Luis Suarez joined the 500 club with his latest goal for Atletico Madrid against Alaves at the weekend.
Suarez was the winner of his 500th professional goal and occasionally celebrated with an emotionally open letter on social media.
His message included a special goal for Liverpool, where he scored 82 of his goals between 2011 and 2014.
“And Liverpool? Liverpool was special,” Suarez wrote. “The connection with the fans inspired me to take up the challenge of playing in such a competitive league.”
Suarez’s love affair with Anfield is clear – but his journey could have turned out very differently if not for a convincing conversation with Steven Gerrard.
Back in 2013, Suarez came close to joining Arsenal and was, at one point, determined to push through the move.
He tasted Liverpool for “breaking promises” that he would be allowed to leave if they did not reach the top four goal.
Club captain Gerrard intervened, pulling Suarez to one side to discuss the situation.
Years later, Suarez reported Otro : “We qualified for the UEFA Europa League but the season ended badly.
“I’m about to go to Arsenal, force me to go, and Steven tells me ‘I promise that if you stay this year you’re going to take off and the next year you will go to Bayern, Barcelona , Real Madrid or whichever one you want, but stay tuned this year as you won’t be better off at Arsenal. ‘
“This was my last conversation with Gerrard at the time and I told my agent that I had made my decision and was staying.
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“His words convinced me in that moment. They came from someone who cared for me, who wanted my well-being, who I saw suffering during training and who I saw sad.
“They were the words of a true captain who triumphed in that moment and helped me tremendously.”
Gerrard’s council decided the future together at Anfield for another year, a year that almost brought glory to the Premier League before it was late under Brendan Rodgers.
At the end of the season, Gerrard proved right as Suarez was transferred to Barcelona, where he scored 198 of his 500 career goals.
It was later reported that angry Suarez identified Rodgers and Liverpool ‘liars’ in his conversation with Gerrard, who was able to keep him at the club another year.
The pair clearly had a special relationship, and it shows just what Gerrard could offer if he one day goes on to become manager of Liverpool.
After leading Rangers to the Scottish Premier League title, Gerrard is already being sacked to replace Jurgen Klopp when he leaves Anfield.
Suarez, meanwhile, has shown he still has plenty to offer since his move to Atletico Madrid and has another year left on his two-year contract.
Liverpool still have a special place in the 34-year-old’s heart, and he had always left the door open for a return.
“You never know what’s next in football but if I ever play in England again I will play for Liverpool and not another team,” Suarez said after a star charity match. at Anfield in 2015.
“It’s great to come back to Anfield. Not just for the returning players but for those who are playing now and for the fans, for Stevie and the base. – it was a special game.
“I’ve missed the fans. The feeling is amazing, it’s amazing. Everyone who has played for Liverpool knows how important the fans are. they know they are in my heart. “
Gerrard has decided on Suarez ‘s future at Anfield once, if he takes over one day at Anfield, would he have a chance to do it again for one last blow?
We’ll have to wait and see, and while it’s very unlikely, it would definitely be a story …