The Luis Suárez show has finally come to an end at Anfield. It was a long and turbulent ride, but after an eventual three-and-a-half year stay on Merseyside, the Uruguayan will now ply his trade on the coast of Spain, in Barcelona. Suárez enjoyed an outstanding time at Liverpool. The 27-year-old scored 69 league goals and tallied 23 league assists throughout the years, an impressive Premier League return. In all competitions, his total came to 82 goals and 53 assists.
His stay may have been marred by his 19 games banned due to racial abuse, sticking his middle finger up in the direction of Fulham fans and biting, but Suárez has been comprehensively one of the club's best players in the modern era, if not in the club's entire history. Despite his pitfalls and imperfections, he has enjoyed some otherworldly moments at Liverpool, and here's his top 10 highlights:
10. Diving in front of David Moyes in the Merseyside Derby - 28th October 2012.
Few players have the absolute courageousness it takes to shove a manager's words down their throat quite so literally, but Suárez did just that to David Moyes two years ago. With build-up to Liverpool's short trip to Goodison Park in 2012-13 being dominated by Moyes' comments that 'divers' such as the Liverpool striker were turning supporters away from English football, few expected what was to follow. 14 minutes into the game, Suárez' deflected strike nestled into the back of the net at the Gwladys Street End and the Uruguayan's first thought was to turn around and intentfully run straight towards the Everton boss. Smiling gleefully, Luis leaped into the air like a salmon before sliding across the ground just feet in front of a discontented Moyes and Brendan Rodgers, with a smile as wide as the Mersey and clapping like a joyful seal. It was a hilarious moment for Liverpool fans, and one that will never be forgotten.
9. Debut goal versus Stoke City at Anfield - 2nd February 2011.
Fernando Torres' departure was a bitter, sour topic amongst fans on the Kop and after moving to Chelsea in January of 2011, Liverpool fans were disheartened. Step up Luis Suárez. The club and the fans needed a revitalising boost, and he provided just that. After being substituted on in the 63rd minute, it took him only 16 minutes to get his Liverpool goal tally underway. He had hardly settled in, having yet to even train as with the Merseyside club, and yet he latched onto Dirk Kuyt's flick before poking home as if he had years of experience under his belt. Andy Wilkinson may have got a toe to it, but he could only help it into the net off the post and with that Suárez' relationship with Liverpool fans was born. Little did anyone know that Liverpool had found a new contender for the long illustrious history of decorated number sevens. That moment then, was when Liverpool realised they had replaced Torres, with someone twice as talented. The goal, which sealed a 2-0 win, was not exactly memorable, a shot that trickled into the net, but it was the perfect start for the £22.7 million man.
8. Fantastic costless kick - Manchester City - 26th August 2012.
Liverpool had suffered a crushing 3-0 opening day defeat to West Brom in Brendan Rodgers' first competitive game, it wasn't going to get any easier with a tough tie against Premier League champions Manchester City next on the agenda. Martin Skrtel's powerful header from a corner gave the Reds the lead, before Yaya Touré took advantage of a defensive mix-up to level the scores. The visitors remained level for all of three minutes. After winning a costless-kick 25-yards from goal, Steven Gerrard and Suárez hovered over the set-piece before the latter slowly crept towards it and curled a fabulously precise effort round the wall and past Joe Hart into his far left-hand corner. It was majestic, and the first goal in a season that Suárez would go on to notch 30 goals in all competitions. Though it may not have led to three points, with Skrtel's calamitous error gifting City a point late on, it was a stunning goal in a magnificent team performance in which Anfield felt like a happy place for the first time in a long time and Suárez was central to it all.
7. Beautifully finessed finish away at Stoke in the Carling Cup - 18th March 2012.
Back in 2011, Suarez capped a superb individual display with a late winner as Liverpool came from behind to beat Stoke in the Carling Cup fourth round, a trophy they would eventually lift that same year. Stunningly, he brought the ball to his feet from a long with just a single touch and then nutmegging Ryan Shotton on the edge of the area and curling a wonderful effort past Thomas Sorenson. It was perfectly executed, a virtually unstoppable strike and one of his best goals as a Liverpool player. He would also go on to win the game in the 85th minute with a header after he had equalised the scores in the 54th minute. It was a terrific performance and an important goal on the route to the Wembley, where the Reds overcame Cardiff on penalties for their first trophy in six years.
6. Audacious header - West Brom - 26th October 2013.
How many players score a header from the edge of the area? Well that's exactly what Luis did in the 2013-14 season, and he's put himself on a very short list. The Uruguayan netted yet another hat-trick that day, his first at Anfield, and his first headed goal was the best of the lot. Five minutes after his first goal opened the scores, Suárez scored one of the best headed goals physically possible. From Aly Cissokho's stabbed cross, he somehow managed to get enough power and swerve on the ball to curl the header past the hapless Ben Foster and into the top corner. It defied belief. The way in which he managed to direct it so forcefully was virtually inconceivable, particularly so given the distance from goal. That Suárez could do so from 18-yards, showed that he was one of the best in the world. The 27-year-old showed that he can make the impossible, possible and on that day he proved so in outrageous fashion.
