Suárez playing for Uruguay in 2011
|Full name||Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz|
|Date of birth||24 January 1987|
|Place of birth||Salto, Uruguay|
|Height||1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16:55, 21 April 2013 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
At age of 19 Suárez moved to the Netherlands to play for Groningen in the Eredivisie. Suárez transferred to Ajax in 2007. In 2008–09 he was named club Player of the Year. The following year he was named the club captain, led the Eredivisie in scoring with 35 goals in 33 games and was named Dutch Footballer of the Year. He scored 49 goals in all competitions and Ajax won the KNVB Cup. In the 2010–11 season he scored his one hundredth Ajax goal and joined an elite group of players from the club, including Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten and Dennis Bergkamp, to do so.
In January 2011, Suárez transferred to Liverpool for €26.5 million (£22.8 million). During his partial season at Liverpool, Suárez helped the club move from twelfth in the league in mid-January to finish sixth. In February 2012 Suárez won his first trophy with Liverpool, as they won the 2012 Football League Cup Final.
Suárez represented Uruguay in the 2007 U-20 World Cup. In the 2010 World Cup he played an important role in Uruguay's fourth place finish and scored three goals, including when he infamously blocked an extra time goalbound header with his hands during the quarter finals against Ghana. At the 2011 Copa América Suárez scored four goals for Uruguay as they won a record fifteenth Copa América and was named Player of the Tournament.
Suárez joined local side Nacional's youth team at the age of 14. At the age of 15, Suárez was red carded for headbutting a referee. One night he was caught drinking and partying, and his coach threatened Suárez would never play unless he started playing football more seriously. In May 2005, at age 18, he made his first team debut against Junior de Barranquilla in the Copa Libertadores. He scored his first goal in September 2005 and helped Nacional win the 2005–06 Uruguayan league with 10 goals in 27 games.
Suárez was found by a group of scouts from the Dutch club Groningen when they were in Uruguay to watch another player. As they watched, he won and converted a penalty and scored a "wonder goal" against Defensor. After watching only that game, the scouts approached Suárez and said they wanted to buy him; after the season, Groningen paid Nacional €800,000 for him. Suárez was thrilled to go to Europe because his girlfriend, and current wife, Sofia Balbi, had moved to Barcelona; they had maintained a long-distance relationship for a year and he wanted to move closer to her.
Suárez was 19 years old when he went to play for Groningen. Initially he struggled because he did not know Dutch or English, and he played on the second team to adjust to the Dutch game. His teammate and fellow Uruguayan, Bruno Silva, helped him settle into living in the Netherlands and playing for a new team. He worked hard to learn Dutch and his teammates respected him for his efforts with the language. Suárez scored goals for Groningen, but he also had disciplinary problems; in one five-game stretch in January 2007, he scored four goals but received three yellow cards and one red card. Suárez ended with 10 goals in 29 league appearances to help Groningen finish eighth in the 2006–07 Eredivisie. He also scored in a 4–2 loss to Partizan Belgrade in his European debut.
Ajax saw potential in Suárez and offered Groningen €3.5 million for him, but Groningen rejected the deal. Suárez was upset and brought his case to the KNVB’s arbitration committee to try to facilitate the sale. The arbitration committee ruled against him on 9 August 2007, but that same day, Ajax increased their offer to €7.5 million and Groningen accepted.
Suárez signed a five-year contract with Ajax and made his club debut in the Champions League qualifier against Slavia Prague. He scored one goal in his Eredivisie debut for the club and two goals in his home debut at the Amsterdam Arena. Ajax finished second in league in the 2007–08 season and Suárez scored 17 goals in 33 league appearances, setting up a blossoming striking partnership with league top scorer Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
During the 2008–09 season, Ajax coach Marco van Basten noted how Suárez played an important role in many of Ajax’s goals, but van Basten was also upset by the number of yellow cards Suárez received. Suárez was suspended for a game because he was given his seventh yellow card of the season against Utrecht in a 2–0 win. He was also suspended after a halftime altercation with teammate Albert Luque over a free kick. Ajax ended the season in third place. Suárez scored 22 goals in 31 league games and finished second in scoring tables, one goal behind Mounir El Hamdaoui of AZ; Suárez was named Ajax Player of the Year.
