Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has been embroiled in controversies throughout his career in the Premier League.
Racism row with Manchester United defender Patrice Evra and biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic were the lowest points, but he has also been branded a ‘cheat’ for diving to earn penalties and made himself unpopular with many Liverpool fans for trying to force a move out of the club last summer.
However, the 27-year-old has redeemed himself with his sensational performances in the 2013-14 campaign. Suarez was suspended for the start of the Premier League season, but as soon as he returned to the pitch, he became a superstar.
The Uruguay international finished the campaign as the top scorer in the English top flight with 31 goals, while adding 12 assists to his name. Suarez was the undisputed star in Liverpool finishing just two points behind eventual champions Manchester City in second place and was rewarded with the PFA Player of the Year gong.
Suarez’s on-pitch footballing success at Liverpool since his move from Ajax in January 2011 cannot be disputed, but his controversial actions have seen him portrayed as a villain in the English media. However, club owner John Henry believes that it is now time for everyone to forgive Suarez for his past actions and move on.
Interestingly, the American businessman makes a remark which probably gives an insight into why Suarez has done things he shouldn’t have: the 27-year-old is very competitive and wants to win at any cost.
‘All of us at the club, including every player, know that one, Luis is a good person and a great teammate, and two, he is hypercompetitive and can overreact’, the 64-year-old told Sports Illustrated. ‘He is a good person 99% of the time, and 1% of the time his desire to win overcomes everything else. So he had moments where he made very high-profile mistakes. But those mistakes were always in the heat of competition’.
Suarez himself admits that ‘sometimes passion overwhelms you and you do things you regret afterward’, adding that it is in his nature to ‘fight for every ball, want to win every game and get upset when I lose’.
All that shows how competitive Suarez is and the extent to which he will go to win football matches. However, there are boundaries to what a footballer can do on the pitch. On some occasions, Suarez has crossed that line and he has been punished for his actions.