A case for Luis Suarez – Why he deserved the ‘Best Player In Europe’ award, and not Messi

    Football Soccer - Sevilla v Barcelona- Spanish SuperCup first leg - Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium, Seville, Spain - 14/08/16 Barcelona's Luis Suarez (R) celebrates after scoring against Sevilla. REUTERS/Jon Nazca

    Messi or Ronaldo, why always them? They have dominated world football since 2008 when Cristiano Ronaldo won the FIFA World Player of the Year.

    The following year it was Lionel Messi, the last to win the award before France Football’s Ballon d’Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year award was merged in 2010 – and now it is known as the FIFA Ballon d’Or.

    Since the inception of the FIFA Ballon d’Or in 2010, no other player has won the award, except Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who have won the award five times between them.

    The Barcelona ace won it on three consecutive times from 2010 to 2012, before Real Madrid’s superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo won it in 2013 and 2014. He hopes to win it again this year to complete his own Ballon d’Or hat-trick.

    Moving on to the UEFA Best player in Europe Award, which was created in 2011 by UEFA, to replace UEFA Club Footballer of the Year award – and aimed at reviving the European Footballer of the Year Award (Ballon d’Or), which was merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year Award in 2010 to become the FiFA Ballon d’Or.

    Since its inception in 2011, which means the award has been given out five times from 2011 to 2015, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have won it three times – it was only 2012 and 2013 that Andres Iniesta and Franck Ribery won it respectively.

    Lionel Messi has won record two times (2011, 2015) and Cristiano Ronaldo won it last year.

    So again the duo are dominant here as well and it will not be a surprise if one of them wins it next year – I hope to see a change.

    A change that should have happened in this year’s award – for me personally, I think Luis Suarez deserved to win this year’s UEFA Best player in Europe Award, ahead of winner Lionel Messi and nominee Cristiano Ronaldo.

    It is not fair, because whether Messi or Ronaldo, other players equally contribute to the success of their respective clubs.

    Barcelona won the treble (La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League) last season, but Messi could not have done it alone.

    Together with Suarez and Neymar they formed the MSN, one of the most fearsome trios in the world, and together they helped in Barcelona’s success.

    So the question is, why single out Messi as the one who deserves the award?

    I am struggling to come to terms as to why they chose Lionel Messi and not Luis Suarez or Neymar.

    Yes, I will agree that the Argentina international is on another level, but if truth be told, last season both Suarez and Neymar did equally great.

    My case is for Luis Suarez so would focus on him and why I think he deserved to win the UEFA Best Player In Europe Award.

    His first season at Camp Nou was spectacular and despite starting his season in late-October after serving a FIFA ban for biting at the World Cup, he was nominated for the UEFA Best Player in Europe award.

    As I stated early on, he was equally great just like Messi and will not be out of proportion to say he was on the same level with Lionel Messi last season.

    If we fast-forward to the event at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, the Uruguayan showed his worth when he scored for Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League final against Juventus – Messi would have wished to score as well, but he couldn’t.

    Even before the narrative in Berlin, his class was evident during his debut in the El Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu.

    His trademark assist for Neymar to open the scoring was indeed that of a world class, even though Barcelona lost to Real Madrid that day.

    He did not stop there, against then champions Atletico Madrid, which they won 3-1 at the Camp Nou, the former Liverpool forward was throbbingly good – his energy and intelligence was again that of a world class.

    From his goal that night, he then scored or assisted – or both – in eight of the next ten Liga games, culminating in his clincher against Real Madrid in the second Clásico.

    Even when he did not score, he made the space – he opened up channels for Neymar and Lionel Messi to exploit. He was the goal-hungry striker who consistently squared the ball instead of netting himself.

    In the Champions League round of 16, he notched twice against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, transforming a difficult away trip into a showcase which practically put his side into the last eight.

    Yet another show at Parc des Princes against Paris Saint-Germain, when in the first leg of the Champions League Quarter-finals, Suárez was now scoring for fun. Two more goals – and another away hurdle instantly converted into a vaulting horse to the semi-finals.No Robben, no Ribery so the semi-finals was a for gone conclusion – Barcelona qualified to the Champions League Final to meet Italian giants Juventus.

    Luis Suárez was at it again – does stuff of winners. Showed his worth and showed he is a champion.

    He scored in the Champions League Final – Messi would have wished to score as well, but he couldn’t.

    Champion of Spain and champion of Europe – all in all, a season of which Luis Suárez could be immensely proud.

    He deserved to win the UEFA Best player in Europe 2014/15 ahead of team-mate Lionel Messi.