When Luis Suarez arrived at Liverpool in January, most people already knew a lot about his ability and personality. The crafty forward, who scored an incredible 49 goals in 48 games for Ajax in his last full season with the Dutch club, was making football fans sit up and pay attention with his superb performances for Uruguay at the 2010 World Cup. The 24-year-old’s impressive displays for both club and country showed that he was clearly a talented forward. But the Uruguayan also has a knack of infuriating opposition players and supporters, something which is already becoming a problem for him in England.
The Football Association are currently investigating the Liverpool striker after it was alleged he racially abused Manchester United defender Patrice Evra when the two sides met a couple of months ago. More recently, Suarez has been charged by the FA for an offensive hand gesture made towards the Fulham supporters at Craven Cottage on Monday night. The home fans had been giving Suarez a torrid time throughout the game, branding him a cheat and a diver. The former Ajax man appeared to react by sticking up a finger at those who were taunting him.
Many good footballers who come to play in the Premier League are abused by opposition supporters. Cristiano Ronaldo, now of Real Madrid, was verbally abused by away fans at almost every ground while he was at Manchester United. Up until now, the authorities have failed to take any real stance on these supporters, expecting footballers to keep their heads down and ignore the abuse. Unfortunately for Suarez, he reacted.
Speaking about the incident, Kenny Dalglish said: “Luis is a fantastic footballer. People find it difficult to play against him. If they cannot beat him on the pitch because of his ability, they will try to get into people’s minds. And that’s what they try to do. The people that have any favour towards Liverpool Football Club will get right behind Luis Suarez and give him all of the support he deserves. We are lucky that he is a fantastic footballer and he is playing for us. So we’ll help him as much as he can.”
The Uruguayan striker may need to curb his temper in the future. Liverpool face Queens Park Rangers in their next Premier League fixture – a game which they will be looking to win after slipping at Craven Cottage. Suarez is likely to play, but given the charges against him, he could face a ban over the next few weeks. Regardless of whether he faces punishment or not, Suarez will have to learn to stay on the right side of the law over the coming years. After all, Liverpool would be much better off having their star player on the pitch rather than in the stands.
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