From Rebel to Genius: Why Luis Suarez is on track to end Lionel Messi/Cristiano Ronaldo era of dominancePublished May 10, 2016
When Luis Suarez departed Liverpool and the Premier League back in the summer of 2014, it seemed as though that many fans in England were happy not to hear another word about the talented but troublesome forward ever again.
There was no doubting the striker’s incredible talent, but following a number of misdemeanours and some rather unsavoury incidents, Suarez spent most of his years in English football in the headlines for the wrong reasons, and fans were all too happy to wave goodbye to the Uruguayan as he set off for pastures new, in La Liga with Barcelona.
Fast forward nearly two years, and Suarez is dominating the headlines in England and across Europe once more, but only this time, the striker is in the news for all the right reasons.
The forward’s brace during Barcelona’s 5-0 emphatic victory over local rivals Espanyol on Sunday, took Suarez’s tally to a staggering 56 goals for the season, with 37 of them coming in the league, meaning the former Anfield hero is comfortably ahead in the race for both the Pichichi and the European Golden Shoe.
Astonishingly the Uruguayan also leads the way in Spain for number of assists (16) joint with Barcelona teammate Leo Messi, meaning Suarez has both the most number of goals and assists in La Liga this season.
At 29, the striker is entering the peak of his career, and whilst the last decade has been dominated by the brilliance of Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi, it looks as though there is a new contender for their crown. And Luis Suarez is, as ever, unlikely to go quietly.
Whilst it could be claimed that Suarez has only challenged the likes of Messi and Ronaldo this season, it would be rather foolish to do so. The former Liverpool ace scored 31 Premier League goals in his last season at Anfield, as he was crowned European Golden Shoe winner that season, joint with Ronaldo.
Since the 2013/14 season, Messi and Ronaldo are the only two players to score more goals than Suarez, and considering the striker missed four months of professional football in 2014 for yet more misdemeanours, makes his record even more astounding.
Suarez has also scored 81 goals,in his 94 games since joining Barcelona, and has been involved in 124 goals in the past two seasons. (81 goals, 43 assists).
Whilst some may argue that it’s too early to make predictions on who will be crowned winner of the 2016 Ballon d’Or next January, it is very apparent that if voting were to take place right now, there would only be one winner, Luis Suarez.
The former Ajax forward may have astonishingly finished fifth in the voting for last year’s prize, but not being nominated in the three-man shortlist next year would be an absolute travesty.
His transformation from world class striker, to best number 9 in the world must not go unnoticed, and whilst he may not have the image that the likes of La Liga colleagues Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, or Leo Messi possess, there is no doubting that the 29-year-old has the talent to stand alongside, and even surpass his peers in becoming the world’s best player.
It has been an incredible transformation in the last two years, and fans in England must no longer view Luis Suarez as just a rebel or a radical. He is now simply a true footballing genius.