Luis Suarez: The good, the bad and the ugly.

April 25, 2013 6:00 pm

One of the most talked about forwards in Europe. He’s small, feisty, intelligent, skilful and runs on will and desire. But with all these fantastic qualities lies an incredible talent for attracting controversy, and not the good kind. It surrounds him. No matter how good he performs, no matter how many goals he scores or defenders he makes look foolish, he will always have something up his sleeve that will blow all of that out of the water and make people question him as a professional footballer.

I don’t think he does this intentionally. I don’t think he ‘thinks’ at all when it comes to these moments of madness. He’s running on pure adrenaline, in the moment, giving everything he’s got to support the cause. All be it at times this may not seem apparent at first, but he has the desire and hunger in his eyes which is great to see. Unless he expresses this hunger in a quite literal way as he did recently by attempting to bite a chunk out of an opponents arm. Suarez

Luis Suarez is a man that divides opinion across the world. But love him or hate him, he’s an exceptional talent.

The Liverpool front-man has had one of the best seasons of his career, netting 23 Premier League goals and leading the race for the Golden Boot. A feat that’s landed him on the shortlist for the PFA’s Player of the Year award. But yet again, his brilliance has been overshadowed by his mind-less actions.

Suarez’s past is marred with controversial incidents that don’t leave the star coming out smelling of roses. In the 2010 South Africa World Cup quarter-final between Uruguay and Ghana, he prevented Dominic Adiyiah from scoring in the final minute with a deliberate handball on the line and was subsequently sent off. A penalty was awarded but missed by Asamoah Gyan and footage showed Suarez celebrating on the side-lines. Uruguay prevailed in the subsequent shoot-out, leading Suarez to be castigated by many for his role in the elimination of Africa’s’ final competitors.

His magnetic attraction to negative PR was displayed once again in November 2010 when he was banned for seven games for biting PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal, it would prove to be his last league game for Ajax. But you learn from your mistakes right Luis?

Suarez moved to Liverpool, and in October 2011 in a Premiership match against Manchester United he was alleged to have racially abused Patrice Evra. Suarez was later found guilty by an independent regulatory commission and banned for 8 matches, as well as being fined £40,000. At this point his reputation was in tatters and he had to make amends. In February 2012 United and Liverpool met again at Old Trafford, but Suarez refused to shake Evra’s hand before kick-off causing yet more controversy. The FA said that Suarez “damaged the image of English football around the world.”

Not that any of this appeared to have much impact on the striker, who was seen making an offensive gesture towards Fulham fans in December 2011. At this time he had already been charged by the FA over the racism incident, although not yet punished, but was handed a further one match ban for the gesture. Suarez made it into the papers yet again in October 2012, celebrating a goal against Everton by diving in front of the Toffees boss David Moyes who had earlier claimed that “divers such as Suarez were putting fans off the English game.” One thing you can say about the ballsy striker, he really doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him.

He also doesn’t learn from his mistakes following his savage bite on Branislav Ivanovic during Liverpool’s recent 2-2 draw with Chelsea. Suarez scored a 97th minute equaliser when he shouldn’t have been on the field, but he went unpunished as the referee failed to see the incident. Although I’m sure a lengthy match-ban will follow once it’s been reviewed. Luis Suarez

It’s a shame such a sparkling season for the forward will come to a sour end. He could still be in with a chance of winning the PFA Player of the Year award and if he does it will spark even more uproar amongst fans and professionals, with some feeling he should be withdrawn completely. Without doubt Suarez deserves all the plaudits he receives, he’s had a tremendous season and is great to watch. But he has to take responsibility for his actions and realise he’s representing a football club, young fans idolise him and he needs to act accordingly.

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