In the build-up to kick-off before Liverpools crunch game against Chelsea on Sunday, in which Luis Suarez attempted to bite his way out of a tussle with Branislav Ivanovic, there was talk about which Champions League club Suarez should move onto in the summer. The feeling was that Suarez has completed his stint with the Reds and deserved now to produce his best on the continents biggest stage alongside players of his undoubtedly high calibre.
Fast-forward a day in which Mike Tyson joined Suarez’s Twitter following out of admiration, and it’s perhaps a little easier to see why Suarez is a player with only one Champions League goal to his name.
Liverpool are a huge club with a worldwide following and proud history, but the level at which they are currently operating is arguably the level which Suarez deserves to be playing due to the question marks raised about his temperament and his ability to produce big headlines for the wrong reasons.
Suarez's goal scoring record at Ajax was breathtaking, particularly in the 2009-10 season when he scored 49 goals in 48 appearances (and chipped in with 16 assists), yet none of the Champions League clubs dared tread where Liverpool placed their best foot forward in January 2011. This was following a summer transfer window where David Villa went to Barcelona, Angel Di Maria to Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund bought Robert Lewandowski and even troubled wonder-kid Mario Balotelli found a move to Manchester City. In the same transfer window as Suarez’ move to Liverpool, City bought Edin Dzeko and Chelsea spent a whopping £50m on Fernando Torres - so the story here isn't that major clubs were not on the lookout for a forward, especially when you consider that Sergio Aguero, Alexis Sanchez and Radamel Falcao all moved clubs at the end of that same season.
Suarez had already earned the nickname 'Cannibal' following his bite on an opponents shoulder during a match in Holland and had a reputation for gathering yellow cards at a disconcerting rate. He also failed to endear himself when he celebrated rather enthusiastically after Ghana missed the penalty that was rewarded following his own version of the Hand of God in the quarter finals, however much you argue that most players would have put their hand out to save a goal from knocking their team out.
Suarez is one of the worlds great players and his child-like enthusiasm for playing the game translates into inspired imagination, superlative skill and amazing ability. When he can curtail his child-like trait of reacting when things don’t go his way by biting and name calling, he may finally get a move to one of the continents biggest clubs.
This observer salivates at the thought of Suarez playing alongside the greats of world football at a club such as Barcelona, Madrid or Bayern Munich, but as long as chairmen and managers across the continent care about their clubs carefully manicured and precious reputations, Suarez will have to wait for his taste of the big time.