Luis Suarez broke English hearts with a brace to all but knock the Three Lions out of the World Cup, and once again proved his worth to any doubters that remain for both club and country.
Brendan Rodgers must have watched with interest as Luis Suarez evidenced his prodigious talents once more to end England’s Brazilian dream. His precision header and unwillingness ever to stop running perfectly captured the attitude he has every time he steps onto a football pitch.
RONALDO & MESSI
As if Liverpool fans did not already know, Luis Suarez, at this stage of his career, is an entirely unsellable asset. He is in a league of players with only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for company in terms of refined talent, but he is the only one of the three that has performed at such a high level for both club and country this season.
Suarez shared the European Golden Shoe with Ronaldo for most goals scored, even though he was playing in a league where it is notoriously more difficult to score goals, and his performance since he has been active in the World Cup has been indicative of the season he has had, where Ronaldo is yet to light up Brazil. Of course, he is precociously talented in almost all areas of the game, but Suarez’s effect is more than that. He is more than the player that comes onto the pitch; he is a talisman to himself and those around him. He is reminiscent of Messi in the way he inspires his teammates.
If you make a comparison of Barcelona playing Paris Saint-Germain in the Champion’s league quarterfinals two years ago before and after a half-fit Messi came on with Uruguay’s performance against Costa Rica and England respectively, when Suarez was supposedly not at full fitness, there is a tangible comparison Both players have that mysterious talismanic quality that so few possess, the ability to inspire greatness in others as well as themselves, and it is that which makes them invaluable.
BARCELONA & REAL MADRID
Rumours have abounded for several months of big money moves to both Barcelona and Real Madrid. Barcelona seems the more outlandish of the two, with the Catalan giants already proving their unwillingness to drop star assets Neymar and Messi from the starting line up, even when there was considerable pressure to drop the Brazilian, and as good as Suarez is, he will never be ahead of Messi in the pecking order at the Camp Nou.
Real Madrid seem more of a threat, poaching Suarez after he was begged to have one last great season with his English club by his manager, as they did with Cristiano Ronaldo. And yes, Luis Suarez almost certainly would get into the team ahead of Karim Benzema, linking up with Ronaldo and Gareth Bale to form what would be the most feared front three in world football, at a team that have just been crowned European champions.
The temptation may be too much for Suarez to resist, despite the emotional investment he has at Liverpool evidenced by his tears after the draw at Crystal Palace that more or less cost Liverpool their shot at the title.
The onus then, must be on Brendan Rodgers to do everything he can to keep Suarez at the club. Even astronomical offers must be rejected out of hand; we have seen what happens when a good team lose their talisman when Gareth Bale left Tottenham, and Liverpool are not yet a team of greats that could withstand such a loss.
There is talk of a release clause, and if this is met it will be up to Suarez whether he stays or goes. Rodgers, however, seems to understand Suarez in a way that few do, working with him every day has seen Suarez become noticeably more settled and started to enjoy his football more. Rodgers must use this relationship to encourage the Uruguayan to stay at the club for as long as possible, for if there is one thing we have learned at this World Cup, it is that you can not underestimate the value of Luis Suarez.
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