Before the 2009–10 season, Martin Jol replaced van Basten as coach. After the departure of previous captain, Thomas Vermaelen, to Arsenal, Jol named Suárez team captain. Suárez started scoring goals early in the season with a hat trick in a 4–1 win against RKC Waalwijk. Suárez had a number of multiple-goal games throughout the season including four goals in wins over Slovan Bratislava in the Europe League play-off round, VVV-Venlo and Roda JC Kerkrade. He scored three in the first half in another win over VVV-Venlo and six against WHC Wezep in the KNVB Cup as Ajax won by a club-record margin of 14–1. Suárez scored two more in the second leg of the KNVB Cup final and finished as the tournament's top scorer. Ajax won the Cup final 6–1 on aggregate over Feyenoord, but they finished second in the league behind FC Twente. Suárez ended the season as the Eredivisie's top scorer with 35 goals in 33 games and had 49 goals in all competitions. He was named Ajax Player of the Year for the second straight time and Dutch Footballer of the Year.
Other European clubs began to show their interest in Suárez because of the number of goals Suárez was scoring for Ajax; his play that summer at the 2010 World Cup increased their interest. Soon after Suárez returned from his World Cup campaign, he scored his one hundredth goal for Ajax in a 1–1 home draw against PAOK in a Champions League qualifier. This put him in an elite group of players, including Johan Cruyff, van Basten and Dennis Bergkamp, to score 100 or more goals with the club. Suárez continued his scoring run with a hat trick against De Graafschap in a 5–0 win.
On 20 November 2010, Suárez was in trouble again when he bit PSV's Otman Bakkal on the shoulder during a 0–0 draw. Ajax suspended him for two games and fined him an undisclosed amount which the club said they would donate to a "good cause". The Dutch daily newspaper De Telegraaf branded Suárez the "Cannibal of Ajax". The KNVB increased Suárez's suspension to seven league matches. Suárez apologized for his actions through a video he uploaded to his Facebook page. During the suspension Ajax was in contact with other European clubs interested in Suárez; on 28 January 2011 they accepted a €26.5 million (£22.8 million) offer for Suárez from Premier League club Liverpool. Despite leaving while suspended, Suárez departed Ajax on good terms, and he was given a farewell sendoff after an Ajax game. During the sendoff an Ajax coach spoke to him and the crowd and said how the club wished he could stay longer; the crowd applauded their agreement and fireworks followed. Ajax ended the 2010–11 season as Eredivisie champions and Suárez was given a winner’s medal for his seven goals in 13 appearances.
While he was at Ajax, Suárez scored 111 goals in 159 appearances. Suárez recognized Ajax legends, van Basten, Bergkamp, Frank de Boer and Henk ten Cate, for teaching him about football during his time at the club. He noted that van Basten taught him the techniques and movement required for playing forward and he learned from all of them to be composed in front of the goal and not react to fouls.
Suárez signed a five-and-a-half-year deal until 2016, and was Liverpool's most expensive signing (£22.8 million) until the arrival of Andy Carroll (£35 million) a few hours later. Suárez requested the number seven jersey, but at the time did not realise that it had been worn by Liverpool "legends" such as his new manager Kenny Dalglish and Kevin Keegan. After he learned about the players who previously wore that number, he said he appreciated the expectations associated with it. Suárez made his Liverpool debut on 2 February against Stoke City at Anfield in a 2–0 win; he came on as a substitute and scored Liverpool's second goal in front of the Kop in the sixty-third minute. He was one of Liverpool’s best players during his partial season and helped Liverpool go from twelfth in the league in mid-January to finish sixth. He finished the 2010–11 season with four goals in 13 games.
After winning the Player of the Tournament at the 2011 Copa América, Suárez had a disappointing 2011–12 season by his standards. Liverpool finished in eighth place and Suárez scored 11 league goals. Suárez scored his first Liverpool hat trick against Norwich City at Carrow Road, and won his first Liverpool trophy with the League Cup. and he finished sixth for the 2011 FIFA Ballon d'Or. But the season was marked by an incident in which Suárez was found guilty by the FA of racially abusing Patrice Evra during a game against Manchester United in October; he was given an eight-game suspension and a £40,000 fine. In their next meeting in February, during the pregame handshakes, Suárez avoided shaking Evra's hand, for which Suárez and Dalglish were later forced to apologize.
