Luis Suarez will soon be someone else's problem. The maligned but supremely talented striker has officially made it known he wishes to leave Liverpool this offseason, not because of the money, but because of the...paparazzi. Suarez spoke about a move out of England in advance of Uruguay's upcoming friendly with France. Per Simon Jones and John Edwards of the Daily Mail:
It's a good moment for a change of environment because of all I've been through in England.
My reason for leaving is not the money. If it were the money I would have left already. My main reason is my family and my image.
It is a difficult moment for me, my coach and my colleagues know that they [the press] didn't treat me well.
Because of the paparazzi I could not go in my garden, I could not go to the supermarket...being persecuted from the paparazzi all the time.
Suarez did thank Liverpool and its adoring fans and did admit that all the attention was because of his own mistakes. Still, the hilariousness of Suarez blaming someone holding a camera for the unraveling of his Liverpool tenure is incredibly wonderful.
Suarez should be no fan of cameras at this point. After all, it was a series of cameras that led to his multiple suspensions at Anfield. The last suspension, which Suarez will have to finish serving next season in the EPL if he is still employed by a club in England's top flight, was for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, an in-game nibble for which Suarez wasn't even booked.
The cameras saw everything, and Suarez was eventually given another long suspension in his tumultuous career at Liverpool. That must have been the camera's fault.
Look, I don't think it's necessarily fair how the paparazzi handle celebrities at all, following them in their everyday lives and snapping pictures of them with their significant others and, in the case of Suarez recently, children. There should be limits to when and where people—even celebrities—are allowed to be photographed, and it's shameful that camera-carrying stalkers get lumped in under the larger "media" umbrella.
Having said that, Suarez completely and utterly brought this attention on himself, not with his stellar play but with his incomprehensible inability to stay out of trouble on the field. To tell the Uruguayan media he wants to leave England because of the scrutiny he's been forced to deal with is not only ironic, it's, frankly, what we should expect from a player who has shown such little remorse in his career.
Liverpool should look at this news as a blessing—I almost wrote that Liverpool shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, but the joke seemed too easy to make—but the club is digging in its heels, suggesting on Friday that Suarez is not going anywhere, according to a report from James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo:
Luis Suarez is not for sale. Neither Luis nor his representatives have communicated these feelings directly to Liverpool Football Club. The club remains supportive of Luis and expect him to honour his contract.
We should all be able to see right through that statement as a weak effort to drive up the price for Suarez, who is already linked to a move to Real Madrid, according to the aforementioned Daily Mail report.
Suarez has been able to get by on his world-class talent, having been defended by many Liverpool fans over the last two seasons because of his proclivity for filling up the net, scandals be damned. Now it seems the Anfield faithful will have a chance to see Suarez for what he really is: more trouble than he's worth.
Don't get me wrong; he's worth a lot. Those Madrid rumors come with a price tag of ₤40 million, which is crazy for a team that probably doesn't need the baggage Suarez brings but great for a club looking to jettison the troublemaker to a club they won't have to face twice a season.
No matter where he goes, the player does need a new start. As fantastic as he was for Liverpool on the field, he is a horrible fit for the Premier League, and his consistent disregard for the rules should give Liverpool very little indication he will be able to control his actions in the future.
Forget about what Liverpool officially said in that statement: They have to be ecstatic that Suarez made the first move in this eventual dissolution.
The club will be able to move Suarez without much fan backlash, get more money than what it paid Ajax to get him—perhaps double its investment—and use those funds to get a striker with more reliability, if perhaps a bit less dynamism.
In a way, the sooner Suarez is gone from the EPL, the sooner everybody wins. Liverpool will be rid of the headache Suarez brings and can spend the money he'll garner in the transfer market on someone else. Real Madrid, if that ends up being his final destination, get a tenacious goal-scoring threat to install in one of the best offensive clubs in the world. Suarez gets a fresh start in a country where—from a language and culture standpoint—he should have an easier time fitting in than he has had in England.
In truth, the only group who loses out if Suarez leaves Liverpool would be those damned paparazzi, which would give Suarez even more reason to leave. Somehow, methinks the paparazzi will be just fine stalking someone else next season.