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A Year in Review: Luis Suarez

by Al 2. December 2011 05:27

2011 has been a whirlwind for Liverpool's explosive striker Luis Suarez. Following his £22.7m transfer from Dutch champions Ajax in January, Suarez has established himself as one of the most dangerous strikers in the Premier League and a worthy proprietor to Liverpool's iconic no7 shirt. This week we met up with the Uruguayan hotshot in London for our second signing session together. 

An unspectacular return of 11 goals in 29 appearances for Liverpool in 2011 does not tell the full story for Suarez. Boundless energy and enthusiasm combined with outstanding skill and technique have made him a Kop favourite. The fiery Uruguayan was an instant hit at Anfield, scoring 16 minutes into his debut against Stoke City in February. He has been Liverpool's shining light all year. He further endeared himself to Kopites with his first Merseyside derby goal against Everton in a 2-0 win in October.

Suarez has never been a character to shy away from the spotlight, and since his move to England he has made for compulsive viewing. Goals continue to arrive sporadically for the Uruguayan, but he has been at the heart of Liverpool's finest moments this year. When the ball is not at his feet, he is usually furiously barking orders at teammates or madly sprinting after lost causes. He has tireless endeavour to match sublime talent, and he has become one of the most entertaining (and controversial) players around.

While trophies at Liverpool remain a work in progress, Suarez has already tasted glory with Uruguay in 2011 at the Copa America in Argentina. One of the stars of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Suarez was similarly effective this summer in Argentina. He was named Player of the Tournament and scored four goals in total, including a brace in the semi-final against Peru and one in the final against Paraguay. His excellent form at international level continued when he sensationally netted all four of Uruguay's goals as they beat Chile 4-0 in a World Cup qualifier in early November. He now boasts 26 goals in 52 games for Uruguay, and it's surely only a matter of time before the floodgates open at Liverpool too.

We held our first signing with Luis back in March of this year, and we were delighted to catch up with him for a second time this week. Check out our superb new range of signed products from the Liverpool star.

The famous no7 shirt

Brand new Adidas boot

Trademark goal celebration

To view the full range click here

Copa America competition winner with his prize!

by Al 2. August 2011 10:07

Congratulations to the young winner of our Copa America competition!

Ryan Allison, 13, correctly predicted that Uruguay would win the Copa America before the group stages had even kicked off. Ryan is now the proud owner of a Leo Messi signed Adidas F50 boot. Here he is with his prize!

With Liverpool Icon Luis Suarez on fire throughout the tournament, Uruguay claimed their first Copa America title since 1995 after defeating Paraguay 3-0 in the final in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Thank you to everyone who entered. With more giveaways and competitions to follow, make sure you keep your eyes peeled and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Leo Messi signed boot Competition Winner!

by Ben 25. July 2011 10:34

Well the Copa America has now been and gone, having thrown up some interesting suprises along the way!

To coincide with the historic tournament, Icons were giving a way an Adidas football boot, personally signed by the greatest player in the world today, Leo Messi. All our winner had to do, was correctly predict the winner of the competition.

 

Last night it was Uruguay who took home the coverted Copa America trophy, for a record 15th time. We have emailed Ryan, our lucky random winner who correctly predicted Uruguay.

Thank you to all of our fans on Facebook, followers on Twitter and subscribers to our newsletter who entered the competition.

 

Highlights of Luis Suarez and the boys' celebrations last night can be viewed here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG0-1ppIOwg

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Forward Friday: El Pistolero, Luis Suarez

by Finbarr 21. July 2011 07:27

 

As their paths crossed in the Anfield players' car park, Fernando Torres would have been forgiven if he'd gone a little green in the face. For here was his heir apparent bouncing in the door, brimming with confidence; whilst he was to trundle down the M6, a shadow of his former self.

Luis Suarez had big boots to fill. Torres had built a reputation as one of the finest strikers to have worn the Liverpool red: the complete forward. But in recent years, injuries niggled. El Nino looked sullen and detached and for the first time, his attitude was questioned by the Kop.

