You’ll have seen the footage of Luis Suarez stealing the show at his own son’s birthday party last week.
As Benja celebrated his 10th birthday with an indoor kickabout with his mates, Suarez couldn’t resist getting involved. Dusting down his boots. Proving to a young and captivated audience that class is permanent.
And the former Barcelona and Liverpool star wriggled free of his mini-markers at one corner before blootering home an overhead kick that left the half-dozen children on the goalline helpless.
It was very funny. And very on-brand for a player who married skill and sh*thousery and became one of the best strikers of his generation.
You wouldn’t be surprised if camera footage emerged of Suarez scoffing Benja’s birthday cake or stamping on balloons behind unsuspecting parents.
The 36-year-old has spent the last year in Brazil, signing for Gremio last January and producing moments of jaw-dropping skill alongside the usual nonsense.
And, on a humid October afternoon, Suarez treated the Porto Alegre derby against Internacional like the opening of Hamlet at the Globe Theatre. With himself in the leading role, of course.
He scored a mole-murdering free-kick to briefly give Gremio hope of an improbable comeback, taking advantage of his opponent’s lackadaisical wall and goalkeeper who seemed set in treacle to find the back of the net.
Luis Suarez. Still got it.pic.twitter.com/NbGiqmnaWS
— Planet Football (@planetfutebol) October 9, 2023
But we’re not here for that. We’re here for Suarez reacting to one heavy challenge with the dream-like acrobatics of a man fully committed to his bit.
For starters, Suarez was fouled. Despite spending his career as the resident boy who cried wolf, the Uruguayan will be feeling the ill effects of Rene’s challenge this morning. The yellow card was justified and not just for the Internacional defender’s haircut.
But the 36-year-old has always been a bit peculiar, even when discounting all the times he mistook opponents as leftovers from the asado.
And it’s not a lack of imagination that’s left us wondering how Suarez reacted to Rene’s tackle with the kind of forward roll that’s usually the preserve of your local pre-school. It looks pretty strenuous too, considering Suarez isn’t exactly Skelator.
The card-waving gesture that’d get him hung, drawn and quartered in England these days was par for the course. The amateur gymnastics can be added to his immense canon of sh*thousery.
Suarez has scored 19 goals in 41 appearances for Gremio, but it appears he’ll call time on his career at the end of 2023 after agreeing to end his contract early with the club.
Earlier this year the forward revealed he is in ‘constant pain’ amid his battle with injuries which had led to his decision to bring his time at the club to an earlier end than originally planned.
Rumours of a move to Inter Miami, where Suarez would link up with Lionel Messi once more, were mooted but have dampened down in recent months.
If Suarez calls time on his playing days, the world of football will be poorer for his absence. The world of football sh*thousery will be even poorer.
By Michael Lee