For fans who have been accustomed to the routine level of paramount brilliance that is provided by the diminutive Argentine, Lionel Messi, for the entertainment of the people every time he walks unto the pitch, losing him for two months would have been incredibly bad news.
I, for one, had been bracing myself for two months of sporadic individual brilliance. I hoped Neymar would steal the limelight and provide us with the level of consistency that Messi has done in the past few years, and while Neymar did dazzle here and there, another man in England was fully taking advantage of the void left by the Argentine.
In the absence of Messi, shockingly it has not been Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, or Zlatan Ibrahimovic that have impressed the most, as that tittle unanimously goes to Uruguay and Liverpool striker Luis Suarez.
At this point in time I can safely say, without the risk of raising too much controversy, that Suarez has been the best player in Europe’s top five leagues for the first half of the season - and, on his current form, he is currently arguably the best player in the world.
I am by no means insinuating that Suarez is better than Messi, or Ronaldo, because he isn’t; however, his form is unmatched by even Ronaldo and right now you will not find any player posting up the kind of numbers Suarez is posting.
With 19 goals so far in just 12 games, Suarez looks well on course to break the all time English Premier League season scoring record of 34 goals, which is shared by Andy Cole and Alan Shearer.
When we take into account that Suarez plays for Liverpool, his exploits beckon for even more credit.
Liverpool do not boast the kind of midfield masterminds that Barcelona and Real Madrid do, who undoubtedly help Messi and Ronaldo post up inhuman statistics.
With the injuries to their superstars in recent weeks, we have been able to confirm that Barcelona without Messi, and Real Madrid without Ronaldo seemingly have little trouble thumping opposition teams.
Flip cases to a Liverpool side without Suarez and we notice that Liverpool is simply not the same team without their mercurial striker.
Liverpool only managed to score five goals in their first five Premier League games in which Suarez did not participate; however, since his return, Liverpool have averaged roughly three goals a game and go into Christmas at the top of the table.
I know Barcelona without Messi, and Madrid without Ronaldo are simply not the same team, but the score-line does not necessarily usually reflect that for the La Liga giants, who boast enough individual talent to dispel any side in the absence of their star men. Liverpool simply do not have that kind of supporting cast, which makes Suarez a more essential part of his team, and his contributions more vital to the aspirations of the team.
I said in previous articles last year that Suarez was the best player and striker in the Premier League, and that his attitude was the only reason Gareth Bale ended up winning the award for the league's best player - and this season it is now obvious for everyone to see.
If Suarez stays away from controversy, he has a real shot at winning the European Golden Boot for the highest scorer in Europe, and award he is currently tied at top spot for with Cristiano Ronaldo at 19 goals, despite playing five games less.
It has been a real breath of fresh air to see Suarez maintain a routine ludicrous standard of excellence, and with the impending return of Messi, it would be amazing to have one more player who can make our jaws drop on a weekly basis.
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