Fast forward six months and most of the Liverpool fans agree that Henry, Dalglish et al operated shrewdly. Suarez has delighted Kopites with a series of dazzling performance, a tenacity and commitment their forward line had been sorely lacking and a huge injection of South American flair. Whilst he's got a long way to go before he shakes the Kop, the early signs are good.

Before joining Liverpool in the January transfer window of 2011, Suarez's signature was much sought after across the continent. He made his name in the Eredivise in Holland, first with Groningen and then Ajax.

At the Amsterdam Arena, he blossomed into one of the most prolific strikers in Europe. In his third season with the club, he notched an incredible 45 goals in 44 games. He joined the illustrious company of Bergkamp, Cruyff and Van Basten in being scoring over 100 goals for the club and continued in exhilarating fashion for his national side. 

But ironically for someone with such a keen eye for goal, Suarez is not an out an out striker. During the 2010 World Cup, Suarez starred for an impressive Uruguay side that surprised many by making it to the semi final, but he did so as a cog in a triumvirate with Edinson Cavani and Diego Forlan. Cavani led the line, with Suarez and Forlan dropping back to support the midfield, creating as many as they scored.

Indeed, Suarez embodied the combination of hard work, quick thinking and élan that Oscar Tabarez instilled in the side. With Uruguay stuttering in this year's Copa America, it was Suarez who stepped up to the plate, firing them through first the Group Stage and then the semi final. Having been cast as the pantomime villian following his goal-line handball in last year's World Cup Semi Final, Suarez is now being heralded for the guts and winning attitude that drove him to bend the rules.

Liverpool fans will have been watching his performances at the Copa America with great interest. In his short spell with the club, Luis Suarez has been hugely impressive, but his partnership with Andy Carroll has yet to ignite.

Carroll has spent the majority of his Liverpool career on the sidelines, injured. The pair are seen as the figureheads of the Dalglish revolution: young, dynamic, exciting. With the squad undergoing a substantial makeover in the summer, fans will be looking to the pair to quickly repay their large transfer fees.

It's an exciting time to be a Liverpool fan and nobody personifies the buzz about Anfield better than Luis Suarez.

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Copa America Review: The First Round of Fixtures

by Finbarr 5. July 2011 11:06

 

Well, we did ask for it. After spending last week previewing the Copa America, eulogising the South American game and salivating over the array of talent that was going on display, it was inevitable that the first round of fixtures would turn up with a touch of the damp squibs. But whilst none of the 'Big 3' showed up, there's still plenty to talk, moan and speculate about, which is what we'll be doing in our round up. Don't forget, we're running a Copa America competition on the blog and also have a whole range of Copa goodies in our online store

Group A

In a tournament that has traditionally been very kind to the hosts, we were expecting Argentina to cruise through a group that looks straightforward on paper. Since their 1-1 draw with minnows Bolivia, though, there have been calls for the head of coach Sergio Batista. Argentina have often been slow starters (Cameroon 1990, anyone?) and fans could do well to remember that Bolivia trounced them 6-1 in the qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup and although Batista doesn't curry favour like Diego, they should still bounce back. Icons' own Sergio Aguero looked brilliant after coming off the bench, scoring a fantastic equalising volley. With the first choice triumvirate of Messi, Lavezzi and Tevez coming in for particular criticism back home (Messi unluckily so), he could force his way into the starting line-up. Bolivia, on the other hand, were fantastic. They had a gameplan to stifle the hosts and stuck to it, seeking out Marcelo Martins on the break and eventually getting lucky when Edvaldo Rojas' flick was deflected into his own net by Ever Banega. They should take heart from an encouraging opening performance.

In the other game, Colombia defeated a severely depleted Costa Rica side by a single goal. Again, though, the headlines were all about the poor show put on by the supposed star players. Coming off the back of an extraordinary season with Porto, Rademal Falcao was expected to take the tournament by storm, but looked subdued throughout before being withdrawn in the second half. Indeed, Costa Rica looked the more likely to score until Randall Brenes was sent off on the half hour mark. Adrian Ramos scored soon after to seal the points and provisional top spot in the group for the Colombians, but they'll have to improve if they're to see make a real impact on the tournament.

