Liverpool Balls: The Redemption Of ‘Evil’ Luis Suarez
IT looks very much as if Luis Surez bit Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini. As ever, Suarez is fantastically entertaining, giving us all a something to talk about and worth watching. Which ever club he plays for next season will be lucky to have him. He puts bums on seats and sells TV packages.
As Luis mulls over the future, we take time to revisit the words used to annoint Suarez when he was welcomed back into the (swallows sick) ‘football family’ after his respective bans for biting and calling Manchester United’s Patrice Evra a “negrito” over and over and over.
That word is “redemption”, defined as:
1. the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil.
“God’s plans for the redemption of his world”
synonyms: saving, saving/freeing from sin, vindication, absolution - a thing that saves someone from error or evil - “his marginalization from the Hollywood jungle proved to be his redemption”
2. the action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt.
“the peasants found the terms of redemption unattractive”
News was that being very good at football after his bans was a sign that Suarez was touched by God’s love. Never mind that Suarez was a very good footballer before he verbally abused Evra and bit a Serb, the media narrative was that as every Suarez goal hit the net, he was cleansed of past sins. He was good because he was morally on-message.
Football was not about fun and ecsapism. The media had bought into the Government’s balls that footballers were ‘role models’ whose every act was seized upon by a foaming working class. If Luis Suarez gets away with calling Evra a negrito, there’d be a race riot. His hilarious nibbling would lead to cannablism in the playground.
So. The story was of a chastened and fully reformed man. He was now saved. And so were we all.
But let’s not forget that the Liverpool fans never stopped loving him.
Last summer, Brandan Rodgers said Suarez was a player “very much valued at Liverpool”. He was “not for sale at any price”. His predecessor, Kenny Dalglish, told us after the Evra incidenct that “it’s time for all of us to draw a line under what happened…[and] move on”. Dalglish added that the banned Suarez “should never have been out in the first place”.
And on he went:
“We have spoken to Suárez. I know he will shake the hand of Patrice Evra and the other Manchester United players before the game.”
Eyes rolled. The suggestions was that it was Suarez who had been wronged; it was he who could forgive.
Liverpool stood by their best player.
But the buzzword was redemption:
James Ducker, Times, September 25 2013:
Luis Suárez begins redemption
Liverpool’s controversial No7 Luis Suarez is a picture of humility as he wins the Football Supporters’ Federation Player of the Year award at the Emirates…
Fair play to Luis Suárez. Liverpool’s controversial centre-forward turned up at the Emirates Stadium on Monday night, a No 7 dressed to the nines, arriving early and staying late because he wanted totalk to fans from a variety of clubs who had just voted him the William Hill Football Supporters’ Federation Player of the Year. Suárez must have felt after all the criticism he has received that this was a night of acceptance, of redemption.
Luis Suarez: Thick skin has helped striker’s Liverpool FC redemption
Is anyone else a little uncomfortable with the speed of Luis Suarez’s apparent redemption? On Monday he was awarded the Football Supporters’ Federation Player of the Year barely 24 hours after captaining Liverpool in their trouncing of Spurs.
There can be no doubting that Suarez is the best player in the Premier League on current form and one of the world’s finest talents. His performance at White Hart Lane was yet another whirlwind of destruction, wreaking hurricane-level damage on vaunted opposition.
But that is not really the point…
Yes it is.
If he does complete the transformation from villain to footballer of the year, Luis Suarez’s journey to redemption actually began against Sunderland.
His captain, Steven Gerrard, admitted he had not expected to see him in a Liverpool shirt again in the wake of his 10-match ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic. And yet here he was on Wearside in September, having scored the first of his two goals and then pulling up the club’s black away strip to reveal a T-shirt welcoming his son Benjamin into the world.
Luis Suarez Has Redemption at Liverpool with Champions League Qualification
Luis Suarez completes redemption with Footballer of the Year award
Redemption completed, then.
Those aren’t bite marks in Chiellini’s shoulder. That was a momento from Saint Luis’ Last Supper.