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EL PISTOLERO: Proof That Luis Suárez Is The Best Striker Football Has Seen So Far This Millenium

by Ozymandias
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Samuel Eto’o, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, Sergio Aguero, Thierry Henry, Fernando Torres and many more.. the world of football has truly been blessed with strikers with a wide array of skills and talents since the turn of the millennium. 

Some are dribbling masters, some are speedsters, some of them have insane strength and stamina, some of them’s eyes for goals would even make snipers envious, some of them are geniuses at reading the game, and some of them embody more than one of these talents.

There is a saying that your offense wins you matches while your defense wins you titles. Elite strikers in the modern game definitely won matches for their teams with goals while providing top-tier entertainment to their viewers.

These guys were regarded as elite strikers for good reason. Some of them embodied more than one of these talents listed above and also a very limited few, the top brass, embodied them all. Arguably none of the top brass did it better than Luis Suárez aka El Pistolero.

The former Liverpool and Barcelona striker is one of the most controversial footballers of all time. You might love him or hate him but one thing is no one can ever deny his elite footballing prowess. 

All nuances aside, here’s why Luis Suárez is the best striker of his generation:

SUAREZ WAS PART OF THE GREATEST ATTACK TRIO FOOTBALL HAS EVER SEEN

When Barcelona paid €81.7 million to sign Suárez from Liverpool to bolster their offense that already included Messi and Neymar, it was obvious they would become sensational. However, many never knew just how sensational they would become. 

Messi, Suárez, and Neymar (MSN) became the stuff of legends!

Messi’s dribbling and playmaking, Neymar’s flair and trickery, and Suárez’s tenacity and finishing created a near-unstoppable attacking force. They understood each other’s movements and instinctively knew where and when to pass and run.

Their success showed that a trio could be more than just the sum of its parts, achieving a level of coordination and understanding rarely seen before. They set a new benchmark for attacking trios and influenced how coaches and players approach offensive tactics.

During their time together (2014-2017), the trio scored a whopping 364 goals combined with Suárez and Messi each bagging over 100. They were the stuff of nightmares of pretty much every defense. 

They also won 8 trophies during their time together and each of them was nominated for the Ballon d’Or at least once.

SUAREZ WON THE EUROPEAN GOLDEN SHOE AWARD TWICE WHEN MESSI AND RONALDO WERE IN THEIR PRIME

It would be hard to make any valid argument as to why Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are not the greatest players in the history of football.

The feats they’ve accomplished would be very difficult, if not impossible, to replicate, To put it into perspective, the two of them shared the Ballon d’Or award for 10 straight years. 

As a testament to his prowess, Suárez still managed to win the European Golden Shoe not once, but twice while Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were in the highlight stage of their careers.

The first came in the 2015-16 season when he scored 40 goals in La Liga. The second came in the 2016-17 season when he scored 37 goals, however, it’s important to note that he shared the award with Messi as he also scored 37 goals that season.

SUAREZ ALMOST LED LIVERPOOL TO A PREMIER LEAGUE TITLE DESPITE PLAYING WITH A FAR LESS-THAN-FORMIDABLE SIDE

Many believe that El Pistolero would never have opted to leave Anfield provided the club had invested in bringing in top-tier players.

To show how vital a cog the Uruguayan was to the Liverpool machine, in the 2012-13 season, the Reds scored 71 goals in the Premier League with Suarez bagging 23 out of the 71.

He alone scored approximately 34 percent of Liverpool’s goals that year in the Premier League.

In the following season (2013-14) the only stand-out players in the Liverpool squad were Steven Gerrard, Phillipe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling, and of course Luis Suárez.

Despite this limitation, the Uruguayan almost spearheaded Liverpool to their 19th Premier League title by scoring 31 goals in 33 games.

However, they lost out to Manchester City, a team owned by an Arab billionaire with a dedication to ensuring his side always remains formidable by constantly recruiting the best talent on the market.

Suárez left the following season to join Barcelona and went on to achieve very great things with the Catalans.

This is the story of El Pistolero. Just like Andriy Shevchenko and Micheal Owen, a striker with his immense talents deserved to win at least one Ballon d’Or. It’s hard to imagine him not winning at least one if he played in a time before or after the Messi-Ronaldo era. 

All things taken into consideration, the Uruguayan is definitely the best striker so far this millennium. 

But will it stay this way for long?

At only 23 years of age, Manchester City’s Erling Haaland is already a force to be reckoned with. He broke the Premier League goal-scoring record in his first season with Pep Guardiola’s side, won the treble, and achieved other amazing feats along the way. 

In terms of sharpness in front of goal, one can say Haaland has already surpassed El Pistolero. Whether or not the Norwegian will surpass the former Barcelona striker in other aspects waits to be seen.

At 36 years of age, Luis Suarez recently joined his former teammate and 8-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi at Inter Miami CF. Age is not on their side but the two of them evidently still have the skills to shape things up in Major League Soccer.

It is worth paying attention to what the Uruguayan might accomplish with Inter Miami alongside his former partner of the legendary MSN.

This article was updated 4 months ago

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