Luis Suarez must be ranked alongside the world's best
Liverpool forward in the same bracket as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo
Another weekend of Premier League fixtures, and yet another brace of goals for the irrepressible Luis Suarez.
The 26-year-old has been in truly dazzling form, even surpassing our already great expectations by banging in 19 goals in 12 Premier League games. He is currently the top scorer in the League by a margin of six goals, despite missing the first five games of the season.
And yet, for some bizarre reason, people still seem reluctant to list Suarez in the same category as the two players widely regarded as the best in the world: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
For a while now the two La Liga stars have been placed on a pantheon, considered untouchable by any other player - Neymar appears to be the only player capable of entering this sacrosanct circle in the near future, perhaps Franck Ribery or Bastian Scweinsteiger in the more near future. However, in my eyes, Suarez is already up there with the lauded pair.
It is not only his run of form this season that has prompted this view; he has been a consistently magnificent player ever since joining Liverpool, and even before that at Ajax. It is fair to say, though, that there has been an improvement this season.
The Uruguayan is more than merely a goalscorer - he has five assists to his name, is a tireless runner, and is constantly alert, stretching defences with his intelligent, measured runs. Most impressive, though, are his scintillating skills with the ball at his feet. Like Messi and Ronaldo, he is a magician. You cannot predict what he is going to do.
So why, I hear you ask, is he not already placed among these modern-day greats? Well, one suspects that he is given unfair treatment due to his appalling behaviour in the past. I'm not even going to try to defend Suarez's past exploits; biting an opponent (twice) and racism are total unacceptable and lamentable. Additionally, I am not buying into this new "perfect" image some are attempting to create surrounding him, presenting him as a saint for behaving like any respectable human being would, although it is good to see that he appears to have changed his ways.
Nevertheless, I feel it is totally unfair that he appears to be denied the full credit for his undisputed abilities because of his track record. There still appears to be a contempt shown towards the man due to the aforementioned incidents, but that does not change the fact that he is a superb player.
I also think he is hindered, in terms of status, by playing for a club outside of the Champions League. Pundits appear unable to rank anyone not in Europe's elite competition among the very best players. But the fact that he can still produce a myriad of stunning performances at, let's be honest, a good but certainly not great side is further proof of how exceptional he is.
Perhaps if he had secured a move to Bayern Munich or Real Madrid over the summer we would be talking about him as a genuine Ballon D'or candidate. Perhaps if he wasn't so ill-disciplined we wouldn't hesitate in comparing him to Messi or Ronaldo. But why should these things stop us. He is a world-class player, end of. So let's put the other aspects aside, and realise that he is, in my eyes anyway, in the top three in the world.
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