Europe's top performers of the 2013-14 season were whittled down to a five-man shortlist by stats website WhoScored.com and our panel of experts, and the nominees were Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ricardo Rodriguez.
It was a close-run thing, but Liverpool striker Suarez -- who won ESPN FC's monthly award in January and March -- edged out Champions League winner Ronaldo in the public vote to be crowned ESPN FC Player of the Season.
LUIS SUAREZ -- Liverpool
The English PFA Player of the Year, Luis Suarez's virtuoso displays took Liverpool to the brink of the Premier League title, and after being enthralled by his performances in England, the football world is hoping he will recover from injury in time to play at the World Cup.
His biting of Branislav Ivanovic in 2013 seems like an age ago, and Suarez achieved redemption in some style by scoring 31 goals in 33 Premier League games after missing the first five matches of the season through suspension.
"It's a sheer pleasure to work with someone with that desire and will to win," Reds boss Brendan Rodgers recently reflected. "His maturity on the field is there for all to see, and his performances speak for themselves."
The Uruguayan is only the third man in the 38-game Premier League era -- after Alan Shearer and Cristiano Ronaldo -- to score more than 30 goals in a season, and he and Daniel Sturridge forged arguably the most devastating strike partnership in European football.
ESPN FC's Liverpool blogger David Usher says: "Luis Suarez deserves to win the award because of his all-round brilliance. He plays every game as though it's his last; he plays through pain. He's improved each year, and last season was his finest yet. He matched Cristiano Ronaldo goal for goal, but unlike the Real Madrid man, none of his 31 Premier League strikes came from the penalty spot. As well as being the Premier League's leading goal scorer, he also finished second in the assist chart (to teammate Steven Gerrard) by creating 12 goals."