Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has got his desire to be honoured with the European Golden Shoe in front of the Liverpool fans turned down by authorities. The player is due to be awarded alongside Real Madrid star Christiano Ronaldo for scoring the highest goals last season across all of Europe. Suarez scored 31 goals in the English Premier League, same number of goals netted by the Portuguese, Ronaldo. Suarez had wished to accept the award at Anfield before a Liverpool home match, as a sign of respect for the Merseyside club and to share the glory with them but that wouldn’t happen as the European Sports Magazine Organisation wouldn’t allow. Suarez would now be presented the award on Wednesday in Barcelona, with Kenny Dalglish, a Liverpool legend and ambassador, present. The Uruguayan had earlier called for Liverpool Captain, Steven Gerrard’s presence at the event but the English man wouldn’t be available to attend. Ronaldo, however, would be awarded in Madrid next month.
This hallmarks loyalty and respect for a former club, an attitude hardly seen in the world of football in recent times. What obtains most times can rarely be described as positive, whenever a star player leaves a club, especially from great teams like Liverpool to another heavyweight like Barcelona. Even when an amicable agreement is reached between the selling and buying clubs, fans hardly come to terms with the loss of important players to whom much love and emotional energies have been expended on. The hostilities and anger demonstrated by such fans are extended to player especially when lined up for his new club against the former. These kinds of treatments have been condemned by football authorities but they haven’t achieved much in quelling such abuses.
Victims of treatments like this include Luis Figo, who moved from Barcelona to bitter rivals Real Madrid for $60.1m in the summer of 2000; Patrick Vieira, who moved from Arsenal to Juventus; Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy, Samir Nasri, Kolo Toure, who all moved to Manchester City from rivals, Arsenal; Alex Song and Cesc Fabregas joined Barcelona to the pain of the teeming Arsenal supporters; Robin Van Persie, the former Arsenal captain who moved to rivals Manchester United in 2012 for £24m and players like Robert Lewandowski and Mario Gotze, who joined German Champions and traditional domestic rivals, Bayern Munich from Borussia Dortmund. All of these transfers have been considered by fans as unfortunate, unceremonious departures and termed the players as disloyal. Most supporters would claim that the players abandoned their clubs when their services were needed most or after helping their career up the ladder.
These types of incidents cannot be impaired from football but when an uncommon act of loyalty demonstrated by Luis Suarez in his attempt to get Liverpool share in his glory, is heard of, it is only sensible to adjudge it praise-worthy. Suarez may have been controversial all his career long but this mark of respect is capable of earning him a standing ovation by Liverpool fans if Barcelona and Liverpool ever meet themselves in a UEFA Champions League fixture.