Hold on a bit, I’m a Manchester United fan but that doesn’t mean I’m insane enough to believe O’Shea can do things like pass a ball, take on two, three players better than Suárez. Let’s go about it this way. Let’s assume a sign of good living is earning above an average wage of $1/week. About 85% of Norway might fall into this category while only 50% of people living in the U.S.A fall into this category. That means about 4.3 million Norwegians live well while about 150 million Americans live well. Relatively, Norway does better than the United States in terms of of providing good living conditions for it’s people while more U.S citizens live better than Norwegian citizens. Back to O’Shea and Suárez, O’Shea is our Norway while Suárez is our U.S.A and $1/week is football.
Let’s describe O’Shea. First thing that comes to mind is a decent footballer. Fairly consistent, decent on the ball, decent in attack, decent in defence. A decent & versatile footballer and that’s about it. Now to Suárez, some may go for skillful, quick, intelligent but let’s be honest, the word our brains tell us is SCUMBAG. Think Vito Corleone from the Godfather, though he’s a businessman, our brains ring mafia, ruthless et al. Same applies to Luis Suárez. While John O’Shea is probably 70/80% footballer (really, what else do we know about him), Luis Suárez is a street-smart scumbag who did probably accumulated some 10,000 hours of football whilst growing up.
A game against Luis Suárez isn’t a fair fight, at least for the defender. If in doubt, ask Gabriel Milito, Nicolas Burdisso or Javier Mascherano. Suárez plays the referee, the players, everyone till his will is done. At the end of it, he gets a pat on the back from his teammates, Óscar Tabárez or “King Kenny”. But what makes Suárez special is the fact that he isn’t what some would call a calculating son of a bitch, he’s just a scumbag who doesn’t know better. He gets frustrated, even while frustrating others. It comes naturally to him. Luckily for his side, all they get is a frustrated forward, but for the opposition, a frustrated defender can be a calamity.
It all begins with the handshakes. For the innocent, naive defender, he shakes Suárez just happy to have been given the role opposite Suárez. Meanwhile, Suárez sizes up the defender and resumes his evil thoughts continuing from where he stopped last night in bed. Luckily for us all, there are some defenders who are calculating sons of bitches programmed to ensure it doesn’t go all Suárez’s way. For these defenders, it begins long before kick-off, off-hand comments to the press, watching a few clips of Vinnie Jones (from the Crazy Gang) practicing his “art” then experiencing multiple orgasms re-watching Materazzi vs. Zidane from the 2006 World Cup over and over and over. When the time comes for the handshakes, the cross-examinations go both ways.
If it’s the naive defender, he’s in for a shocker. Suárez torments this type of defender with his skill and guile and if that’s not enough, the scumbag in Suárez brings itself to the fore as he gets frustrated. The naive defender is done for at this point. We might as well switch off our TV sets because he’ll lose his mind as his team loses.
Let’s go to the calculating defender. The handshaking introduction isn’t enough. He lets Luis know he’s there. Luckily for him, officials can’t make decisions based on video replays and there’s probably about 10/15/20 minutes when “no ones looking”. He steps in and works his magic. A little kick, some abusive language will do for Suárez cos as already noted, Suárez isn’t a calculating type, he’s a scumbag. He’ll react, he’ll get frustrated then the battle of scumbags begins
The Battle of Scumbags
It doesn’t take defensive skill to stop Luis Suárez, it takes a true & proper scumbag but of the calculating type. There’s an Italian term which perfectly describes this – Furbiza (Read the article to fully understand “this Furbiza”). Little fouls when the ball is in play and particularly when it isn’t, psychological warfare are his weapons. After fouling Suárez, he might as well walk up to him, pick him up, pull him close then land him a slight jab “no one sees”. This is bound to frustrate Suárez more until he loses it then maybe he bites you and gets sent off.
There are some 20 other players on, remember
While you may win the battle of scumbags against Luis, your team might be thwacked 3-0. Forlán could score from range while Jordan Henderson might score a volley but what matters is the battle of scumbags. If you lose it, Suárez will prey on you and hunt your sleep for quite sometime. If you win this battle irrespective of the team’s result, Suárez won’t forgive you. He’ll write your name down somewhere in his little pocketbook. And you might as well create your own legendary series because in the next game, if you triumph again, he’ll definitely bite you. What a Scumbag!!!!
Here’s to the battle of Scumbags in the 2011 Copa América final between Uruguay and Paraguay