London, 23/04/14 – Liverpool striker and contender for tomorrow’s Player of the Year Award at the PFA Awards, Luis Suarez is seen as a more likeable player this year, than he was in 2013.
Last season, 36.61 percent of people in the UK were said to have liked Suarez. This year however, that figure is 43.62 percent of the population, a rise of over 7 percentage points. Indeed, as the season enters a thrilling climax and the 2014 FIFA World Cup awaits in Brazil this summer, Suarez is now seen by the UK general public as more likeable than Manchester United and England forward, Wayne Rooney.
Leading his team to a great season helps Suarez to improve his image
Charlie Dundas, Head of Strategic Product Innovation, said: “Since joining Liverpool, Suarez has been in the spotlight for a number of good and bad reasons. The public controversy that surrounded an incident between him and Manchester United’s Patrice Evra in the 2011/ 2012 season, as well as being seen to bite Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic during a match last season only compounded people’s attitude toward the forward, after he had denied Ghana a spot in the 2010 World Cup semi finals in South Africa.
“Given these past events, it is perhaps no surprise that the UK public see him as someone less likeable than other contenders for this season’s best player of the year award.
“What is surprising however, is that the percentage of people who see Suarez as a likeable person has risen. There has been a rise of over seven percentage points which given this is a shift in the attitudes amongst the general population, this is a significant increase. Indeed, he is seen now as more likeable than John Terry, Ashley Cole as well as Wayne Rooney.
“If Liverpool can win the title and Suarez can go on to have a successful and incident free World Cup this summer, he could well be hitting the 70 percent mark held by some of his closest on-the-pitch rivals.”
Regarding the contenders for the Player of the Year, Chelsea’s Eden Hazard is seen as the most likeable player. A player who’s public profile has remained largely positive, albeit for an incident last season where he was said to have kicked a ball boy. 72.26 percent of people in the UK like the player and following a successful 2014 World Cup, these scores could well rise.
Theo Walcott is the most popular player in the Premier League
In terms of the most likeable players in the Premier League this season, two of the top three are Arsenal players. Of those people who know of Theo Walcott, 88.64 percent say they like him. Walcott is followed closely behind by Everton Goalkeeper, Tim Howard (83.25 percent) and fellow Englishmen and Arsenal team mate, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (79.19 percent).
Dundas, continued: “Both Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain are very liked, young, English forwards who are rarely in the spotlight for doing much wrong. They play with passion and seem to most people as very well mannered, polite players and eloquent spokespeople. This only helps to encourage such high figures. These results are exactly what brands and sponsors a like would be looking at, the top level players who are well liked by the general public.
“Tim Howard is another example of a player who is both passionate on the pitch and eloquent when interviewed. Like the two Arsenal players, Howard has spent a long time at his current club Everton which all adds up to how people perceive the player.”
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