Sergio] Aguero injuries or because of [Alvaro] Negredo's little moments of lack of form, he made the difference.
"In this moment, I think he has 16 goals. Sixteen goals for the third striker is something spectacular, and not just that, the quality of his game.
"So if I would choose, and also the kind of player he is, he's not just a goalscorer, he assists, he plays, he behaves, he's fair, he doesn't dive, doesn't try to put opponents on the stands with accumulation of cards. I would choose Dzeko."
Manchester City only need a point to be confirmed champions, but should Liverpool find a way to win the title, Mourinho said he still wouldn't pick Suarez.
"If Liverpool are champions, I would go Steven Gerrard. Very good season, in a position where he is important for a team, where he changes his profile as a player, where he is not scoring so many goals as before because now he doesn't arrive in the box so much.
"He stays more in midfield, with a tremendous cold blood as a penalty-taker, which he had lots of them, but in every penalty he was there for the team, too, and some of them were crucial. I would go for Steven Gerrard."
Suarez has scored 31 goals in the league this season, 15 more than Dzeko and 18 more than Gerrard entering the season's final weekend.
"The profile of player that wins the player of the year is not the profile of the player that used to win in English football ten, eight, six years ago. It's not the same profile of player," Mourinho said.
"Everyone has his choice. You [the media], the players, everybody is free to choose. Luis Suarez is a very good player so they are not voting for a player who has no qualities, he is a very good player.
Suarez has a past record of misconduct, including a racist abuse storm with Manchester United's Patrice Evra and his infamous bite on Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic a year ago, for which Suarez missed the first six matches of this season as part of a 10-game ban.
"[Suarez] bites, not this season, the previous season. This is a different season, so I'm not speaking about one mistake that a man can have, so this is not the only point for me."