Posts Tagged ‘ Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz ’

MatchDay Memory: Luis Suarez Then and Now

suarez fcb

Imagine a time in the distant future when a player named Luis Enrique joins FC Barcelona or a new Hughes is signed by Manchester United. That player will inevitably be compared to their predecessor, with the shadow of former glory always hovering around the player. For Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz, who joined FC Barcelona in the summer of 2014, not only was he not the first Luis Suarez to have played for the Blaugrana, but he will probably not be as successful in terms of trophies as his predecessor. On top of this, he also comes with his own unique baggage. I researched both players, looking at their acheivements and examining the impact of one and the future of the other.  The complete series can be found below.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Comments appreciated.  Thanks for reading.

MatchDay Memory: Luis Suarez Then and Now Part III

Imagine a time in the distant future when a player named Luis Enrique joins FC Barcelona or a new Hughes is signed by Manchester United.  That player will inevitably be compared to their predecessor, with the shadow of former glory always hovering around the player.  For Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz, who joined FC Barcelona in the summer of 2014, not only was he not the first Luis Suarez to have played for the Blaugrana, but he will probably not be as successful in terms of trophies as his predecessor.  On top of this, he also comes with his own unique baggage.

Part I  Luis Suarez Miramontes

Part II Luis Alberto Suarez Diaz

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suarez fcb

In terms of perception, both on and off the field, it seems as if the players couldn’t be more different.  Miramontes was a scorer but also helped supply big time names around him, and similarly Diaz scored goals and created space and opportunities for those around him.  Miramontes’ trophy cabinet was bulging with club honors, but I noticed that Diaz has not won many honors with clubs he has played for.  Furthermore, teams continued to win without him, as Ajax has maintained their cycle of success without him and Nacional continued to win titles without him.  Liverpool is Liverpool and are an outlier.

Luis-Suarez-Balon-de-Oro-.-Mejor-Jugador-de-Europa-de-1960

Off the field, I could find almost nothing on the original Luis Suarez, while the current namesake has a laundry list of controversial episodes.  Part of the reason for his move from Ajax to Liverpool was the seven game suspension he received for biting Otman Bakkal in an Eredivisie game.  Then a year later he was found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra during an English Premier League game and missed eight league games.  Eighteen months after that, a ten game suspension followed for a biting incident against Branislav Ivanovic.  He came back from that and almost led Liverpool to the title before the 2014 World Cup.  That competition saw yet another bite, this time on Giorgio Chiellini of Italy, for which he was suspended worldwide for four months.

Despite a long list of offenses and despite FC Barcelona trying to occupy the moral high ground, the club went through with a transfer for the Uruguyan in the summer of 2014, concluding one of the most expensive deals of all time.  I was against the move on sporting and moral grounds.  From a sporting perspective, I didn’t see how he would fit into the team and there were greater needs that the club should have addressed, mainly in the defense.  They started to reshape the backline with Mathieu and Vermaelen coming in, but more work needed to be done. As for the attack, the club got rid of Sanchez, Cuenca, Bojan and Tello, and brought in Suarez and promoted Sandro and Munir.

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Barca’s problems last year were breaking down compact defenses.  With no service from the wings and a bunch of wonderfully gifted midgets trying to pass through nine and ten players, attack after attack broke down and actually set up counters for other teams.  Adding Suarez doesn’t help.  Suarez, Messi and Neymar.  All great players, but there’s only one ball.  I think Messi should be moved back out to the wing and an E’too replacement of the 2006-2009 vintage found.

Then there’s the morality aspect. This player has bitten at least three people.  He has racially abused an opponent.  He has received one of the harshest bans ever from FIFA for this latest incident at the World Cup.  Why is the club signing this guy?  Rob Brown on the Barca Blaugranes site for SB Nation reduces it to its simplest explanation: on the field success.

The current Luis Suarez has a lot to live up to when compared to El Arquitecto. Who knows what will happen on the field.  After reading Wright Thompson’s profile of Luis Suarez Diaz again, I have no idea if the Uruguayan will keep his teeth to himself.  And how will this highly talented player mesh with an astonishing array of attacking talent?  Whereas the Spanish Suarez became an orchestrating midfielder, a precursor to Xavi and Iniesta, El Pistolero will have find his way in an attacking group of Messi, Neymar and Pedro while pushing young, rising stars like Munir, Sandro and Adama and others to the bench or back to Barca B.

MatchDay Memory: Luis Suarez Then and Now Part II (Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz)

Imagine a time in the distant future when a player named Luis Enrique joins FC Barcelona or a new Hughes is signed by Manchester United.  That player will inevitably be compared to their predecessor, with the shadow of former glory always hovering around the player.  For Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz, who joined FC Barcelona in the summer of 2014, not only was he not the first Luis Suarez to have played for the Blaugrana, but he will probably not be as successful in terms of trophies as his predecessor.  On top of this, he also comes with his own unique baggage.

Part I  Luis Suarez Miramontes

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Moving forward fifty years, the talent of El Pistolero or Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz is undeniable.  From the streets of Salto and Montevideo in Uruguay, Luis Suarez used the beautiful game to escape poverty, eventually securing a spot with Nacional in Uruguay.  After growing as a player and making a name for himself at Nacional, where he helped the club win the 2005–06 Uruguayan League, he was discovered by Dutch club FC Groningen.  As Michiel Jongsma tells the story for Benefoot.net, club representatives were visiting Nacional to look at Elías Figueroa.  They left trying to figure out how to sign Luis Suarez, with the player also looking for a move, as his girlfriend, Sofia Balbi, had moved to Barcelona to study.  So at 19, Suarez headed to Holland, played for Groningen, and averaged nearly a goal every three games.

Ajax came calling and Suarez forced his move to the Dutch giants, scoring over 100 goals in three and a half seasons.  Suarez never won the league in a full season with de Godenzonen, but he did help the club to the 2010 Dutch Cup.  It was during the 2009/10 season that Suarez scored 49 goals in all competitions and won the Dutch Player of the Year award. European success eluded both the club and player during his time there, with their best finish coming in the 2008/09 Europa League in which the squad got to the Round of 16.

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During the winter transfer window of 2011, the Uruguayan player moved to Liverpool with Fernando Torres going to Chelsea.  His arrival was part of a rebuilding project for the storied club, along with Andy Carroll from Newcastle, which finally paid dividends during the 2013/14 season as Suarez’s partnership with Daniel Sturridge saw the Reds finish second and return to the Champions League after a four year absence.  His only silverware with the Merseyside club came in the 2012 League Cup Final.

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Suarez made his International debut in 2007 and is currently Uruguay’s all-time leading scorer with 41 goals in 79 appearances as of the 2014 World Cup.  He was part of a wonderful cycle that saw Uruguay finish fourth at the 2010 World Cup, losing to the Holland in the Semi Finals.  The following year, La Celeste claimed the Copa America, with Suarez scoring four goals and being named the player of the tournament.  With that success, Uruguay qualified for the 2013 Confederations Cup, making it to the Semis before falling at the hands of the hosts Brazil.

Luis_Suarez uruguay

Heading into the 2014 World Cup, El Pistolero only played two matches after undergoing surgery after the 2013/14 season but knocked out England with two well taken goals, which set up a high pressure game against Italy in the third group game.  He did not score and was involved in an incident with Chiellini, but Uruguay progressed 1-0.  Suarez was suspended for the match against Colombia, who won to move on to the Quarter Finals.