The FIFA World Cup may make Suarez the most hated player in England, and its not even his fault this time. The draw to determine the World Cup match-ups was held in Costa do Sauipe, Brazil today. Uruguay and England were selected in Group D along with Italy and Costa Rica. This means that Suarez will be up against the England team, including Liverpool FC teammate Stevie Gerrard. If his four goal performance against Norwich City this week is any indication of what to expect, then it seems likely that Suarez will certainly give England something to worry about.
Suarez has already earned the enmity of many Premier League fans after his suspension for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic in what was clearly the most bizarre stories to come out of the Barclay’s season to date. The pictures of the incident are favorites for Premier League pundits across England, and you can’t go more than a couple days before it pops up again to haunt him. In one moment of rage, he provided the perfect image for his detractors. It is not likely to stop showing up any time soon, and the picture is in the minds of everyone who follows the Premier League. If Suarez is the player that most of those EPL fans have watched him be for Liverpool against England in the FIFA World Cup, he will be hated by millions with that image to rally behind.
Though he has served that suspension and resumed playing for Liverpool, the shadow of that one moment continues to follow him. In fact, there are rumors all over Twitter that Suarez is considering a move to Real Madrid after this season. Those reports are unconfirmed, but when interviewed, Suarez indicated that his intentions were to stay with Liverpool until the end of the Premier League season, but did not comment about his intentions beyond that.
Official statements from the club state that Suarez is happy where he is, but they always do. The pressures of playing under the chastening eyes of the British public might just be wearing on him. It certainly does not appear to be effecting his performance on the pitch, but one might certainly view his heralded play as a pretty spectacular audition for any team considering making a play for him after the season. His trip to the FIFA World Cup could put that audition on a huge international stage, and a BBVA team like Real Madrid might actually be a good fit for him if he is looking to make a new start somewhere.
His play this season has distinguished him as one of the Premier League’s elite players. He demonstrates a skill with handling the ball and placing shots that is exciting to watch for any soccer fan, but there is a large contingent of fans who believe that the punishment for his actions should have been harsher. Now that he will be playing in the same FIFA World Cup group as England, all of his detractors will have ample opportunity to convert followers to their side. It is entirely possible that by doing nothing more than playing the game that he makes his living playing, he could catapult himself into the status of Most Hated Player in England.
By Jim Malone