5 Reasons Luis Suarez Deserves His Ballon D'Or Nomination
Luis Suarez was rightly rewarded for his performances on the pitch in 2013 by being nominated for the Ballon d'Or (European Footballer of the Year award).
Suarez is named alongside 22 others, five of which play in the Premier League.
It's been another controversial year for the Uruguayan, but on the pitch his performances have once again gone to another level.
Here's five reasons why Suarez's name certainly deserves to be on the shortlist...
Goals: Lots of Them
Suarez has six goals in four games since his return from suspension, adding to the 14 goals in 18 games last season in 2013. That's an incredible 20 goals in 22 games.
22 goals in a calendar, having missed 10 matches through suspension and with 10 games remaining to add to that tally.
The quality of the goals has been excellent, too, as he doesn't take penalties and rarely does tap-ins.
His hat-trick against West Brom on Saturday showed the range of his abilities; nutmegging the defence and nonchalantly stroking the ball home for the opener, rifling a 17-yard header for the second, then adding another with his head for the third before crashing the ball onto the bar with a spectacular overhead!
47 - Luis Suárez has 36 goals and 11 assists in his last 46 games for Liverpool. Wow.— SuárezStats (@SuarezStats) October 26, 2013
Partnership with Sturridge
Make no mistake, Daniel Sturridge's £12m arrival from Chelsea in January made Liverpool a stronger side.
Sturridge's arrival reduced the reliance upon Suarez for goals, and consequently made the Uruguayan a better player.
Previously, Suarez would sometimes attempt to do too much himself. At times, it was like Suarez thought he must take on the defence himself. His enthusiasm and determination overtook him and sometimes affected his decision-making process.
Now, alongside Sturridge, he clearly believes in his strike partner and is happy to drop deeper and link (expertly) with the Englishman.
It's a deadly duo.
Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge have 14 goals & 3 assists between them in the league for Liverpool this season. #LFC— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 27, 2013
Unpredictable, Spectacular, Entertaining
Entertaining footballers have become a dying breed, but Luis Suarez certainly isn't going anywhere.
Whatever his flaws, Suarez is entertaining; he does the unexpected, he makes things happen and often it's spectacular.
He'll give defenders the run around, twist them inside out, then finish a goal with the outside of his foot without any hesitation. He makes it look easy when it really isn't.
Gary Neville wrote in The Daily Mail earlier this year:
He’s exactly the kind of player you would want in your team. And, as a fan, you would love to see him on your side.
Champions League Quality
OK, so Luis wanted to leave Liverpool in the summer to play in the Champions League. Who could blame him? He's certainly more than good enough to grace the competition.
Admittedly, the manner of his summer pursuit of a move away from Anfield was, at best, ill-advised, but the reason of wishing to play in Europe's top competition is understandable.
Luis Suarez needs to play in the Champions League. It would be a huge waste for him not to.
He turns 27 years old in January and no doubt he will achieve his ambition next season.
Hopefully that will be by lining up for Liverpool as the famous Champions League anthem rings around Anfield for the first time since the 2009/10 season.
Top Premier League scorers of 2013 (calendar year): Sturridge 21 Van Persie 20 Benteke 20 Suarez 20 Lukaku 16 Bale 16— Uber Football Facts (@UberFotbalFacts) October 27, 2013
Has there ever been a footballer who so frequently nutmegged defenders? Highly unlikely!
Suarez could nutmeg a mermaid, I swear to god.— The Twelfth Man (@_The12thMan) October 26, 2013
It's all down to the way he plays the game; with tenacity and passion—combined of course with his technical ability, speed of play and desire.