Luis Suarez – Hail the Titan
Rewind to the glorious, sultry summer of 2010. I say, glorious because the greatest sporting spectacle of the world, the FIFA World Cup, was unfolding before our eyes in all its glory. During one of the zillion footy discussions in the span of the tournament, my college pal said – “Dude, keep an eye out for Uruguay No.9 and Chile No. 7.” Now, we all have heard about the well-glorified and much-hyped transfer of the Chilean to the hallowed turfs of Catalonia. The lad may well be planning to build his own Gringotts before he is drowned in the imminent bullions. But what about the feisty lad from Uruguay, who plied his trade for the creators of total football, Ajax? His infectious smile and mischievous, twinkling eyes portrayed him more like an innocent toddler rather than the fiery bull he eventually turned out to be. He was none-other-than Luis Suarez *El Pistolero*, Liverpool’s new King.
El Pistolero stamped his authority on the world stage, when his exquisite curler beat South Korean goalkeeper’s outstretched hands and drove Uruguay into the quarterfinals. The winner sparked wild celebrations from the drenched fans and the players’ alike, as they reveled in Uruguay’s moment of glory. But in terms of action, the world had seen nothing. Divine forces had slotted Uruguay against African high-fliers, the Black Cats from Ghana. After a riveting 90 minutes that saw Uruguay draw level courtesy of a Forlan special, Suarez pulled off a monkey trick that will be etched in the memories of fans’ worldwide, forever. It was the final minute of injury time before the hooter went off and the teams would’ve succumbed to the clutches of the much-dreaded, much-maligned spot-kicks. It was a moment of utter madness and instinct that left an indelible mark on the World Cup. Luis Suarez deliberately handled a goal-bound Ghanaian header and took the long walk back without much remorse. The star of the Ghanaian wonder campaign till then, Asamoah Gyan stepped up to take the resulting spot-kick, with the weight of the world on his drooping shoulders. But Gyan had a momentary loss of nerves and his penalty clipped the bar and sailed into the stunned crowd, who were yet to decipher the crazy scenes unfurling, right before them. Suarez’s wild celebrations, later branded as “shameless” were a testament to his fervent desire to win and El Pistolero sacrificed himself for the greater good. His selfless deed for his nation was the greatest indication of a South American’s inbred instincts to place his nation before himself, much unlike the more celebrated felines from England, with the Three Lions emblazoned on their crest. Though Uruguay eventually lost out to Netherlands in the semis(without the suspended Suarez), Suarez’s heroics were not forgotten and Liverpool came knocking on his doors when the January Transfer window opened.
El Pistolero sealed a ‘dream move’ to Anfield for a reported £22.7m and stating that he was a revelation in the Red jersey would be an understatement of enormous proportions. Suarez was the leader of King Kenny’s Red Revolution and his deft finish after rounding off the Stoke goalkeeper in his debut in front of the Kop, after diligent Dirk had released him with an exquisite through ball, has become an integral part of Anfield’s folklore. But, Suarez was yet to display his true potential to the Reds faithful and who better than the bitterest rivals, Manchester United to showcase his amazing talent. El Pistolero opened the floodgates at Anfield with such deft and decisive artistry that even, Michelangelo would have craved for a look. Suarez glided through the gang of his captors like an animal under attack, all senses on alert, camouflaging every move with such decisive skill, that left United defence bamboozled, rooted to the ground. As had been prophesied pre-match by his compatriot Diego Forlan, Suarez has been the Apple of the Kop’s eyes ever since; his bunch of trickery and humungous talent doing him no harm, what-so-ever.
After enduring a tough season in the competitive English League, when most players were planning their well-deserved vacations with their kith and kin, Suarez was bracing himself for the next challenge – writing history with Uruguay at Copa America. And boy, he accomplished his mission in style! Christened as the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, which featured the likes of Messi and Co., for his immense contribution to his nation’s cause; El Pistolero was a livewire on the field with his brilliant displays and impressive work-ethic. Suarez silenced all his critics and shred all their doubts about his soaring talent. After some critics had been hounding the dynamic Uruguayan duo of Suarez and Forlan for “not being upto the mark” in Uruguay’s impressive run till the semis, the duo’s exploits in the final stages of the tournament rendered the unfair criticism aimed at them, moot. An amazing brace from Suarez guided the Uruguayans to the final where they were up against the challenge of the Paraguayans, who had been a brick wall in defence throughout the tournament. El Pistolero was right on the mark at the final frontier scoring one and setting up another, with Uruguay uprooting the Paraguayan challenge with a convincing 3-0 win. Such is the level of his infectious professionalism that during the tournament, Suarez assured Liverpool fans of his fitness levels and promised that he’ll be “fit and raring to go” once the new season commences and “fatigue won’t be a worry”.
“I don’t think I’ll have any problems at all,” Suarez told Liverpoolfc.tv. “I think when you start to get to 28 or 29 as a player, tiredness creeps in, but at my age all you want to do is play football all the time. There will be no problems me coming back in good condition.”
Such has been his immediate impact in the revival of the club in the later stages of last season, that the Kop have come up with their unique song for Suarez.
His name is Suarez he wears the famous shirt, I just can’t get enough I just can’t get enough.
When he scores a volley and when he scored a head, I jus can’t get enough I just can’t get enough.
He scores a goal and the kop goes wild…and I just can’t seem to get enough SUAREZ!
One thing’s sure; Liverpool, under the stewardship of King Kenny have unearthed a rare gem, who even in today’s money-crazy world, still loves football with the innocence of a child, craving for the first touch.
Luis Suarez – a Legend in the Making!