Group B

If Argentina being held to a 1-1 draw was a surprise, then the sight of Brazil failing to score against Venezuela, traditionally the continent's weakest side, was stupifying. The defending champions certainly had chances. Alexandre Pato hit the bar and Mano Menezes' side could have had a penalty for handball close to half time. Despite some good link up play between Neymar and Pato, the Brazilians were frustrating and as Venezuela grew in confidence, they stretched their illustrious opponents in the second half and had several half chances to secure the victory themselves. As it was, neither side could break the deadlock and Menezes has since faced similar criticism to Batista from his homeland. The Brazilian press are insistent that despite wholesale changes to the lineup, the side has not progressed since the Dunga era. Anything but a victory in their next game against Paraguay is unthinkable.

Paraguay, too, are desperate for the points after their 0-0 draw with Ecuador left Group B still seeking its first goal. The game was arguably the worst of the six played, with little in the way of quality shown by either side. 

Group C

Uruguay were fancied by many before the tournament's kick off, but they too struggled to get out of the blocks, drawing 1-1 with a spirited Peru side. The goals came from Luis Suarez (Uruguay) and Jose Paolo Guerrero (Peru), both of whom we tipped to shine last week. In what was perhaps the liveliest of all the drawn games, Peru struck first when Hamburg's Guerrero slotted home a through ball in the 23rd minute. Suarez stepped up to convert a fantastic pass from Nicolás Lodeiro (our One to Watch) to even things up, but neither side were able to step on and seize the three points. 

It was down to Chile, then, to provide the best entertainment of the opening exchanges. Shorn of the gung ho managerial stylings of Marcelo Bielsa, we were unsure what to expect from the 2011 edition, but their neat passing and tidy movement was at times a joy to behold. It was the Mexicans, though, who took the lead. Having triumphed in the Gold Cup earlier this summer, they let most of their star players go on holiday and fielded an experimental, inexperienced lineup. Nestor Araujo gave them the advantage against the run of play in the first half after Chile (most notably star striker Humberto Suazo) had missed a host of chances. It was left for substitute Esteban Paredes and Arturo Vidal to score the two second half goals Chile deserved, but they will need to improve their finishing if they have real designs on causing an upset. 

As for our predictions...well, Icons' own Dan Jamieson is leading the chase. Our MD tipped Chile to win and Luis Suarez to top score and whilst it's still early days, they are looking like sage choices indeed. Here's hoping for an exponential increase in quality when we get to round two.

Copa America Preview Day Three: Group C

by Finbarr 30. June 2011 10:20

England may have declared itself to be the 'Home of Football', but there's undoubtedly a place on Earth where the spirit of the game is at its most pure. South America has never failed to serve us up the kind of football we crave: slick, passionate, skilful and entertaining and our love affair with their brand of the beautiful game shows no sign of losing its spark: the internet has been positively ablaze with anticipation ahead of tomorrow's Copa America kick off. Continuing our tournament theme, today we've got a preview of Group C, featuring some of the most exciting names in the competition. Don't forget to visit the Copa America section of our online store, where we've got signed shirts, boots and photos of some of the biggest names in the competition's history.

Uruguay

 

The history: Despite spending a few decades in the doldrums on the world stage, Uruguay are one of the most successful nations in South American football. Twice World Cup winners, they've also won the joint most Copas along with Argentina (14). Their last victory, though, was in 1995, an anomaly they'll be hoping to remedy in Argentina this year. Indeed, this rejuvenated side is almost certainly the most talented to come from Uruguay in decades. Having reached the World Cup Semi Finals last year, they'll fancy their chances.

The star players: The Uruguayans arrive in Argentina with a seriously strong squad. Big names come in the form of Diego Forlan and Edison Cavani, whilst Icons' favourite Luis Suarez (above) made a huge impression on the Premier League following his January move to Liverpool from Ajax. They've got top level experience all over the park and will take some beating.

One to watch: Wily veteran Oscar Tabarez has fused youth and experience in this exciting outfit. Abel Hernandez finished an injury hit season at Palermo in fine fashion, although he may struggle to dislodge the established forward line. Keep your eyes peeled for Nicolas Lodeiro, who is on the books of Ajax and has been linked in the past with a move to Liverpool.

Impress your mates: In 1975, an international match between Chile and Uruguay was abandoned after 19 players were sent off.

