Luis Suarez’s surprise visit to Liverpool’s training ground delighted players and fans alike.
Twitter was full of Kopites telling the club to “tie him to the goal post” or “kidnap him” in a vain attempt to keep their hero at Melwood.
It’s very rare nowadays for a former player to be loved so much by the club he left. Especially, considering the club has gone backwards since he swapped Anfield for the Nou Camp in the summer of 2014.
Suarez made full use of a two-day holiday given to him by Barcelona to return to Merseyside and the 29-year-old explained why he came back.
“It was fantastic to see the lads. The people that work here are really nice and I miss them, so I wanted to come and see some friends. I have really good friends here,” he told the club’s official website.
“I had a really good moment here in three and a half years and when you have a really good moment in your life, it is something you remember.
“I always try to watch the [Liverpool] games and look out for the results. I am very interested in how Liverpool are doing because they are so important in my life,” he added.
During Suarez’s time at the club, he scored 82 goals in 133 appearances and was adored by the fans. But the relationship wasn’t just one-way.
The club helped the controversial striker on two serious occasions.
In October 2011, Suarez was found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra which led to an eight-match ban.
Liverpool and, then manager, Kenny Dalglish remained fully supportive of the Uruguayan and even wore t-shirts to defend him before their match against Wigan Athletic after the FA found him guilty.
But then, in April 2013, Suarez was accused of biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic which led to a ten match ban.
That summer, the striker was desperate to leave the club with Arsenal making a £40 million and a penny bid for him. Suarez wanted to join the Premier League rivals but captain Steven Gerrard persuaded him to remain at the club for one more season and wait for Barcelona to come knocking.
The following season, Suarez was simply magnificent as the Reds narrowly missed out on the Premier League trophy. He scored 31 goals in 33 Premier League matches, forming a formidable strike partnership with Daniel Sturridge.
At the end of the devastating season, Liverpool were aware that Suarez was keen for the next step in his career and, after he had given everything to the cause, were willing to allow him to further his career.
And Suarez has taken his game to the next level in Spain and has scored an incredible 42 goals in 41 matches in all competitions this season as well as winning the treble last campaign.
Maybe one day Suarez will be returning to Liverpool to play again, rather than just to see his friends.