On 7 August 2012, Suárez signed a new long-term contract with Liverpool. On 29 September 2012, Suárez scored a hat-trick in Liverpool's Premier League fixture away at Norwich City for the second consecutive season. On 17 November, he scored a brace, bringing his tally to 10 goals in 12 league games, as Liverpool defeated Wigan Athletic 3–0.
On 6 January 2013, Suárez was involved in controversy when his handball directly led to him scoring the decisive goal in Liverpool's 2–1 win over Mansfield Town from the Blue Square Bet Premier in the FA Cup third round match. His manager Rodgers defended his player by claiming that "it's not his job to own up", while Mansfield manager Paul Cox said that he felt "a little bit gutted" by the "instinctive" handball, but admitted that he would have accepted a goal scored like that by one of his players.
On 19 January, he scored his seventh goal in three matches against Norwich, as Liverpool cruised to a 5–0 home league victory. The following week, Suárez captained Liverpool for the first time for the FA Cup fourth round match against Oldham Athletic; Liverpool lost to Oldham 2–3. On 2 March, Suárez scored a hat-trick against Wigan, leading Liverpool to a dominant 4–0 victory at the DW Stadium. In doing so he became only the third Liverpool player to score 20 Premier League goals in a single season after Robbie Fowler and Fernando Torres. On 10 March, Suarez scored his 50th goal in all competitions since joining the Reds by grabbing the opener in a 3–2 home victory over Tottenham Hotspur ending that club's 12-match unbeaten run. He was also named man of the match for his performance after he won the decisive penalty which Steven Gerrard dispatched. Moreover, this match saw him provide a post-match interview to Sky Sports for only the second time and he will be giving more post-match interviews in the future. On 21 April 2013, in a 2–2 draw with Chelsea in a Premier League game at Anfield he appeared to bite opposing player Branislav Ivanović. It was not noticed by the officials, and Suárez scored an equaliser in injury time. This was the second incident of its kind involving Suárez. He was charged with violent conduct by the FA, banned for ten games and fined an undisclosed sum by his club.
Suárez was invited to play for Uruguay in the qualifying rounds for the 2007 U-20 World Cup, but his club, Groningen, did not release him to play. He did play in the tournament proper, and he scored two goals in four appearances. His goals came in a group stage draw against Spain and in the Round of 16 against the US, but the US won 2–1 and Uruguay was knocked out of the tournament.
Suárez made his senior debut for Uruguay on 8 February 2007 in a 3–1 win against Colombia. He was sent off in the eighty-fifth minute after receiving a second yellow card. Suárez played in 19 of 20 games in 2010 World Cup qualifying and the inter-confederation playoffs and scored five goals.
2010 FIFA World Cup
In June 2010, Óscar Tabárez named Suárez to Uruguay's 23-man World Cup squad. Uruguay began the tournament with a 0–0 draw against France. In the second game, a 3–0 win over South Africa, Suárez drew a penalty and assisted Alvaro Pereira's stoppage time goal. In the final game of the group, he headed in a goal off a pass from Edinson Cavani and was named Man of the Match in a 1–0 win over Mexico. Uruguay won Group A and advanced to the knockout stage.
During the round of 16 against South Korea, Suárez scored both goals in a 2–1 win. His second broke a tie in the 80th minute when he dribbled around a defender and curled a "spectacular shot" in off the far post; Suárez was again named Man of the Match. This win put Uruguay through to the quarter-finals for the first time since 1970. In the quarter-final against Ghana, the score was 1–1 at the end of regulation and the game went into extra time. Late in extra time, Ghana sent a free kick into the box; Suárez blocked Stephen Appiah's shot on the goal line. He then blocked Dominic Adiyiah's goalbound header with his hands to save what would have been the game winner and was sent off. Asamoah Gyan hit the crossbar with the ensuing penalty kick and Suárez, who had stopped to watch, celebrated the miss before heading down the tunnel. Uruguay won the shootout 4–2 and advanced to the semi-finals.
After the game, Suárez said, "I made the save of the tournament." He claimed he had no alternative and was acting out of instinct. Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac said the play was an "injustice" and Suárez was labeled a villain and a cheat while he "enraged an entire continent [Africa]." But others viewed him as a hero who, due to the automatic suspension that accompanies a red card, sacrificed himself in the semifinal for the unlikely chance that the penalty would be missed and his team would later win.
