Luis Suárez is, in my opinion – and without a doubt, the best striker there is in worldwide football nowadays. But let’s take a thorough look at all of his virtues. These are the main points (special attention to numbers 3 and 4):

1- He is Barcelona's first defensive wall with outstanding pressure in the attacking line. Not only in ball clearances but also in rebounds. Bringing two main advantages:

-Makes the midfielders and defenders’ job easier, because rival players end up tired or unsettled before reaching the opponents’ half.

-He gets the ball back by himself way upfront when the opponent is disorganized, and in many cases he helps to quickly recover the ball.

Suárez’s defensive contributions compare to Neymar and Messi

Suárez’s defensive contributions compared to world-class forwards

2- He opens the spaces, with his movements. Suárez drags the defenders around and generates new spaces for Messi, Neymar, or the midfielders. Both the numbers and performances of his teammates improve in his presence.

Suárez runs to the wing, opening spaces to Neymar and Jordi Alba

3- Forces the center backs to be static and stretches the opponent’s defensive lines with precise tactical movements, he’s one of the few center forwards in the world capable of it. Displacing the center backs isn't easy and Suárez is one of the few strikers in the world that manages to do it constantly. In other words, he moves the opponent’s defense to wherever he wants.

How Suárez presses the center backs

Highlight: He clings to the side of the defender enough to catch his attention but without wasting space. This makes the center back to stay with him and not being able to help, leaves the winger with a clear one-on-one opportunity.

Tactical details: When facing defenses that are closed down, he opens spaces between lines. Against defenses pressing forward, he stretches them and wins a few meters for a better display of the whole team.

4- Constantly scores and assists: Suárez has incredible goalscoring statistics, bagging a goal in almost every important match for Barcelona (El Clásicos, Champions League Final). Besides that, he’s selfless and gives assists more than what is expected of him.

This Champions League season, Luis Suárez has shot 12 times, eight of them toward the goal, scoring five goals with 62.5 percent effectiveness. Incredible numbers.

5- Participation in defensive situations: Suárez’s participation has been essential in Barça’s improvement in this aspect post-2014. Changing Neymar for Suárez in the first post has made the team better. He’s a more active and more assertive player in this kind of defensive situation. Performing multiple clearances and giving the team more structure at the back.

Luis Suárez, a unique striker and a priceless player for any team. The football world watches with as much joy as envy.

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