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You Can Hate Luis Suarez, But You Must Also Appreciate His Genius

Luis Suarez is just one of those players who opposing fans just can’t stand. The mere mention of his name sends a wave of negative feelings through people’s bodies. The Uruguayan striker’s well documented controversies and flashpoints haven’t helped his public perception. Even his facial features give the impression of a deceitful person who is meant not to be trusted.

But Suarez is a footballing genius. He is a nightmare for opposing defenses whether he has the ball or not. The 26-year-old forward has being pouring in goals for Liverpool over the past few seasons; 23 goals in 33 Premier League games last season and another 17 goals in only 11 BPL contests this year. And when he isn’t scoring goals, Suarez is making penetrating runs with/without the ball, threading passes to teammates or occupying the mind of opposing defenses with his mere presence on the pitch.

Suarez is a polarizing figure who can create a moment of awe-inspiring football, almost as quickly as he can engineer a moment of complete madness. But as of right now the third-year Liverpool forward has put his checkered past behind him and is leading his club back to the promised land of European football.

Regardless if Luis Suarez ends up leading the historical club back to Europe or potentially to a Premier League title, the majority of opposing/neutral fans will never take a liking to him. You would hope that most people would be able to forgive a person for their past indiscretions, especially when it seems like that person has turned over a new leaf; but one gets the feeling that Suarez just won’t be afforded that luxury.

Suarez rap sheet includes: a blatant handball in his country’s 2010 World Cup semi-final versus Ghana, two separate incidents of biting another player during club competitions, being found guilty (by the English FA) for racial abuse against an opposing player, and numerous examples of diving or “simulation” during matches. The image of Suarez as a “cheat” will forever by burned into people’s consciousness.

But it’s safe to say that Suarez can change some fans’ perception should he end up leading Liverpool back to their glory days. All will be forgotten once the striker starts bringing home some silverware for the legendary North West club.

For those readers who don’t agree with that statement, ponder this question: What is the difference between Luis Suarez and Roy Keane? Keane was frequently suspended from play due to angry outbursts and reckless challenges. He holds the record for the most red cards in the history of English football with thirteen. The combative former Manchester United captain was one of the most hated players in English football. But Keane had a level of respect in footballing circles because of his ability and his trophy haul over the course of his career with the club.

Eric Cantona once kicked an opposing supporter, Zinedine Zidane head butted Italy’s Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final, Paolo Di Canio once gave a fascist salute to Lazio supporters; each one of these incidents has been forgiven over time. Whether it was time healing those wounds or the individual player’s footballing abilities which led to a change of fan perception; you will have to judge that on your own.

As of this moment, Luis Suarez is captain of his team and has led his club’s resurgence in the Premier League. Liverpool are currently occupying second place in the league standings and only trail league-leading Arsenal by two points after sixteen games. Suarez is leading the league in scoring with seventeen goals; he has scored 40 goals in his past 44 Premier League appearances.

At what point will fans stop hating Luis Suarez? Will it be after he brings home his first silverware for the club? Or can we just begin the process of forgiving Luis Suarez and start appreciating his footballing genius now?

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  1. Gray

    December 16, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Suarez is an all around player who can score as well as the best strikers in the game, pass to teammates in scoring positions and take on defenders. He is the total package. On the field he is as good as, and arguably better than, Messi or Ronaldo. He just isn’t very marketable, like Messi or Ronaldo. Also, he doesn’t play for a title-winning club.

    Brendan Rodgers may actually benefit from Suarez’s unbelievable form by asking the board to buy other top-quality players to keep Suarez at Liverpool. If Liverpool show intent Suarez could stay.

    The fact that Suarez can play in the Champions League, as he isn’t cup-tied, expect a big club to make an offer next month. If that happens it will be interesting to see what Suarez and Liverpool do.

  2. Toby

    December 16, 2013 at 9:07 am

    For me he is better than Ronaldo and Messi, but they have massive marketing teams of Nike, Adidas, Real and Barcelona behind them. Put Suarez in Real Madrid and Barcelona and he would have 60 goals. He is scoring more goals than appearances and that is unheard of in English football because it is the toughest of all the leagues. Ronaldo only scored one third of the number goals in England than he does now in La Liga and I have never seen Suarez have a bad game for Liverpool. The best player I have seen in a Liverpool shirt since John Barnes.

  3. Castle Rock Brit

    December 15, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    A proven racist. End of.

    • Jay

      December 16, 2013 at 4:28 am

      Read the FA report in which Evra himself said that Suarez is not racist.

      • Peter Quinn

        December 16, 2013 at 10:01 am

        Yea, I have to agree. The media have painted a different story than what was published in the FA report. And Evra did say that he thinks Suarez isn’t a racist.

  4. jtm371

    December 15, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Good article.a little off topic but i still would take Kun over Suarez.Kun has scored goals that won a Championship.not his fault but Suarez has not been under the pressure of a EPL Title chase Kun has and he performed like a star.