While Suárez was suspended for the semi-final game for his red card against Ghana, Uruguay "lacked a second striker [alongside Diego Forlán] of cunning and movement" and lost 3–2 to the Netherlands. Suárez returned for the third place game against Germany; he was booed almost every time he had the ball because of his handball in the Ghana game. He assisted Cavani on Uruguay's first goal, but Uruguay lost 3–2. During the tournament, Suárez played 543 minutes in six appearances and scored three goals.
2011 Copa América
In the 2011 Copa América tournament, Suárez scored in Uruguay's opening game, a 1–1 draw with Peru. Uruguay finished second in their group and advanced to the knockout round with a win and two draws. In the quarterfinals, Uruguay finished regulation and extra time tied at 1–1 with tournament hosts Argentina. Uruguay won the shootout 5–4 and Suárez converted his penalty. Suárez scored both goals in Uruguay’s 2–0 semifinal win over Peru and was named Man of the Match. In the final, Suárez scored the first goal and Uruguay beat Paraguay 3–0 for their record fifteenth Copa América title. Suárez scored four goals in the tournament and was named Player of the Tournament.
2012 Summer Olympics
On 9 July 2012, Suárez was selected for the Uruguay Olympic football team alongside Liverpool team mate Sebastián Coates to compete in the London 2012 Olympic Games. In the first pre-tournament warm-up game against Chile, Suárez scored a hat-trick for Uruguay as they came from 0–2 down to win 6–4 in a thrilling game.
As one of Uruguay's three overage players, Suárez was named as captain for the Olympic Games. After an opening win over United Arab Emirates, Uruguay were beaten by Senegal and Great Britain and eliminated at the first round. Suárez failed to score during the tournament.
|1.||13 October 2007||Estadio Centenario, Montevideo||Bolivia||1–0||5–0||2010 WCQ|
|2.||18 November 2007||Estadio Centenario, Montevideo||Chile||1–0||2–2||2010 WCQ|
|3.||6 February 2008||Estadio Centenario, Montevideo||Colombia||2–2||2–2||Friendly|
|4.||25 May 2008||Ruhrstadion, Bochum||Turkey||1–0||3–2||Friendly|
|6.||28 May 2008||Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo||Norway||1–1||2–2||Friendly|
|7.||10 June 2009||Polideportivo Cachamay, Puerto Ordaz||Venezuela||1–1||2–2||2010 WCQ|
|8.||9 September 2009||Estadio Centenario, Montevideo||Colombia||1–0||3–1||2010 WCQ|
|9.||10 October 2009||Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa, Quito||Ecuador||1–1||2–1||2010 WCQ|
|10.||3 March 2010||AFG Arena, St. Gallen||Switzerland||2–1||3–1||Friendly|
|11.||22 June 2010||Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg||Mexico||1–0||1–0||2010 FIFA World Cup|
|12.||26 June 2010||Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth||South Korea||1–0||2–1||2010 FIFA World Cup|
|14.||8 October 2010||Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta||Indonesia||2–1||7–1||Friendly|
|17.||8 June 2011||Estadio Centenario, Montevideo||Netherlands||1–0||1–1||Friendly|
|18.||4 July 2011||Estadio del Bicentenario, San Juan||Peru||1–1||1–1||2011 Copa América|
|19.||19 July 2011||Estadio Ciudad de La Plata, La Plata||Peru||1–0||2–0||2011 Copa América|
|21.||24 July 2011||Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires||Paraguay||1–0||3–0||2011 Copa América|
|22.||7 October 2011||Estadio Centenario, Montevideo||Bolivia||1–0||4–2||2014 WCQ|
|23.||11 November 2011||Estadio Centenario, Montevideo||Chile||1–0||4–0||2014 WCQ|
|27.||25 May 2012||Lokomotiv Stadium, Moscow||Russia||1–0||1–1||Friendly|
|28.||10 June 2012||Estadio Centenario, Montevideo||Peru||1–0||4–2||2014 WCQ|
|29.||16 October 2012||Estadio Hernando Siles, La Paz||Bolivia||1–4||1–4||2014 WCQ|
|30.||14 November 2012||PGE Arena Gdańsk, Gdańsk||Poland||3–1||3–1||Friendly|
|31.||22 March 2013||Estadio Centenario, Montevideo||Paraguay||1–0||1–1||2014 WCQ|
Style of play
Suárez creates goal scoring chances with his powerful shot, aerial ability and "remarkable technical ability". Harry Redknapp said that Suárez could play anywhere – as the target man or behind as a second striker. Uruguay coach Óscar Tabárez called Suárez "a great forward, an elite player among forwards in the world", and Liverpool coach Kenny Dalglish said, "he's intelligent, he's had a fantastic education at Ajax." Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge said his abilities allow him to get into a position to score and evade defenders. Suárez has been praised for his work rate, and his quickness allows him to attack from the outside. He also creates scoring opportunities for his teammates.
