At Sunday’s PFA awards it was reported that Luis Suarez’s name was booed by guests, current and ex-professional footballers, when he was announced in the PFA Team of the Year and runner-up for Player of the Year.
Why we shouldn’t boo him:
1. Suarez is one of the most talented players in the Premier League this season and is responsible for 28 goals/assists from 33 starts. To give this context, PFA Player of the Year Gareth Bale has 23 goals/assists, Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and Christian Benteke have 22, and Eden Hazard has 18.
2. Suarez is a rags to riches hero. When he was 11 he was invited to a youth national team football training camp, but he had to decline the offer because he could not afford football boots.
3. During the World Cup in 2010, Suarez spent a lot of his free time doing his bit for charity. He helped Tomando Conciencia and more details of this can be found on Suarez’s website.
“I care about social inequality,” he said afterwards. “Whenever I can I love being active part of organisations that promote solidarity projects. Football has got this tremendous power of joining people, without any skin, religion and social discrimination.”
4. Suarez is an ol’ romantic. In the early days of his playing career in Uruguay, Suarez was separated from his girlfriend, Sofia, who moved to Barcelona to study. They continued their relationship long distance for a year before Suarez was asked to play in Holland.
“I could not give up on our relationship and when I got a call to play in Europe I didn’t think twice,” he has said since, describing this phase of his life. “The only thing I thought about was being by her side again. That’s how my European adventure started. I went to play for Groningen in the Netherlands when I was only 19 years, but I had the girl of my life Sofia back next to me.”
Suarez married Sofia in 2009 and in 2010 they had their first child. Awww.
5. Suarez has shown the potential to change. Earlier in the season he was criticised for diving but as the months have gone on he has worked this out of his game. This is more than what can be said for Bale, as John Aldridge pointed out today.
“It was no surprise that Suarez didn’t win the PFA award after what’s gone on but he would have been my pick ahead of Gareth Bale,” he said. “Bale is a brilliant talent and I’d love to have him at Liverpool but he’s also one of the biggest cheats. Suarez stopped diving and now the PFA Player of the Year needs to do the same and clean up his act.”