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UEFA Champions League Final: Out of order last summer, but out of this world since

05 Jun | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
UEFA Champions League Final: Out of order last summer, but out of this world since

This is the stage that Luis Suarez deserves to be on, writes Darren Lewis

We know what he did last summer.

Luis Suarez was the pariah of that time. He had bitten Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini. He had shown no contrition or even an acceptance of his third such action. He was thrown out of the World Cup.

And he used the firestorm that he’d created to engineer a move to Barcelona – weeks after publicly insisting he would not be angling to leave.

The four-month ban from all footballing activity that Suarez received at the time was entirely deserved.

But he has served his time. And Saturday now looks set to be his stage.

The Champions League Final – Juventus against Barcelona, Italy versus Spain – will be an intoxicating cocktail of styles and skills. 

Juve are back there after 12 years. They are the first Italian team to make it since Jose Mourinho and Inter Milan five years ago.

They are fresh from their fourth, facile title win. They continue to be inspired by Gianluigi Buffon – still the world’s most expensive keeper – old master Andrea Pirlo and the evergreen Carlos Tevez.

And in the exciting Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal they have two of the most coveted midfielders in Europe.

Barcelona may not be the formidable outfit of years gone by but they are still quite something. They have re-established themselves as the top team in Spain. 

They are hunting a fourth title in nine years and are spearheaded by the mesmeric Lionel Messi, currently the finest footballer in the world.

At the back they have shipped only 21 goals in the league all season. Whether the legendary Xavi starts or not, Iniesta, Busquets and Rakitic will do nicely in midfield.

Then, Juve’s defensive line will have to cope with the attacking threat of Neymar, Messi and Suarez.

Whatever the tactical ins and outs of a contest sure to prove an antidote to the corruption engulfing FIFA, this is where a player of Suarez’s talents deserves to be.

After a slow start following his suspension, he has hit 16 League goals for Barca, eight in the Cups and has formed a devastating understanding with his strike partners.

You might not like him as a person and, if he is honest, he will admit that the manner in which he forced his way out of Anfield last year did not do him any credit whatsoever.

But he had done his job for a club that [have] failed to build on what he had given them. 

He had carried Liverpool on his back to the brink of an incredible success in a title race they had no right to be him after their seventh-placed finish the year before.

He’d scored 31 goals, electrified Anfield, inspired Daniel Sturridge, invigorated the team. Yet still ended up in tears at Crystal Palace after his side could not stop the Eagles scoring three times in 11 minutes to end their bid.

Nonetheless he had still shot Liverpool back into the money spinning promised land of the Champions League. What more could he have done for them?

When the chance presented itself to do what he did for the Reds at Barcelona, Suarez decided he didn’t want to have any more regrets. He took it.

As he struggled to find his feet last autumn there were suggestions that maybe the Reds would end up with the last laugh after the way that he’d treated them.

But, whether you like him or not, you can’t keep quality players like Luis Suarez down. Saturday’s Champions League Final, alongside Messi and Neymar, is his stage.

He will want to ensure there are no more regrets. He has every chance of doing so.

Luis Suarez Champions League Specials:

100/1 – Luis Suarez to bite a player
25/1 – Evra and Suarez to swap shirts at the final whistle
5/1 – Evra and Suarez not to shake hands
5/2 – Luis Suarez to receive a card
28/1 – Luis Suarez to score a hat-trick

All Champions League Final betting