Luis Suarez Has Reached Legend Status at Liverpool with Stellar Season

Stuart Newman@@StuNewmanSportFeatured ColumnistMarch 30, 2014

Liverpool's Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring against Everton, during their English Premier League soccer match at Goodison Park Stadium, Liverpool, England, Saturday Nov. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Jon Super

If Liverpool manage to find a way to win the Premier League title this season, they’ll look back at the contribution of striker Luis Suarez as the critical reason behind it.

Despite missing the first five matches through suspension, Suarez has taken the league by storm and chalked up 29 goals in 27 appearances for the Reds, putting them on course for their first top-flight title in 24 years.

Suarez’s well-taken strike during the 4-0 demolition of Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday got the Uruguayan to the magic total of 29 goals for the season, making him the highest-scoring Red in a single Premier League campaign—per Opta Joe on Twitter:

The previous record was held by former striker Robbie Fowler, who got himself on the scoresheet 28 times during the 1995/96 season.

Fowler, who enjoyed two spells with Liverpool from 1993-2001 and 2006-2007, was full of praise for the Uruguayan during an interview with Henry Winter of The Telegraph, saying:

Luis is up with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and has been all season. I could really see him breaking that [Andy] Cole and [Alan] Shearer record. When you look at Luis and Daniel Sturridge on the pitch, they have so much confidence. They look guaranteed to score.

Andy Cole and Alan Shearer currently share the record for the most goals in a single Premier League season with 34, albeit in 42-game seasons rather than the 38-game season that Suarez operates in.

The current 38-game record stands at 31 goals, with Alan Shearer and Cristiano Ronaldo sharing the honour, though, the Liverpool frontman is nipping at their heels with just two more required to enter the history books—making him not just a Liverpool legend, but a Premier League legend, also.

Robbie Fowler scores against Newcastle United during his fruitful 1995/96 campaign
Robbie Fowler scores against Newcastle United during his fruitful 1995/96 campaignGetty Images/Getty Images

While Ronaldo is widely regarded as the best player on the planet, and there are those that will argue that no player comes close to the Portuguese striker, Fowler deeming Suarez just as good doesn’t come without reason.

According to Uber Football Fact’s Twitter feed, Suarez’s league form just about trumps that of Ronaldo, who has been irresistible for Real Madrid this season:

Fowler goes on to Winter that he feels honoured to be compared to the wonderful talent that is Suarez, and that if anyone has to beat his records, then he’s happy for it to be the Uruguayan:

Comparing Luis to me makes me feel good as he’s an extraordinary player. If he’s matching me and beating me, I’m happy with that. Luis is a brilliant player, one of those players that has me sitting on the edge of my seat. If Luis wins the Premier League this year then he’ll be rightly classed as a Liverpool legend in my eyes.

The prospect of Liverpool being crowned Premier League champions in May is now very realistic with just six games remaining and the Reds in the driver's seat.

If Liverpool do take the title, it won’t only be Suarez that will be given legend status, many of Brendan Rodgers’ talented squad will, too.

Though Sunderland manager Gus Poyet argued that without Suarez, Liverpool would be a mid-table club—per SkySports—there have been outstanding performers all over the field for the Reds this year.

You could argue: How many goals would Suarez have scored without his partner in crime, Daniel Sturridge, spoon-feeding him his way to the net? How many records would he have broken without Steven Gerrard’s inspirational performances driving his team forward in the heart of midfield?

Who knows, but the fact of the matter is, Suarez remains irreplaceable at Anfield, as he would be in any side.

The 27-year-old has had an appetite for goals wherever he’s laid his Uruguayan hat throughout his career, scoring 167 goals in 269 league appearances, according to SoccerBase.

Suarez scores his all-important 29th goal of the season against Tottenham
Suarez scores his all-important 29th goal of the season against TottenhamAlex Livesey/Getty Images

There’s never been doubt that Suarez has the kind of talent that every footballer craves, but it was his conduct both on and off the pitch that put his status of a Liverpool player under threat, never mind legend.

However, the days of diving and biting appear to be over, and his changed attitude has finally enabled him let his football do the talking—and it’s the kind of dominant talking that never looks like shutting up.

They say "it takes one to know one," and when a Liverpool legend like Fowler deems Suarez good enough for the Liverpool hall of fame, you know you've got yourself a special talent.

Whether Liverpool have what it takes to win the Premier League remains to be seen, but we know for a fact that Suarez will have etched himself into Liverpool folklore forever no matter the destiny of the title.


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