The famous words were printed across Mario Balotelli’s inner garment: “Why Always Me?” But he’s not the only one, as John Lennon would say.
With racial abuse, a punch here and a kick there, not to mention sinking his teeth into the flesh of his opponents, Luis Suarez is arguably one of the most controversial footballers of the past decade.
And yet, following Barcelona’s triumph in the Champions League final, that was the cherry on a trophy-laden cake, King Luis felt he had redeemed himself.
Suarez said: "Tonight I had the chance to show people what I am really about after all the things that people had said, things that I kept out of. Thankfully that happened and I was able to show them who I really am.”
Indeed, it’s hard to argue that he has been anything but spectacular this season. Coming off a four-month ban, Barcelona were patient in nurturing their £75 million summer acquisition back to form.
Yet after a slow start, Suarez finally clicked with forward partners Neymar and Messi, and what ensued was 122 goals scored between them. An incredible feat, and Suarez admitted he surpassed his own expectations, adding five more to his projected 20-goal tally.
He showed remarkable composure in front of goal, especially in the final, where he reacted fastest to Messi’s spilled effort and found the back of the net with a sweetly struck finish. It was a fairy-tale end to a magnificent debut season with the La Liga champions, and Suarez could not have been more relieved to have had such an impact, albeit being “tired and very stressed” claiming that when playing for Barcelona, you are obliged to win.
Lady Macbeth may have had trouble washing the blood off her hands, but it may be safe to say that Suarez has put the worst behind him, and has gone from villain to hero in scintillating style. Yet, even as a villain, he was not any less scintillating, and it remains to be seen how he will respond next season.
For him, the job is not done, and Suarez is looking to achieve even more with FC Barcelona.
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