Luis Suárez Uruguayan professional footballer

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Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz (American Spanish: [ˈlwis ˈswaɾes]; born 24 January 1987) is a Uruguayan professional footballer who plays for Spanish club Barcelona and the Uruguay national team as a striker. In July 2014, he moved from Liverpool to Barcelona for a fee reported by the English press in the region of £75 million (€94 million), while Barcelona claim a fee of £65 million (€81 million), making him the third-most expensive player in football history. The transfer took place after he had won the European Golden Shoe in the previous season with Liverpool. Suárez is widely regarded as one of the best strikers in the world. In October 2015, he scored his 300th senior career goal for club and country.

Suárez began his career as a youth player for Nacional in 2003. He signed for Groningen in the Netherlands in 2006 and transferred to Ajax in 2007. In 2010 he helped Ajax win the KNVB Cup while becoming the league's top scorer with 35 goals in 33 games. He was also named Dutch Footballer of the Year, scoring 49 goals in all competitions. In the 2010-11 season, he scored his 100th Ajax goal, joining a group of players which include Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten and Dennis Bergkamp. In January 2011, Suárez transferred to English Premier League club Liverpool for €26.5 million (£22.8 million). In February 2012, Suárez won the Football League Cup with the club. In April 2014, he was named the PFA Players' Player of the Year and the FWA Footballer of the Year. As the Premier League's top scorer with 31 goals he won the Premier League Golden Boot, and shared the European Golden Shoe with Cristiano Ronaldo. In his first season at Barcelona, Suárez starred alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar, an attacking trio dubbed MSN (Messi, Suárez, Neymar), and helped the club win the continental treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League.

With 44 goals in 82 games for Uruguay, Suárez is the all-time record goalscorer for his national team. At the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa he played an important role in Uruguay's fourth-place finish, scoring three goals, and also blocked an extra time goalbound header with his hands during the quarter-final against Ghana. At the 2011 Copa América, Suárez scored four goals for Uruguay as they 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.

Suárez has been the source of much controversy throughout his career. As well as his 2010 World Cup goal-line handball, he has also bitten three opponents, the latest being Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup, has been accused of and admitted to diving, and the English Football Association found him guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra, a decision Suárez disputes.

Club career


Suárez joined local side Nacional's youth team at the age of 14. At the age of 16, Suárez headbutted a referee following a red card. 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. The Groningen management had discovered Suárez coincidentally when they attended a Nacional match with the intent to look at another player. Initially he struggled because he could not speak Dutch or English, and he played on the second team to adjust to the Dutch game. His team-mate 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 team-mates 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 especially made his mark in a 4-3 home win over Vitesse, when with ten minutes to go he subsequently won a penalty and scored two goals. 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 half-time altercation with team-mate 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. 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.

Soon after Suárez returned from his World Cup campaign, he scored his 100th 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 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 apologised for his actions through a video he uploaded to his Facebook page.

During the suspension Ajax were 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.


2010-11 season

Suárez signed a five-and-a-half-year deal with Liverpool until 2016, and was the club'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. 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 seventy-nine 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.

2011-12 season

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. On 26 February, Liverpool won the Football League Cup, beating Cardiff City in penalty shootout. On 28 April, Suárez scored his first Liverpool hat-trick in 3-0 win against Norwich City at Carrow Road. He finished sixth for the 2011 FIFA Ballon d'Or.

Racial abuse incident

The season was marked by an incident in which Suárez was found guilty by a three-man panel from 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. Suárez has disputed this decision.

After a 1-1 draw against Manchester United on 15 October 2011, Suárez was accused of racially abusing 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.

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 apologise. Suárez was also banned for one match for making an obscene gesture towards Fulham fans.

2012-13 season

On 7 August 2012, Suárez signed a new long-term contract with Liverpool. On 26 August, he scored his first goal of the 2012-13 season in a 2-2 draw with champions Manchester City at Anfield. 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 6 January 2013, Suárez handled the ball before scoring the decisive goal in Liverpool's 2-1 win over Mansfield Town from the Conference National in an FA Cup third round match. Liverpool's manager Brendan 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, Suárez 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 Spurs' 12-match unbeaten run. He was also named man of the match for his performance after he won the decisive penalty which Steven Gerrard converted.

At the end of the season, Suárez was one of six players named on the shortlist for PFA Players' Player of the Year. Suárez finished second in the final ballot behind Gareth Bale of Tottenham Hotspur and was named in the PFA Team of the Year. He was second-top goalscorer in the Premier League for 2012-13 with 23 goals and Liverpool's top scorer in all competitions with 30 goals. On 28 May 2013, he was named as Liverpool's player of the season after receiving 64 percent of votes in a poll of the club's supporters.

