The land that upbrought the first World Cup champions in 1930, Uruguay, was always a place for football talents. The country is a stable participant in the strongest international events now, which means the presence of world-known footballers in the squad. Among them, the most attention should be dedicated to Luis Suarez – one of the most talented and controversial strikers in the last decade. He was the one who felt the blood of his opponents, literally and figuratively.
The youngster Luis was born in the typical Uruguayan family in Salto, which is located in Uruguay. It happened in 1987, in the middle of winter, on January 24. Suarez was an active boy and joined the football section, Artigas de Salto, being only four years old. He then was noted by scouts of Urreta and joined their academy in 1994, being there until 2000.
However, the first notable football name in the biography of El Pistolero was Nacional, where the guy spent the period between 2001 and 2005. Luis needed only a single year to persuade scouts from Europe of his talent – 10 goals in 27 games at the age of 18 was a great result. So, the Dutch club Groningen decided to sign a youngster.
In the maiden season in Eredivisie, a 19-year-old Suarez showed quite a similar result, scoring ten goals in 29 games. So, the local football flagship, Ajax, decided to sign up a youngster in 2007. There, Luis spent three years and a half and played more than 150 games for the Jews. His scoring talent was proved in both Eredivisie and European competitions, and the Uruguayan joined an elite club with 100+ goals for Ajax. While this period was successful in Luis’ career, he showed his intrinsic passion quite unusually – he bit the opponent’s shoulder in the game against PSV in 2010. Then he received his first comparison with a cannibal.
However, not so many people paid a lot of attention to this episode, and Liverpool signed the deal with Luis in the winter of 2011 after the team sold Fernando Torres to Chelsea in the same transfer window. The Reds paid about 27 million euros for him, and that looked a pretty small sum for the guy who scored 69 goals in 110 EPL games. The special was his last season, 2013-2014, when El Pistolero scored 31 goals in the EPL only and was even the best assist in the league at the same time. Even the racial scandal against Evra and biting Ivanovic (the second victim from Chelsea) didn’t stop Barcelona from paying more than 80 million euros for Luis.
Interestingly, Suarez began his career in the Catalan club with another suspension, this time for biting the Italian Chiellini at the WC 2014. The third accident has been widely discussed in mass media, but most football fans have explained the occasion as the incredible passion of Luis when just loses control and not fouls but bites opponents. The same year, mask producers even developed special masks with Suarez’s face and his big teeth, which referred to Dracula and other vampires.
With Messi and Neymar as attacking partners, Luis was rather productive as the central striker in Barca. He won more than a dozen trophies with the team, including the Champions League in 2015. The next year he also overcame both Messi and Ronaldo in the scoring race in La Liga and won the Pichichi trophy by scoring 40 goals in this tournament only and added 16 assists to his name. Overall, Suarez scored 147 goals in 191 La Liga matches for Barcelona and joined an elite list of the club’s most scoring attackers with 195 goals.
However, at the age of 33, he was forced to leave Barca, which was changing its squad and looking for younger players. So, Luis joined Atletico Madrid in 2020 and ironically helped them to win La Liga, scoring a crucial 21 goals. This season, the Uruguayan added ten more goals for his new club, but often injuries disallow him to play regularly.
Nonetheless, Suarez scored more than 500 goals during his career, and entered another global elite club of best attackers. With 68 goals in 132 games for Uruguay, he is also the best scorer in the team’s history and among the leaders in terms of caps. Another important statistical fact for Luis is the number of yellow cards he received at the club level, which is 152 in 695 games and looks too much even for defenders. Of course, both his scoring and scandals attracted enough attention, so his net worth is estimated at the level of $70 million.
What relates to the playstyle of the 1.82 tall strikers, he is regarded as one of the most flexible and universal ones in modern football. Being younger, Luis was pretty fast and could cope with defenders with his dribbling. The latter was based on unusual knee work, which was confusing most defenders. At the same time, Suarez was passionate enough to press defenders and likely entered duels with them, which helped him to score more. The Uruguayan also has a good vision of the field and is ready to give a great pass to his partners, which has made him one of the best assistants in the teams he has played for. El Pistolero also has a great shot from a long distance and scored some incredible goals outside the box, including free kicks.