Former Ajax coach Marco van Basten criticized Suárez for his tendency to pick up yellow cards. van Basten said he had a tense relationship with Suárez, although he conceded, "Luis is unpredictable, he’s hard to influence but that makes him special." At times, Suárez can be dominant but fail to convert his efforts into goals. Despite his weaknesses, Suárez’s leadership stood out to Ajax management; coach Martin Jol appointed him captain because Jol believed that Suárez could transfer his mentality and attitude to the team.
Regarding the controverisal incident during the 2010 World Cup where he deliberately and obviously punched a goal-bound shot off the line and was sent off, but resulted in Uruguay entering the semi-finals at the expense of Ghana who went out in a dramatic penalty shootout, Suárez later commented, "If I am obliged to stop a ball in the last minute and we win, then I will repeat the action." Suárez has also been widely accused of diving. His manager, team-mates and various analysts have commented that this reputation for simulation has caused referees not to award him legitimate penalties. In January 2013, Suárez admitted to diving against Stoke in an October 2012 match. This led to his manager Brendan Rodgers commented that his actions were "unacceptable" and he would be dealt with "internally" by the club.
In a goalless draw against Ajax on 20 November 2010: Suárez received a seven-match ban for biting PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal on the shoulder, as well as a fine from his club, who did not appeal the length of the ban . The bite resulted from an argument between the two players in which Bakkal was said to have stood on the striker's foot.
Racial abuse incident
After a 1–1 draw against Manchester United on 15 October 2011, Suárez was accused of racially abusing Patrice Evra and the Football Association opened up an investigation into the incident. Suárez wrote on his Twitter and Facebook pages that he was upset by the accusation and denied the claims. On 16 November, the FA announced it would charge Suárez with "abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour contrary to FA rules", including "a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Patrice Evra." Liverpool later released a statement announcing Suárez would plead innocent, adding that they would "remain fully supportive" of him. On 20 December, the FA concluded a seven-day hearing, handing Suárez an eight-match ban and a £40,000 fine for racially abusing Evra.
Most recently, Suárez received a 10 match ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic after a 2-2 draw on the 21st of April 2013. The ban covered the final 4 fixtures of the 2012/13 season and the first 6 of the 2013/14 . He also received a fine from the FA. He accepted the charges and the ban despsite feeling that it should have been three games: the standard punishment for violent conduct. Suárez tweeted that he had spoken directly with Ivanovic and apologised for the incident, which he accepted .
Suárez was born in Salto, Uruguay, and is the fourth of seven brothers. He moved with his family to Montevideo when he was seven and his parents separated when he was nine. He lived with his mother and brothers but still maintains contact with his father. In Montevideo, Suárez developed his football skills on the streets. When he was 11 he was invited to a youth national team football training camp, but he had to decline the offer because he could not afford football boots. His older brother Paolo Suárez is also a professional football player who plays for Isidro Metapán in El Salvador.
- Dutch Footballer of the Year (1): 2009–10
- Copa América Player of the Tournament (1): 2011
- Eredivisie Golden Boot (1): 2009–10
- Ajax Player of the Year (2): 2008–09, 2009–10
- Ajax Top Goalscorer (2): 2008–09, 2009–10
- KNVB Cup Top Goalscorer (1): 2009–10
- Premier League Golden Boot Landmark Award 10 (1): 2012–13
- Premier League Golden Boot Landmark Award 20 (1): 2012–13
- PFA Team of the Year (1): 2012-13
- Standard Chartered Liverpool Player of the Month (11): March 2011, May 2011, August 2011, September 2011, October 2011, April 2012, September 2012, October 2012, December 2012, January 2013, February 2013
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Luis Suárez|
- Official website
- Liverpool F.C. profile
- Premier League profile
- Luis Suárez career stats at Soccerbase