Chile

 

The history: Chile have surprisingly never won the Copa America, with their best performances coming as runners up on four occasions. An impressive World Cup performance with Marco Bielsa at the helm brought this thrilling current generation of players to the attention of the world and despite the manic coach's departure, they'll be confident of making it through to the knock out rounds.

The star players: Alexis Sánchez (pictured) has been the name on everyone's lips this summer. The attacker lit up Serie A last season as part of an exhilarating Udinese side. He's said to be on the verge of a move to Barcelona, where he will be in excellent company. Humberto Suazo has a terrific goalscoring record at club and international level and could reap the dividend of Sánchez's expert service.

One to watch: He may lack the silky skills of Sánchez and the finishing prowess of Suazo, but Gary Medel's tough tackling and no nonsense distribution has earned him the title of 'The Chilean Gattuso'. The midfielder moved to Sevilla from his homeland in the January transfer window and should provide the platform for his more illustrious teammates to thrive upon.

Impress your mates: The Estadio Nacional in Santiago was used as a prison camp for political opponents of General Pinochet, following his seizure of power in 1973. 

Peru

 

The history: The Peruvian national side have lifted the Copa America twice, in 1939 and 1975 - the only final games they've ever played in. Memories of the golden generation of the 1970s have faded and with the retirement of Nolberto Solano and injuries to key players, Peru's prospects in 2011 aren't looking too hot.

The star players: Claudio Pizarro and Jefferson Farfan have been ruled out of the competition with injuries, so goalscoring responsibility lands firmly in the lap of Paulo Guerrero (above). The striker has impressed sporadically in his time in the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich and Hamburg, but will need to hit the ground running if they are to qualify from a difficult group.

One to watch: Uncapped forward André Carrillo has just been snapped up by Sporting Lisbon and may be given an unexpected opportunity to shine in Argentina. In what's an inexperienced squad, though, many of the youth players will be asked to step up to the plate.

Impress your mates: Star man Guerrero was fined up to €100,000 for launching his water bottle at one of his own team's fans last year. The Hamburg fan, who was said to have been abusing Guerrero, was hit square in the face.


Mexico




The history: Perennially invited to the Copa America, Mexico have been to the final twice, the last time losing to hosts Colombia in 2001. They've got a great international pedigree, but one wonders about the wisdom of having them along in Gold Cup year. 

The star players: Having triumphed in said Gold Cup earlier this month, the Mexicans are shorn of almost all of their big name players. They've taken ten uncapped players with the only exile being Gio Dos Santos. He may have gone flat during his time with Spurs, but the former Barca starlet has always thrived at international level, making us wonder just what he's done to annoy Harry Redknapp.

One to watch: There are any amount of potential stars on the Mexican panel. Oribe Peralta has a decent goalscoring record in his homeland, so we're tipping him to get amongst the goals in Argentina.

Impress your mates: Giovani Dos Santos was the subject of a musical tribute with a difference, courtesy of Mexican pop star Belinda. She penned a song about losing her virginity to the Spurs forward and complimented the ballad with a tattoo on her ankle. Unfortunately for Belinda, the pair have split. We have no idea what happened the tattoo.

 

Luis Suarez: Icon in the making

by Dan 21. March 2011 12:55
Luis Suarez's impact at Anfield is already substantial: a debut goal inside 16 minutes, a classic turn to set up a goal against West Ham, a now legendary dribble round the entire Manchester United defence and a cracker against Sunderland at the weekend. Not only that but his arrival on Merseyside seems to have lifted the team and all the supporters as they look forward to a brighter future. This all adds up to an impressive start by the livewire Uruguayan.

Icons is always the first to bring you signed products by the world's greatest players, and it's now time to add Luis to that list. He's sure to be a fans' favourite at Liverpool for years to come, so get yourself a piece of Suarez signed memorabilia today and you can say you were first to spot an icon in the making.

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About Icons Memorabilia

Welcome to the icons blog, we'll be regularly posting here about what's going on with our star signings and what new products have arrived

We love what we do so we'll also be talking about what's going on in the world of football and sport in general.

We'd really appreciate your feedback and comments too.

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