Luis Suarez – The man everyone loves to hate

by Alan Breen

In my time following Liverpool there is one man, Eric Cantona, a foreign player in the English game, who similarly garnered so much hatred of fans like Luis Suarez. Particularly where Leeds United Football Club is concerned whom Eric left for Manchester United in 1992. As with Luis Suarez, Cantona had a gift to entertain and perform spectacular pieces of skill on the pitch. The magnificence of his football brain would get United fans off their feet and have the opposition cursing him.

Cantona’s brilliance on the pitch wasn’t the primary focus for the best part of 9 months in 1995 while he served a ban for kung-fu kicking a Crystal Palace supporter having been sent off in a fixture at Selhurst Park. This had an impact on the title race with Blackburn Rovers, who ended their long wait for a top flight title. The chances United created against West Ham on that last day of the season, I think a lot of supporters of Manchester United cursed their luck, pointing to the fact that their talisman was banned.

Similarly to Eric, Luis Suarez has endured well over 12 months of focus. Be it the racial incident with Manchester United’s Patrice Evra or the diving, which at times has being justified. However, like Cantona in 1995, redemption among the media cohorts is nearing for the magical Uruguayan. The 1995/96 season proved to be Cantona’s season in English football, the media who castigated his antics early in 1995 when the incident occurred were less than 18 months later toasting the man who carried Manchester United to their second League and Cup double in three seasons. Comparing Luis Suarez on this account wouldn’t be fair as the Liverpool side he plays in are not the well oiled machine of the United ’96 vintage.

Instead his 2012/13 season could be one where the man everyone loves to hate much like Eric Cantona can be appreciated for his brilliance and, people marvel at his abilities as a footballer while looking beyond what has gone before. His return of 10 goals in 12 League games, plus two assists, attests to his form, and let’s not forget the tally he recorded before his move from Ajax to Anfield. Who knows what the next six or so months will bring, but finally Suarez is getting some of the plaudits as a footballer he deserves, just like Cantona did after his brush with controversy.

I was one of those people in 1995 in regards to Eric Cantona, at 11 going on 12 years of age you don’t appreciate seeing players at their zenith. As you get older, you appreciate the quality of the player despite your allegiances. Hopefully like me when you read this you can look beyond these trappings and appreciate the man you love to hate as a world class player that English football should be privileged to have plying his trade.

10 Responses

  1. Mark Godfrey says:

    Excellent player. Total shithouse.

    You might say i’m biased as an Evertonian, but i’d be embarrassed to have him in my team. No player is squeaky clean and they all lay it on thick from time to time but Suarez is something else. I suppose we should have known after his antics in South Africa vs Ghana and his record in Holland. Such a shame because he should be getting recognition for his talent rather than his failings. Sadly Liverpool FC and it’s fans are happy to tolerate his behaviour.

  2. bitternose says:

    Mark, you criticize Suarez and yet it was your own captain Neville who was BOOKED FOR DIVING in the recent 2-2 draw. Open your eyes, huh?

    1. Mark Godfrey says:

      Neville was castigated by Evertonians for that dive and rightly so. It was embarrassing. How must it feel for Liverpool fans to see that EVERY WEEK followed by acting like he’s been hit with an axe? Maybe i’m just naive and want football to be played fair and without cheating by anyone? In my comment you’ll note i praise him as a player. He is an excellent footballer and is really starting to show that this season but take your blinkers off. His behaviour was indulged by Dalglish and hasn’t really been put in check by Rodgers either. Indeed the way the fans and the club talk about him you’d think he was a cross between Messi and Mother Theresa. If he played for someone else, how would Kopites react? If anything he should be playing fairer than anyone else. It’s his rightly deserved reputation for diving that has probably cost Liverpool several penalties they should have got because referees know what he’s like. It’s not right, but it’s happening.

      1. James says:

        my friend suarez haven´t donde anything bad since the stoke game wich was before the everton game rodgers is turning him around so please before you critize him get your facts straight.Also the hand against Ghana , even Gyan said que would have done the same so if you can´t see that and don´t undestand the sport go and watch cricket.

        1. Mark Godfrey says:

          Quote “my friend suarez haven´t donde anything bad since the stoke game”

          Oh well, that’s alright then?!?!?!?!?

          Your defence of Suarez is admirable, even if your lack if coherence is not.

  3. Enrico says:

    Why Why why do all of these people hate Suarez? because he lifted his hand when the ball was going in to the net, I and im sure most people would do the same on a stage like that, as for the diving, thats the way he is, he plays tight on defenders and when theres contact he goes down, is that not the rule? Luis Suarez is a great player no matter who you support, as is Cristioano Ronaldo who also doesnt have the cleanest past…

    1. Mark Godfrey says:

      Quote “as for the diving, thats the way he is, he plays tight on defenders and when theres contact he goes down, is that not the rule?”

      Erm, no. It isn’t.

  4. Mtysh@red says:

    MARK, I think in my own opinion you don’t follow football games on daily basis and if you do, there are things which disrupt you while watching.Even everton boss agreed with what suarez does nowaday few days after criticising him for diving and simulation, later, wigan boss admitted that luis is a world class striker, previously, beckham had adimitted that suarez is the best striker in england despite him being a man-u legend.Do you really mean all these people are short sighted?Players who talk negatively about luis are just but envious of him and the others who criticise him like you are just afraid of him since they know absolutely well what the guy can do to their defenders and goalkeepers.

    1. Mark Godfrey says:

      Firstly, I’ve probably seen more football than you’ve had hot dinners, so your opinion there is a bit wide of the mark.
      Secondly, have you actually read and understood any of my comments? Where exactly have i denegrated Suarez’s playing abilities? If you look you’ll actually see i praise him. I fully acknowledge the man is an excellent footballer and has been for 3-4 years. This season in particular he’s looked sharp and incisive.
      What I, and countless others are not so keen on is his serial cheating and would have hoped he would have stopped this by now, as in England it is not tolerated as it is in other parts of the world. For once it would be refreshing to hear a balanced view from a Kopite who would at least be able to watch the game without the red tinted spectacles. Suarez is not disliked because he’s a good player, he’s disliked because of his behaviour. If he can change that, then maybe he can change the opinion and perception others have of him.

  5. sid says:

    I think it’s pretty clear now why everyone hates Suarez… He cemented himself in history as the man who ruined the first African World Cup, with an entire continent supporting the only African team left in the competition, he cheated them out of it.

    He then quickly became the most detested player in the Premier League through his various controversies.

    And now he has started biting other players… No one loves hating Suarez, it’s just instinctive.

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