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02nd May 2019

Luis Suarez was right to celebrate the way he did against Liverpool

Wayne Farry

luis suarez celebration

Muted celebrations have no place in football

Scoring a goal is one of the best feelings you can find on earth. Whether you’re a kid playing underage football, an out of shape adult playing five-a-side or Sunday league, or a professional at the top of their game, scoring a goal in football is a feeling like no other.

Your chest explodes, your limbs flail, you heart races – it’s exceptional and life affirming, and the thought of choosing a muted celebration, of suffocating this beautiful feeling so that you don’t hurt the feelings of the fans of your former employers, is an affront to the concept of joy.

As football supporters, we create artificial relationships with the footballers we like. If someone plays for our team, we feel like we know them. We love them in a way, we cheer them on, and somewhere deep in the back of our twisted minds we assume that they must feel a connection to us too.

But they don’t, because they’re just doing their jobs. Sure, footballers will think about fans from a supportive point of view, appreciating their cheers and their encouragement, but they don’t sit around mulling over what they owe them.

When a footballer who has played for many teams faces one of them, they’re unlikely to lose too much sleep worrying about how they’ll react. Football is a business, and footballers are significantly less sentimental than most supporters expect them to be. Crucially, they’re much less sentimental than supporters themselves.

It is within this context that Luis Suarez’ decision to celebrate vociferously after his goal against former club Liverpool on Wednesday is such a good thing to see.

Some Liverpool supporters were annoyed at the Uruguayan striker’s celebration, deeming it disrespectful or something similar. But Suarez – a man who has made it abundantly clear throughout his career that winning is the only thing he cares about – doesn’t play for Liverpool anymore, he plays for Barcelona now.

Barcelona pay his enormous wages, they allow him to play with the best footballer to ever live, and they give him the opportunity to score shit tonnes of goals.

That’s where his loyalties lie, not with a group of supporters who created an artificial connection with him many moons ago.