Luis Suárez is a Uruguayan professional footballer who plays as a striker for Spanish club Barcelona and the Uruguay national team.
Often regarded as one of the best players in the world, Suárez has won 18 trophies in his career, which include six league titles, a UEFA Champions League title at club level, and a Copa América with Uruguay.
A prolific goalscorer, Suárez has won two European Golden Shoes, an Eredivisie Golden Boot, a Premier League Golden Boot, also ending the six-year dominance of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo by winning La Liga’s Pichichi Trophy in 2016.
He has scored 475 senior career goals for club and country.
- Full name: Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz
- Profession: Uruguayan footballer
- Born: 24 January 1987 (age 33 years), Salto, Uruguay
- Height: 1.82 m
- Nationality: Uruguayan
- Current team: FC Barcelona (#9 / Forward)
- Spouse: Sofia Balbi (m. 2009)
- Salary: 15.08 million GBP (2018)
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About Luis Suárez
Luis was born on 24 January 1987 in Salto, Uruguay. He is the fourth of seven boys. His older brother, Paolo Suárez, is also a professional footballer, currently playing for Isidro Metapán in El Salvador.
Suárez moved with his family to Montevideo when he was seven, and his parents separated when he was nine.
In Montevideo, he developed his football skills on the streets, while also taking up work as a street sweeper.
The contrast between his life in Europe and the poverty he left behind has been cited as contributing to his periodic aggression on the field, as well as being a possible explanation for the more forgiving attitudes of the Uruguayan public and press towards such cases, compared to Europe.
Suárez is of mixed race, with public records indicating his having a black grandfather. The matter of ethnicity was raised in reporting on the Patrice Evra incident, where use by his grandmother, Lila Piriz, of “mi negrito” as a sobriquet has been offered to explain Suárez’s repeated use of “negro” over the two-minute altercation; the FA judged his evidence unreliable en route to issuing him an eight-match ban.
Suárez began dating Sofía Balbi at age 15 in Montevideo; the Balbi family moved to Barcelona in 2003, and Suárez’s focus on football strengthened as a result as he wanted to follow them to Europe to join Sofía again.
Suárez married her in 2009, and the couple have a daughter named Delfina (born 2010) and two sons named Benjamin (born 2013) and Lautaro (born 2018).
He has a tattoo of his daughter’s name Delfina on his wrist which he kisses as part of his goal celebration – this celebration routine is featured in EA Sports’ video game FIFA 15.
On 11 July 2014, Suárez joined Barcelona, allowing him to live closer with his wife Sofía’s family. On the move, Suárez said, did all they could to get me to stay, but playing and living in Spain, where my wife’s family live, is a lifelong dream and ambition. I believe now the timing is right.” In 2014, Suárez released his autobiography, Crossing the Line – My Story.
Suárez began his career as a youth player for Nacional in 2003. At age 19, he relocated to the Netherlands to play for Groningen, before transferring to Ajax in 2007.
He won his first trophy in 2010, the KNVB Cup, finishing the season as the league’s top scorer and was named Dutch Footballer of the Year.
A year later, he helped Ajax secure the Eredivisie title, and scored his 100th Ajax goal. In January 2011, Suárez transferred to Liverpool, and won the League Cup in his first full season.
In 2014, he was named the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and the FWA Footballer of the Year as well as winning the Premier League Golden Boot, and sharing the European Golden Shoe with Cristiano Ronaldo before moving to Barcelona in a transfer worth €82.3 million (£64.98 million), making him one of the most expensive players in football history.
In his first season at Barcelona, Suárez starred in an attacking trio alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar, helping the club win a historic second continental treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League.
Messi, Suárez, Neymar (dubbed MSN), scored a total of 122 goals that season, the most for an attacking front three in Spanish football history.
In his second season at the club, Suárez won his first Pichichi Trophy as well as his second European Golden Shoe, for which he became the first player since 2009 to win both awards other than Messi or Ronaldo.
He ended the season with a total of 40 league goals, 14 of which came in his last five matches, and 16 assists, becoming the first player in history to top La Liga in both goals and assists.
At international level, Suárez is Uruguay’s all-time leading goal scorer, and has represented his nation at three editions of the FIFA World Cup and three editions of the Copa América, as well as the 2012 Summer Olympics, and the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, where he helped his team to a fourth-place finish.
At the 2010 FIFA World Cup he played an important role in Uruguay’s fourth-place finish, scoring three goals, as well as controversially blocking an otherwise game-winning goal-bound extra time header with his hands during the quarter-final against Ghana.
At the 2011 Copa América, Suárez scored four goals as Uruguay won a record fifteenth Copa América, and he was named Player of the Tournament.
At the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Suárez scored his 40th international goal before he was suspended from the tournament after biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.
Suárez has been a source of controversy throughout his career. As well as his goal-line handball in the 2010 FIFA World Cup against Ghana, he has also bitten opponents on three separate occasions.
He has also been accused of and admitted to diving, and in 2011, the FA found him guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra, a decision Suárez disputes.