Following a discussion regarding the third best player in the world on the Talksport show Colin Murray and Friends earlier today can anyone even look beyond the Liverpool striker?
Luis Suarez is currently the third best player in the world and do not let anyone tell you differently.
Granted Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo stand ahead of everyone and that much seems to be crystal clear to the footballing world. But why are there shades of grey concerning the person who immediately brings up the rear?
Suarez is simply operating at a whole other level to his supposed rivals for the label of best of the rest. A debate on Talksport today threw it out for discussion, but the three below are more pretenders than contenders:
Zlatan Ibrahimovic plays in France... can we really look at that level of competition seriously to even include him in this debate? As it is concerned with the here and now, those who champions Ibra's case need reminding that he longer plays in Italy and Spain!
Diego Costa? Well he certainly has impressed in La Liga this season and last, and not at either Real Madrid or Barcelona to boot! His goals have propelled an unlikely Atletico Madrid charge for the league title but he lacks Suarez's majesty.
And last but not least, Gareth Bale. The Welshman may have had more of a case last season as he made Tottenham resemble a one-man-team at times, literally carrying them to within a point of Champions League qualification. Despite scoring at a rate of one in two in the the Spanish league, even more was expected of Bale. After all he did join Los Blancos for a world record fee.
No none of these players can match Suarez's feats this season. He has scored 25 goals in 24 Premier League appearances despite not figuring until the end of September due to a long, albeit self-inflicted suspension.
The Liverpool number seven has a great chance of becoming the highest goalscorer in a Premier League season, eclipsing the likes of greats Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry.
Most important of all however is the fact that Suarez has lifted his Kop team-mates. He makes them play better and to a significant degree El Pistolero is the reason why Liverpool have come from nowhere to make and sustain a Premier League title challenge. From seventh to possibly first?! Those odds are greater than the ones Costa faces at Atletico as he seeks to end their own long league trophy drought.
And we have not even begun to consider the international stage yet, where Suarez has figured prominently in the lead up to the World Cup, helping Uruguay secure qualification.
With Costa busy figuring out which national team to turn out for, Ibrahimovic ultimately powerless to stem the Ronaldo whirlwind in the play-off and Bale unable to perform miracles for Wales as a player of his supposed stature could do, Suarez was a key influence on his national side.
Although Frank Ribery is conspicuous by his absence in that he continues to be an important player for Bayern Munich and perhaps rightly came third in the FIFA Ballon d'Or, he simply has not quite captured the imagination as Suarez has done.
And therein lies the heart of the issue. The former Ajax man's value cannot be measured by statistics alone. His quality cannot be locked in a box. Suarez ia magician capable of pulling a rabbit out of a hat and for that reason and that reason alone, he is the ultimate game changer. On such terms we should accept him as the third best player in the world.
Do you agree that Luis Suarez is the third best player in the world?