Luis Suarez has no time to hold back, no desire to let regrets slow him down. The 27-year-old striker’s career has been dotted with extraordinary highs and controversial lows. This ability to steal the headlines has been apparent during a tumultuous spell at Liverpool.
His tempetuous brilliance helped the Anfield club go from also-rans to Premier League title challengers last season, in the process rehabilitating an image that hit rock bottom after his primordial biting incident with Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic in April 2013.
This livewire talent means he heads to Brazil as Uruguay’s main hope, one of the World Cup’s most talked about stars.
Suarez’s dichotomy first gained global exposure four years ago at the last World Cup. After excelling up front alongside Diego Forlan and Edinson Cavani he sparked a wave of criticism with a late handball that denied Ghana entry into the semi-finals, showing callous disregard for his actions as he brazenly celebrated with his team despite his unsporting dismissal.
But Suarez – in typical forthright fasion – has declared he will not be revisiting the past.
“It is something I have finished talking about,” he said. “We are looking at a new World Cup – there is no need to be talking about something that was nearly four years ago. It was a reaction, nothing more and nothing less, it could have happened to anybody.”
After narrowly missing out on the EPL title with Liverpool, his attention now switches to Brazil.
In a highly competitive Group D featuring Italy, Costa Rica and familiar foes England, Uruguay will have to be at their best to progress to the knockout stages.
“Of course I will know the players in the England team very well, especially the ones from Liverpool. England has many good players – they don’t always play their best at the World Cup – but maybe now is their time," explains Suarez.
“Italy has a very strong history at the World Cup. They are very organised, very defence minded and we might have to be patient when we play them.
“With Costa Rica, I think we have to be careful about saying what two from Uruguay, Italy, and England will progress from the group. Costa Rica are at the World Cup because they deserve to be.”
Suarez was unheralded coming into the South African tournament, a burgeoning talent with Dutch side Ajax. He has moved to another level since arriving in Merseyside in January 2011, last term seeing him share the European Golden Boot award with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo following a haul of 31 goals in 30 games.
Suarez credits his move to the Premier League for making him a more rounded player.
“England for me is the strongest league in the world. You maybe have six or seven teams that are Champions League quality – I don’t think there is any other league that can say that.
“When you are playing against that sort of quality every week, it forces you to become a better player. Of course it is a lot more physical as well, especially with the teams lower down – they like to let you know they are there.
“You can have the technical ability, but unless you adjust to the physical side of the English game you will find it very hard to be successful," adds ther former Ajax man.
The 2010 World Cup was lit up by Forlan, claiming the best player and joint top scorer titles as Uruguay surprised everyone by finishing in fourth place.
The 35-year-old will travel to Brazil, but it will be up to Cavani and Suarez to weave their magic as the veteran watches from the bench.
Suarez is hoping their close relationship off the pitch can lead to success on it.
“With myself and Edinson the most important thing is that we are good friends, we speak often on the phone and that helps with our connection," reveals Suarez. "We will obviously be working hard on our partnership which I hope will be dangerous – but we are just two players in a very good Uruguay team.”
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