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Luis Suarez: I Just Can’t Get Enough

He’s been likened to a horse, had semi-serious cannibalism allegations thrown at him, and is theoretically barred from the world’s second largest continent. This could easily be the story of a villain in a bad ‘B’ movie, though instead, is the story of Luis Suarez; the Uruguayan striker spear-heading the new look Liverpool into a new era. A player who could possibly go on to define Liverpool for the next decade, similar to the way in which Steven Gerrard has spent the last decade doing so. That may sound a little optimistic, though after just a handful of appearances in a red shirt, the twenty-three year old has already had to modestly put to one side comparisons with another Liverpool number seven who needs no mention.

Signed for twenty-three million pounds, El Pistolero has gone some way in just six appearances to make that fee seem like somewhat of a bargain. Particularly considering it equates to less than half of what Chelsea paid for his predecessor. Many thought a switch to the Premier League had come too soon for Suarez; despite his untold potential he would not be ready for the pace, strength or physicality of the English game. Not to mention the difficulties he would face adapting to a new culture and the obstacle of the language barrier. Remember, Suarez was playing for mid-table Dutch side Groningen only two years ago; his arrival into footballing prominence is quite astounding.

This is not to say he hasn’t earned his notable entrance into European football, the Holy Grail for South-Americans, but perhaps Liverpool fans weren’t expecting to be swept off their feet in such a manner. The script had already been written for this particular scenario; Fernando Torres would restore his name to the pinnacle of world football, whilst firing Chelsea to the Premier League title. Meanwhile Suarez would underwhelm and struggle to adapt to life in Liverpool, and the Premier League, thus leaving the Kop mourning the departure of Anfields one time favourite son. However, Suarez has successfully re-written the pessimists script. An explosive start to his Liverpool career has resulted in the Kop’s grieving process after Fernando Torres’ sale ending as soon as it started.

Suarez Himself has protested he has done nothing yet to prove he will be a success. ‘It will take time before the fans can see the best of me’, Suarez proclaimed after a sublime performance against arch-rivals Manchester United; the sort of performance that could define many a footballer’s whole career was followed by this show of defiant optimism that the best is yet to come. That defiance is translated to his on-pitch performances, and the ‘never surrender attitude’ he openly speaks of is an intrinsic part of Liverpool F.C’s mentality, and something that won’t go unappreciated on The Kop.

A man of humble beginnings, Suarez claims his brother whom currently works in a Uruguayan bakery, is a better football player than him; such modesty comes as a breath of fresh air in footballing world consumed by the self aggrandisement of players like Diouf and Ronaldo. Displays of such humility are a rarity in the modern game, and remain as refreshing as the child-like enjoyment he appears to get from playing the game. His unassuming nature exemplified by the revelation about the number on the back of his Liverpool shirt- ‘If I had known that Kenny Dalglish wore the number seven shirt, I would not have asked for it.’ An immediate and open respect for Liverpool’s Greatest is another feature of Suarez’s impressive start to Liverpool life that won’t go unacknowledged.

Despite his unassuming nature off the pitch, Suarez’s alter ego surfaces once he crosses the white line on a Saturday afternoon. He has the winning mentality all top players need to succeed and is one of a dying breed of footballing warriors. ‘Luis is going to bring the place alive’ says Ajax managing director, Rik van den Boog. The reason being, he says, is Suarez is a ‘street-fighter’; a player who, along with the likes of Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard, translates a certain degree of proletarian desire to succeed to the football pitch. A desire so strong, that Suarez becomes near impossible to maintain or keep down when on the pitch. Speaking of his out of character on-pitch behaviour Suarez quipped that ‘if I was the same off the field as I am on it, my wife wouldn’t be with me!’

His willingness to battle is an obvious strength with regards to the notorious physicality of the English Premier League. He clearly didn’t get to where he has without an element of determination or tenacity, though the huge pressure and scrutiny he will be under at Liverpool meant there were as many sceptics as optimists present before Dalglish sent him on for the first time; that first time, against Stoke as a substitute, was enough to convince many Liverpool fans he was more than a worthy replacement for the departing Torres.

Even after an out of sorts performance and defeat at The Hawthornes last week, but for a goal-line clearance, Suarez would have stolen the headlines with a sumptuous lob in the last minute to gain an undeserved point for Liverpool. Despite the overwhelming disappointment of a defeat, great heart can be taken by Liverpool fans that Suarez is capable of moments of magic that will in the future, if not this time, earn Liverpool the points they need to lead them up the table. Suarez has already added himself to the small list of players that offer a certain degree of satisfaction to the fan, even after disheartening defeats that leave little joy to be taken from.

With the record breaking transfers of Andy Carroll and Fernando Torres taking place around the same time as the capture of Suarez, he entered Anfield through the back door. Despite his impressive goal-scoring record and notable World Cup performance, the media, and possibly many Liverpool fans, paid little attention to the Uruguayan in comparison. It hasn’t taken him long to force the footballing world to sit up and take notice, though.

Submitted by Some Team Up North

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