Scoring twice against Tahiti isn’t a real cause for celebration, but Luis Suarez became the all-time leading goalscorer for the Uruguay national football team, reaching 35 goals in 67 matches, giving us another opportunity at the man who is one of the best footballers in the world today, even though some would prefer to focus on other sides of his play and personality.
The things people usually remember more than anything about Suarez? His handball against Ghana, saving Uruguay by sacrificing the rest of the World Cup so his team could make it into the semifinal. Suarez didn’t cheat – he did something illegal, and got caught, not that it was so hard to see. Hard to see what’s so wrong about it, but some do like to hold it against him.
The racial slurs against Patrice Evra, which might be a thing taken out of context and show us more about cultural differences, but Suarez and Liverpool were in the wrong on that moment, and made it worse by fighting the allegations without thinking for a moment they’re causing themselves quite a lot of damage.
And the bite. An inexplicable moment of madness from Suarez, who was pulled or tugged at by Ivanovic, and reacted in a way that no one would have imagined. This resulted in another hypocritical reaction by the English FA, suspending him for 10 matches, doing something that didn’t harm Ivanovic one bit, while players who aim to break the legs of opponents usually get off without even a warning if the referee missed the incident.
Even Suarez’ goal record doesn’t do him justice. He did score 23 goals in 33 Premier League matches last season for Liverpool, but it feels like the first 18 months on the job were a bit of a waste, scoring only 15 goals in 44 matches.
For Uruguay, however, there hasn’t been any problem, reaching 35 goals in 67 caps, five so far in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers and three in the Confederations Cup. Suarez is a better player than Diego Forlan, certainly now, and probably during the height’s of Forlan’s claim to fame. While Edinson Cavani produces better numbers with Napoli, the moment he plays next to Suarez it’s easy to see who is the better player.
Suarez should be mentioned constantly along with the best strikers in the world: Ibrahimovic, Van Persie, Lewandowski, Mandzukic, Falcao and probably Cavani as well. He plays on the biggest stage possible, the English Premier League, but is hurting his own credentials by missing out on the Champions League for the last couple of seasons.
Bringing Liverpool back to the top 4 and Europe’s biggest competition will be another proving point of his greatness, although at the moment, he’s looking for a way out of a place he feels (and justly so) under-appreciated in. He might be the best striker in the world, but he can’t seem to let his goal-scoring and other incredible footballing attributes shine beyond the moments of darkness, sidetracking his career.