Liverpool FC: The Curious Case of Luis Suarez

The sun glistened over Norfolk as the nippy breeze gust around the ground – winter was on its way. Liverpool take a goal advantage in their clash with Norwich and it is indeed Luis Suarez who has put them in front with a calm finish from 18 yards after just two minutes. Liverpool went on to dominate and record their first domestic win of the campaign and Suarez, once again Norwich's tormentor in chief, bagged his second hat trick at Carrow Road in just six months.

But the ensuing post-match talk was not of Suarez’ trio of strikes, nor Sahin’s opening goal for Liverpool nor their first win of the season. They were scantily discussed.

The debate was in fact, on yet another decision against Luis Suarez.

Just over twenty minutes in with the score still at one nil, Suarez raced in behind the Norwich defence and about to meet the long ball forward. The retreating Leon Barnett was never going to be in an adequate position to derail Suarez’ path to goal; so the defender could only commit a foul: crude and cavillous in equal degree. Befittingly, Suarez tumbled, awaiting Mike Jones to award a penalty. But no.

They say the truth hurts – but it’s a pain to which the Uruguayan seems hermetic. His pleasure and pomposity on the pitch divides more opinions than marmite; you love to love him or love to hate him.

Amid his 22 months in English football, Luis Suarez has always been in the eye of a cyclone of contention - from racism allegations and diving scandals to giving opposition fans the finger, Suarez should probably have come with a warning tag – one which Otman Bakkal would have probably have found useful. Culture clash is requisite way of putting Suarez and the English game.

Suarez’s background is as notorious as B.I.G – from Uruguay ‘where everyone dives’ according to good old Brits.

British pundits are like a broken record player on repeat when they divulge into their ideas to eradicate ‘diving’ from the game: “they will stop when they are publically exposed, named and shamed”.

Duck soup – if everyone shared the same cultural views.

In the English game, ‘diving’ is abhorrent, despicable, detestable, repulsive, loathsome and just downright sordid. Some even describe it as a ‘cancer within football’.  Yet, in say, South American football, simulation has a diverse effect. They rather perceive typical English barbarism as abhorrent and has no place in what is considered ‘a game of skill’ – in essence, on-pitch harassment in order to gain an advantage. 

Football in England is, and always has been, a game of physical and mental strength; played to build a boy into a man, rather than flair and practising your ballerina skills. Many foreign ‘superstars’ have come to these shores and have been overawed by the sheer ferocity of the English game: Fernando Morientes, Diego Forlan and Mateja Kežman but to name a few. Luis Suarez will always remain abreast from this list.

It’s difficult to find anyone like Luis Suarez in the Premier League era, other than Manchester United’s own – Eric Cantona. Both blessed with stupendous skill, but both come with their devilment.

Cantona probably chose the wrong time and place to test his kung fu and for that he is disreputable; Suarez on the other hand could be seen as a victim of a prodigious culture clash. When Cantona was drafted into the United set up, they were on the brink of something great; the Frenchman was just the final piece to a salient puzzle, the puzzle which went on to win four Premier League crowns in five years with footballer-turned-actor Cantona playing the starring role.

The difference with Suarez is he is far from the final piece in Liverpool’s expurgated puzzle. Cantona was allured to stay with United due to their successes, something Suarez may find hard to come across due to Liverpool’s inadequacy to challenge for top honours for at least another four five years. If anything drives Suarez out of English football, it will certainly not be the media or opposition.

“Any manager can say what he wants about me but it doesn’t affect me” announced Mr Suarez after Tony Pulis comments. His aegis against abuse is as strong as his commitment to the Liverpool cause.

So should that day ever come in the future when Luis Suarez decides to call quits on what has already been an absorbing Anfield career, he will continue to sunder surmises and evoke embroilment. But Liverpool fans won’t care. Why? Because he loves them, and they love him.

"Booing? It doesn't matter. Liverpool and Uruguay fans love me, that what matters."

772205
Join the Discussion