The Spanish hitman, who scored 33 goals in his debut season in England, came third behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona's Lionel Messi in the Ballon d'Or award this week but says there is more to come this season.
The striker is out until Christmas with a hamstring injury but he believes that when he returns he can help Rafa Benitez's side to their first league title in 19 years.
He said: "My goal has been to improve every year. I do not think about the past and I will continue to work to do better in 2009 so I can be among the nominees and climb another rung on the ladder.
"I am very proud to be considered. 2008 has been extraordinary for me, both individually and with my teams.
"I have to thank my team-mates for this fantastic moment. It was easier than I expected to adapt to English football.
"I knew that my style of play would work well in the Premier League and we can be satisfied with how things turned out. It was a pity we did not make it to the Champions League final in Moscow, so we will work to improve on that.
"But with Spain, what can you say? The European Championship title has moved us all to fight for the individual awards."