Diego Forlan may have notched the brace for Uruguay in their 3-0 win over Paraguay, but it was Luis Suarez’ day, Luis Suarez’ tournament. Arriving before his 20th birthday to Groningen, the Salto born striker has quickly risen the ranks and has proven during the last two seasons he is one of the finest forwards in the world. The 2011 Copa America just made it more obvious, and Liverpool fans quite eager to see him back in red for the new season.
Four goals, one in the final and also setting up Forlan’s final goal. If Suarez was a national hero after his hand ball sacrifice against Ghana, how is he considered now? Their best player, to say the least. Suarez was one of the bright lights during this disappointing tournament the very rarely showcased entertaining and fun to watch games.
Uruguay themselves weren’t exactly brilliant. Effective, clinical, hard. Suarez was the shining light, despite his dark hair. Forlan couldn’t score, nothing went right for him. Leadership takes you only so far. His drought of goals of over a year, since his magical month in South Africa, was finally broken in the final. Thanks to Suarez, and rest of the workers. But mostly Suarez.
There’s something unimpressive about Suarez at first sight. It quickly changes. He won Liverpool fans on his first match at Anfield, scoring against Stoke. They probably were completely enamored with him after his first half against Manchester United a bit later. Uruguay fans fell from him long ago. Ajax fans? They actually won a title after he left, which always gets me thinking what Suarez could have done more to help the Dutch club finally get back on top (81 goals in 110 league matches), but that’s a different story.
Suarez never stays put. Flips wings, roams the center, hangs back, constantly in motion. Nearly impossible to stop in a one on one encounter, his speed and quickness is too much for wing back and centre backs alike. His ability to dribble with both feet and change his foot before his shot (like the opener yesterday) makes him even a greater weapon. The perfect striker, best in the world? No, not there. Probably not ever. But he certainly has improved into one of the best of them and one of the most exciting to watch in the world. And who knows, maybe his first taste of international glory this July will just be the first course in a wonderful year for him and Liverpool.
For the first time in ages, Liverpool’s most important player isn’t Steven Gerrard, isn’t number 8. It’s good ol’ 7, just like when King Kenny ruled the Premier League and European football.