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Luis Suarez vs Robin van Persie: Who was the better player?




With a combined 213 Premier League goals and three Golden Boots between them, it's fair to say that Luis Suarez and Robin van Persie are two of the greatest strikers we've ever seen ply their trade in England.

The pair lit up the early 2010s with memorable performances and astonishing feats of goalscoring.

But who was better?

As part of 90min's 50 greatest Premier League players of all time series, that's what we're here to find out...

Goal record

Luis Suarez
Goal-getter / Julian Finney/GettyImages

While comparing two of the best strikers in the modern history of the Premier League, we obviously had to look at their goal records.

In the Premier League, Van Persie managed a whopping 144 goals over an 11 year career in England's top flight, while Suarez bagged 69 in his three-and-a-half seasons. Some pretty basic maths (i.e. knowing that 144 is a bigger number than 69) tells you that RVP scored a lot more goals than Suarez in the Premier League, but he also did so over a much longer period of time.

So in order to decide who was the most potent of the two in the Premier League, we've enlisted some slightly more complicated maths to find out who had the better minutes-per-goal ratio.

Robin van Persie: 140 minutes-per-goal.

Luis Suarez: 139 minutes-per-goal.

One minute separates the pair, and gives Suarez the first category.

Premier League honours

Man Utd v Swansea
Premier League champion / Tom Jenkins/GettyImages

Had we been measuring their overall careers as opposed to just their time in the Premier League, then Suarez would've comfortably won this category. His UEFA Champions League winners' medal and the fact that he once won Barcelona's Player of the Season award while playing with literally the greatest footballer of all time trumps basically everything RVP did during his career.

That said, we're focusing on the Premier League only in this article.

Thanks to "The Slip" and "Crystanbul" (you know it's bad when these things become nouns), Luis Suarez's failure to win the Premier League during his time at Liverpool is very well known. Robin van Persie going to Manchester United and inspiring them to their final league title under Sir Alex Ferguson is also very well known for very different reasons.

Point to Van Persie.


Bradley Johnson, Luis Suarez
Suarez scored a lot of goals against Norwich / Jamie McDonald/GettyImages

From the tangibles to the something rather intangible, there's no doubt that both Van Persie and Suarez had a bit of x-factor to their Games.

Both players won games out of nowhere for their respective Premier League clubs; be it with some deft control and a sparkling finish against Newcastle United (Suarez), or a stunning volley against Aston Villa (Van Persie), both were able to create something from seemingly nothing.

If we had to pick a winner in this category, Suarez perhaps just edges Van Persie out because, well, look at this compilation - it's outrageous.


Luis Suarez
Quality player / Paul Gilham/GettyImages

Both players are rightly considered (because I ranked them) as two of the top 50 greatest Premier League players of all time, but if we had to pick the slightly better of the two we have to give the nod to Suarez.

The Uruguayan is one of the best strikers of all time, after all.