5. Awe-inspiring costless-kick brace versus Zenit St Petersburg - 21st February 2013.
Even though Liverpool's Europa League campaign ended against Zenit St Petersburg on a raucous European night at Anfield, it was another famous encounter under the floodlights on the Reds' hallow turf. Largely thanks to two delicious costless-kick goals from that man, Luis Suárez, the 3-1 victory over Zenit will be remembered for a long time. Less than ten minutes after going behind due to Jamie Carragher's cataclysmic error, the no.7 was on hand to revive slim hopes with a well-drilled costless-kick through the wall 25-yards from goal. He repeated the feat just before the hour mark, with a sensational second set-piece at the Kop end. Vyacheslav Malafeev could get no way near it to his left-hand post, and the finish sent the crowd into absolute raptures. It ultimately proved too little, but the brace was a rare highlight from an inconsistent season for Rodgers and co. It was one of many moments of evidence in which Suárez' fine performance lit up faces on a miserable midweek night at Anfield, and one of many occasions in which Luis single-handedly almost powered his side to glory, but it painfully eluded them.
4. Unreal goal at home to Newcastle - 4th November 2012.
It's been more than 18 months since he pulled it off, and yet it's still so difficult to comprehend. It was incredible, and leaves anyone who watches it gasping with disbelief, including Alan Pardew. No number of replays can change how unfathomable it is. It was truly world-class, and one of the best goals ever to be scored at the Kop end. Jose Enrique received the ball on the left flank deep into his own half, before hooking a long ball up to Suárez, who ran onto it and controlled it with sheer ease. Side on, with a defender to his back, he miraculously brought it down onto his chest before allowing it to drop down to his feet all in one move, before then tricking Tim Krul into diving one way and seamlessly pulling the other way, cutting the ball back onto his left foot and slotting into an empty net. It left everyone speechless, except Martin Tyler who expertly described it as "The touch of a genius."
3. Bamboozling dribble versus Manchester United to assist Dirk Kuyt goal - 6th March 2011.
He'd been in England barely a month, and in just his fourth appearance for his new club, this particular moment confirmed that Suárez was worth every penny of his fee. It was an absolute masterclass of a performance, with one moment shining above the rest. The day should have belonged to Dirk Kuyt who had just become the first man since Peter Beardsley in 1990 to score a hat-trick against Manchester United, but instead it was the no.7 who stole the headlines. For the opening goal, Suárez's jaw-dropping sleight of foot took out three United defenders and set up a simple opener for Kuyt after 34 minutes and it was also Suarez whose cross assisted the Dutch striker for the second goal just before the interval, but it was his build-up play for the first that was so astounding. He weaved and intertwined inside the area, knocking the ball through Rafael da Silva’s legs before skipping past tackles from Michael Carrick and Wes Brown in a blink of an eye and casually stroking the ball into the path of Kuyt, who couldn't have missed, pouncing onto it to make the score 1-0. Had it have been Suárez' goal, it would have gone down as one of the greatest in the Premier League era.
2. Scarcely believable half-way line goal away at Norwich - 28th April 2012.
Time and again, Norwich City have suffered in opposition to the Uruguayan, who has repeated his uncanny knack of finding the back of the net against the Canaries on 12 occasions in five matches. This was his first trip to Carrow Road, and it was certainly one to savour. After a quick-fire double just before the hour mark, as he buried one with his left foot after a Steven Gerrard through ball, added a second after surging down the flank and putting past John Ruddy with his right, he had less than ten minutes left to cap off his brace with a third goal. In the 82nd minute, he rounded off a fine display by dispossessing Elliott Ward near the halfway line and without a moment's hesitation, chipping John Ruddy from 55 yards out, for his first first hat-trick in a Liverpool shirt. Perhaps the best bit of the goal was Suárez' awareness. After winning the ball, he afforded himself a brief glance at Ruddy's positioning and the next time he lifted his head up, the ball was well on it's way to looping over the English keeper. It was truly sublime, and he couldn't have capped his first hat-trick in any better style.
1. His mesmerising quadruple versus Norwich - 4th December 2013.
The greatest moment of Luis Suárez career, by far and away, was one game on a cold, Wednesday night in Liverpool. It was the pinnacle of his time in a red shirt, a game that can hardly be called a masterclass, instead an absolute textbook show of how one man can drive one team on his own. Four goals. Not three-tap ins and one half-decent finish, all four were sensational. It cemented his place a flawed genius, and his place in the record books as one of the best strikers Liverpool have ever seen. The Reds have certainly been blessed with some talented forwards, from Ian Rush to Michael Owen, to Robbie Fowler and Kevin Keegan, to Fernando Torres and even Roger Hunt. The Canaries had become somewhat accustomed to facing the Liverpool no.7 at his best, but this took their pain and torture to another level. He produced a virtuoso performance on home soil to systematically dismantle the visitors, thrashing a long-range volley, powering home in the area, gliding up and around a marker to drill a finish and, finally, curling in a costless-kick to top off their misery. The first and third were the pick of the bunch of the 5-1 rout. He opened the scores a 40-yard dipping half-volley drive hit with such accuracy that it didn't bounce until it crossed the line, and it left John Ruddy, a man sick of the sight of Suárez, with no chance. The second was equally as amazing. He took the ball inside of the Norwich half, before setting off on a slaloming run that resulted in the Uruguayan making mince meat of Leroy Fer by looping it over his head before drilling a half-volley into the far corner of the net. "Sheer brilliance as described by boss Brendan Rodgers, and it couldn't have been described any better.
There were many more moments, and even second-long flashes of pure magic from the Uruguayan. From his seemingly endless nutmegs, to his will to win that saw him attempt a tackle with his head against Southampton in March, Luis Suárez was loved at Liverpool, and always will be.