“I am delighted to have agreed a new deal with Liverpool and have my future secured for the long term,” said Suarez at the time. “I believe I can achieve the ambitions of winning trophies and playing at the very highest level with Liverpool.”
He came close to winning the title for them until Steven Gerrard slipped against Chelsea and surrendered their chance of glory. 24 years and counting…
The contract extension came as a surprise as just a few months earlier he was threatening to hand in a transfer request so he could leave Liverpool for Arsenal, Real Madrid, or anyone else that wanted him.
Suarez claimed that he had an agreement with the club that if they didn’t finish in the top four he would be allowed to leave for £40m, which prompted a £40,000,001 bid from Arsenal.
“I gave absolutely everything last season but it was not enough to give us a top-four finish – now all I want is for Liverpool to honour our agreement,” he said in an interview with The Guardian.
He also gave an interview with The Telegraph, claiming he felt “betrayed” by the club, and again reiterated his desire to leave.
“I have told the manager that I want to leave the club,” he said. “I am being accused of showing a lack of loyalty but last year I had the opportunity to move to a big European club and I stayed on the understanding that if we did not qualify for the Champions League the following season then I would be allowed to go.”
Strange then that now Liverpool have qualified for the Champions League, Suarez has left anyway. He will no doubt give a gushing interview where he declares his undying love for the club he has just chosen to leave, and those mugs will lap it up, just like they did all his other lies.
You see, an insane number of Liverpool fans didn’t even bother to read the FA report when he was found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra. I don’t come in to contact with many scousers, and it’s probably unfair to judge their support purely on the muppets I come across on Twitter, but it’s unnerving just how many of their fans turned a blind eye to what he did.
“Negrito isn’t an offensive term in Uruguay” Liverpool fans tell me. Interestingly enough, the term “negrito” isn’t mentioned once by Suarez or Evra in the FA report. Why? Because Suarez admitted he called Evra a “negro” and that version was corroborated by Evra. The term “negrito” was banded about before the report was published and journalists were merely speculating.
“Negro isn’t an offensive term in Uruguay” other Liverpool fans tell me. Interestingly, the independent language experts who gave evidence in the FA hearing agreed. “Negro” isn’t an offensive term, depending on the context.
Professor Peter Wade (a specialist in race and ethnicity in Latin America) and Dr James Scorer (who works in the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, and whose research focuses on Latin American urban politics and cultures, as well as on national and regional identities) both agreed that the term “negro”, when used amongst friends and family, was not insulting. These experts said that in all cases when the word is used in this way, the way Suarez claimed it was used, it implies a sense of rapport or the attempt to create such rapport.
However, the experts agreed without any question that the word used in the way it was by Suarez, in the midst of an argument, following a foul and aggressive language from both players, it is a racist insult.
Despite the claims from Liverpool at the time, this case was never decided on one man’s word against another. This fact was accepted by both Mr Greaney (the FA’s representative) and Mr McCormick (Suarez’s representative) in closing submissions
Suarez was found guilty because he admitted he called Evra a “negro” and the language experts found his defence to be nonsensical. The fact that Suarez was pinching Evra’s skin at the time further condemned him.
In Suarez’s witness statement, he bizarrely claimed that he pinched Evra to “defuse” the situation. Under questioning, he admitted that claim wasn’t true.
In his witness statement, Suarez claimed that he used the word in a “friendly and affectionate” way. At the time this excuse appeared to be utterly ludicrous, given the players were behaving in anything but a “friendly and affectionate” manner. But having heard Suarez’s explanation for biting Giorgi Chiellini, his defence for racially abusing Evra seems commonplace. He is so used to making up bizarre lies to defend his appalling behaviour.
Another brilliant example of this was following his first game against Evra after racially abusing him. In the customary pre-match handshake, Suarez refused Evra’s hand.
“I have spoken with the manager since the game at Old Trafford and I realise I got things wrong,” Suarez said afterwards.“I have not only let [Dalglish] down but also the club and what it stands for and I’m sorry. I made a mistake and I regret what happened. I should have shaken Patrice Evra’s hand before the game and I want to apologise for my actions.”
Ian Ayre, Liverpool’s CEO, released a statement condemning the actions of the striker. “We are extremely disappointed Luis Suárez did not shake hands with Patrice Evra before yesterday’s game,” he said. “The player had told us beforehand that he would but then chose not to do so. He was wrong to mislead us and wrong not to offer his hand to Patrice Evra. It has been made absolutely clear to Luis Suárez that his behaviour was not acceptable.”
However, the same bonkers Liverpool fans who certainly didn’t read the report, started posting screenshots and slow motion replays of the handshake. Despite the footage clearly showing Evra holding out his hand and Suarez refusing to shake it, they were intent on trying to prove that in fact it was Evra who refused Suarez’s hand.
So, what did Suarez do? He gave an interview a few months later, as if all the apologies from him and his club never happened, and said it was all Evra’s fault.
“Before the match against Man United, I promised my wife, the manager and the directors that I was going to shake my hand with Evra,” he said. “Why not, I thought, because I had no problems with him. I had been punished because of him, but I had no problems with shaking hands. But I was not forced to greet him. It was only a handshake and I was OK with that. But it was a misunderstanding, what happened between me and Evra at Old Trafford. In fact, I think it was all arranged against me again, as it had happened with the punishment. The media in England showed the moment when I passed in front of him, but they didn’t see that he had his hand low before. Only the media in Uruguay but also in Spain showed that I wanted to shake his hand. But in England, Man United has this political power, and you have to respect that and shut your mouth.”
The bloke just isn’t right in the head. The 48 games he’s been banned for since 2010, without a single red card, is testament to that. But the Liverpool manager and players put his face on their t-shirts after he had been found guilty of racial abuse. After biting Branislav Ivanovic they stuck by him. After giving interviews about his desperation to leave they rewarded him with a massive contract.
But now players in the Premier League no longer have to run the risk of being racially abused and bitten whenever they play Liverpool. And, presuming his deal with Juventus goes through, Evra won’t have to suffer the boos and verbal abuse at Anfield next season, for having the audacity to report the fact a Liverpool player racially abused him.