DANNY MURPHY: Luis Suarez was a shadow of his former self in Uruguay’s draw with South Korea…he is picked on reputation alone and is NOT allowed to start against Portugal
Portugal versus Uruguay on Monday could be billed as a battle between the legends, Luis Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo. The reality is that with current opportunities, they are like chalk and cheese.
At 37, Ronaldo can’t squeeze 90 minutes, but he can still win your games. He is physically capable of scoring goals at any level of football. Sadly, from what I saw live during Uruguay’s 0-0 draw with South Korea, Suarez is a million light years away.
Suarez was one of the best I played against in the Premier League, he could dribble past you on both sides and his enthusiasm was contagious. It was sad to see his performance last night. He didn’t look fit, he couldn’t move, his touch was off.
Luis Suarez was a shadow of his former self in the draw with South Korea, says Danny Murphy
His selection is hard to justify with Darwin Nunez (right) and Edinson Cavani (left) in the squad
He was so flawed that I felt sorry for the other Uruguayan players, including Real Madrid’s brilliant Federico Valverde. Suarez’s presence on the field was unfair to them as it was like playing with 10 men. When he got the ball, he almost lost it every time.
I wonder if Suarez will start against Portugal. On merit, he shouldn’t. It would be on reputation alone. In my last year at Blackburn I needed someone to pull me out of the line of fire, to make the hard decision that I couldn’t make it any longer.
It feels like Suarez, who is 35, is now at the same stage and it’s not that Uruguay doesn’t have other target threats like Darwin Nunez or Edinson Cavani.
I want to remember Suarez as he was, not what I saw last week. I can’t tell you how sharp he was. He would lure you into a challenge and turn the back. If I stopped at the ball in midfield, he would come for you non-stop.
Suarez is only bullied on reputation and is not allowed to start against Portugal on Monday
I remember once getting a yellow card for a foul on Suarez. I lost it and started yelling at him and he just smiled back as if to say ‘I did my job, you have a yellow card’.
That was the real Luis Suarez. The current one is simply spoiled and is no longer worth its starting place.