    • Peter Quinn

      December 16, 2013 at 10:00 am

      An argument can be made, but as a neutral fan I’m taking Suarez. He is a major scoring threat and also sets up his teammates. He has an incredible work rate. I just can’t keep my eyes off of him when he plays.

      • jtm371

        December 16, 2013 at 1:29 pm

        All the negatives for Suarez puts more pressure on his don’t get that from Kun.Kun also sets up his teammates not sure how many assists you can not call him a poacher.

  5. goatslookshifty

    December 15, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    He is going to terrorize England next summer if he stays in form. May God, and Queen help us!

    • Flyvanescence

      December 15, 2013 at 6:08 pm

      In that case i think you’re out of luck. The queen isnt much on the pitch due to her age, and im pretty sure God has more important things to worry about than a footy tournament.

      • Guy

        December 15, 2013 at 6:14 pm

        What?! You mean He’s not paying attention to all those signs of the cross we see?

  6. scrumper

    December 15, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    And to think he was heading for Spurs.

    • dust

      December 15, 2013 at 6:59 pm

      Yeah and why didn’t he? b/c Redknapp said he wasn’t very good ..LOL another Redknapp classic

      • Castle Rock Brit

        December 15, 2013 at 9:27 pm

        Redknapp did NOT say that.Levy would not meet the asking price.

  7. Smokey Bacon

    December 15, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    On his day, every bit as good as Messi. And pays his taxes too.

    • Flyvanescence

      December 15, 2013 at 6:07 pm

      At least we think he does.

  8. abdirahman

    December 15, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    the guy is genius! And we are very lucky to have him in the premierleague he is the best player in the league without no doubt,clive allen mentin in the commentry “he is out of this world” and i certainly agree him.two goals today 17 already in 11 matches.just astonoshing!

  9. FreddyFreak

    December 15, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Can’t I hate him and appreciate his skill? What I despise most is how he over acts and plays up a foul. Based on his reactions one would think he is going to be carted off the pitch… Watching a footballer with great potential act like that is very frustrating.

    • Martin J.

      December 15, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      He has been very well-behaved this season and has cut out the theatrics. Apparently he is working with someone that the club has hired to control his anger and help with the distractions and overreacting. Let’s hope it stays this way because he should be spoken about for his football, and right now he is on fire, and not anything else.

      • Peter Quinn

        December 15, 2013 at 3:53 pm

        Great post, Martin. Suarez also isn’t going down as easy as he used to. A few weeks ago against Palace he was fouled in the box, carried on playing and scored. Today he was fouled on the edge of the box and still tried to fire a shot off. In the past, he was going down and rolling all over the place when that happened.

        He’s made tremendous strides.

        • Guy

          December 15, 2013 at 4:14 pm

          I was momentarily stunned when he continued to try to score rather than role around on that play. I mean, you can’t count on anyone anymore!

          • Guy

            December 15, 2013 at 6:11 pm

            Ha. Just noticed my typo…….but it actually works! 🙂

    • hoosiergunner

      December 15, 2013 at 4:01 pm

      Certainly. Aren’t there always players that we hate but respect because of what they do on the pitch? The couple that come to mind are Bale (Hated because he played for Spurs, but respected because of his ability to come through with an amazing goal EVERY game), RVP (Hated because he always managed to get hurt at the most inopportune time of every season… and then he sold his soul outright, but respected because of his sheer wizardry on the ball), or even most appropriately Mario Balotelli (Hated because you felt he had more talent than most players could ever fathom, but also had less common sense than a doorstop… man, I miss having him in the league). Sometimes it because of behavior, sometimes because of wasted potential, sometimes because what they represent to the team you support (For example, even within my own team for whatever reason I just can’t stand Walcott, but I respect his abilities without reservation). And that’s just in the last three years of BPL. I think the same can be said for coaches and specific teams… in fact this could become an entire post of its own: Who are the players, coaches, and teams that have most frustrated… but for whom have your utmost respect?

      • Jay

        December 16, 2013 at 4:27 am

        Suarez has no problem. People hate him because he plays for Liverpool.

  10. Glen M

    December 15, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    I’ll take him. Bites, handballs, diving and all. He’s an immense player.

    • Yespage

      December 15, 2013 at 10:11 pm

      His diving has begun to diminish. I remember when Lucas dived all the time when he was younger at Liverpool. Suarez had a few dive opportunities that he didn’t take.

  11. Guy

    December 15, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Suarez doesn’t need forgiveness from anyone. All he needs to do is go out and play football.

    He is an idiot, but as I have said before, I wouldn’t mind him being my idiot.

  12. Martin J.

    December 15, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    We should appreciate his genius now. He will be gone before long from the BPL.

    Love him or hate him the guy loves football and he is as exciting a player to watch as any.

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