By Teo Icliyurek
Last year, Luis Suarez topped the European goal-scoring charts alongside Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the European Golden Boot Award. His near-impeccable season with Liverpool also saw him linked to many of the continent’s biggest sides, most notably Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. Due to the Giorgio Chiellini bite and subsequent ban from the sport (that lasted until October of 2014), Liverpool were forced to sell Fernando Torres’ Uruguayan successor to the blaugrana side for a reported 81 million Euros.
No one expected Suarez to replicate his magisterial form at Liverpool due to 1) the inevitable necessity for adaptation and 2) the presence of Lionel Messi and Neymar, the former one of the worlds best and the latter with the potential of replacing him. Nevertheless, the slightest idea of the Uruguayan’s current struggles would have been rejected by even die-hard Manchester United and Real Madrid fans. Indeed, no one expected him to net his first La Liga goal 8 games in. Not only was his goal-scoring record mediocre, but so was his in-game form. Throughout the earlier games of the season, Suarez had been playing incredibly subpar football. His touches were in disarray and he seemed to have lost the silky dribbling that made him one of the Premier League’s most feared strikers. The only positive seemes to be his goal in the league cup against Elche, a wonderful solo effort that included his trademark nut-meg and immaculate finishing.
Now, however, Suarez is coming back into the limelight, and for all the right reasons. His only positive in the beginning of this season was the number of assists he was providing. Still in the limgelight of Messis’ but nonetheless important. These 8 assists retained hope in the celeste striker, giving rise to claims that he was no longer a goal-scorer and had taken the back seat (at least as to goals) to Lionel Messi and Neymar. Well, it is with great joy for the entire footballing world (except for Real Madrid fans), that I am saying that Luis Suarez might finally be back. Though it is too soon to make such a claim, Luiz Suarez’ form in recent weeks has seen him respond to his enormous price tag. From his last 5 games in all competitions, the man has scored 4. The stats don’t account for the excitement however. The first of the five, against Athletico Bilbao, came as a one-time hit long-range curl from outside the penalty area. The second came two games later, and was an even more majestic overhead bicycle kick. FInally, two games after that, in a Champions League game against Manchester City earlier this week, Luis Suarez scored his sides only two goals. Clearly the goals themselves have been giving the man some confidence. He is not only scoring, but scoring in the way we’d expect Luisito to do so. The most notable of these performances was, surprisingly, not the bicycle kick. In fact, it was the game against old Premier League rivals Manchester City. This game showed the world that, if Luis Suarez comes back to form, he won’t necessarily be a shadow of his Argentinian and Brazilian counterparts. If the man’s form continues, La Liga rivals Atleti and Real should be scared. Very, very, scared.
Goal v. Athleti: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHKoJskYOOo
Goal v. Levante: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CitbRjZiEBU
Goals v. Manchester City: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfEMG7AHDNE