On 21 April 2013, during a 2-2 draw with Chelsea in a Premier League game at Anfield, Suárez bit Branislav Ivanović; this was the second time Suárez had bitten an opponent. It was not noticed by the officials, and Suárez scored an equaliser in injury time. The bite prompted UK Prime Minister David Cameron to call on the FA to take a hard line with Suárez: the FA charged him with violent conduct and he was fined an undisclosed sum by his club. Contrary to claims from Suárez, Ivanović did not accept an apology. Suárez accepted the violent conduct charge but denied the FA's claim that the standard punishment of three matches was clearly insufficient for his offence. A three-man independent panel appointed by the FA decided on a ten-game ban for Suárez, who did not appeal the ban; the panel criticised Suárez for not appreciating "the seriousness" of the incident when he argued against a long ban. The panel also wanted to send a "strong message that such deplorable behaviours do not have a place in football", while noting that "all players in the higher level of the game are seen as role models, have the duty to act professionally and responsibly, and set the highest example of good conduct to the rest of the game - especially to young players."

On 31 May 2013, Suárez said that he would be seeking an exit from Liverpool in the summer, citing excessive media attention on his family as a reason for wanting to leave. On 6 August, after Liverpool had rejected a bid of £40,000,001 for the player from Arsenal, Suárez reiterated his wish to leave Liverpool and said that the club had previously promised to allow him a transfer if the team failed to qualify for the 2013-14 UEFA Champions League. The following day, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers stated that Liverpool had not broken any promises to Suárez and that the player had shown "total disrespect" for the club. After this incident, the British press reported that Suárez had been instructed to train away from the Liverpool first-team squad by Rodgers. On 8 August, Liverpool owner John W. Henry stated that Suárez would not be allowed to leave the club.

2013-14 season, Player of the Year

On 14 August, Suárez appeared to reverse his position about wanting to leave the club, with reports stating that he wanted to stay at the club and that he was possibly going to sign a contract extension, citing the support from Liverpool supporters as the reason for his unexpected turnaround. Suárez returned to first-team training two days later after "offer[ing] contrition" to his team-mates but reportedly not apologising to his manager.

On 25 September, Suárez returned to the Liverpool team after his suspension to make his first appearance of the 2013-14 season in a League Cup third round tie against Manchester United at Old Trafford, losing 1-0. On 29 September, Suárez made his first Premier League appearance of the season, scoring twice as Liverpool beat Sunderland 3-1 at the Stadium of Light. On 5 October, Suárez made his first appearance of the season at Anfield, where he scored Liverpool's opening goal in a 3-1 win against Crystal Palace. On 26 October, he scored his fourth Premier League hat-trick, his first at Anfield, in a 4-1 defeat of West Bromwich Albion. According to the BBC, he has scored a hat-trick every 20.3 Premier League games, "the best rate of all 46 players to have scored more than one treble" in the top tier.

On 4 December, Suárez scored four goals against Norwich City in a 5-1 home win. He became the first player in Premier League history to score three hat-tricks against the same club, and took his scoring record against Norwich to 11 goals in five matches. On 15 December, Suárez captained Liverpool for the first time in a Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur. He scored twice and assisted once as the team recorded a 5-0 win at White Hart Lane to close the gap on league leaders Arsenal to two points. The following day, Suárez was named the Football Supporters' Federation Player of the Year for 2013. On 20 December, Suárez signed a new four-and-a-half-year contract with Liverpool.

On 1 January 2014, by scoring in a 2-0 home win over Hull City, Suárez became the first Liverpool player to score 20 or more goals in successive Premier League seasons since Robbie Fowler in 1994-95 and 1995-96. He equalled Andy Cole's Premier League record for the earliest date to reach the 20-goal mark, but set a new record low of 15 matches. His strike partnership this season with Daniel Sturridge has earned them a nickname "SAS", i.e. Sturridge and Suárez.

On 1 March, Suárez made his 100th Premier League appearance, scoring in a 3-0 win over Southampton at St Mary's Stadium. In the following fixture, he scored his 25th league goal of the season as Liverpool beat Manchester United at Old Trafford for the first time since 2009 by a convincing three goal margin. On 22 March, Suárez scored his sixth Premier League hat-trick, and third of the season, in a 6-3 win over Cardiff City at the Cardiff City Stadium. On 30 March, he broke Robbie Fowler's club record of 28 goals in a Premier League season in a 4-0 home win against Tottenham Hotspur which took Liverpool top of the league with six matches remaining. On 20 April, he scored in a 3-2 win at Norwich City to become the first Liverpool player to score 30 league goals in a season since Ian Rush in 1986-87. This also made him the seventh player to score 30 goals in a Premier League season, following Andy Cole, Alan Shearer, Kevin Phillips, Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robin van Persie.

On 18 April, Suárez was named as one of the six players nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award for the second consecutive season. On 27 April he won the award, becoming the first non-European to win the award. On 5 May 2014, Suárez was named as the Football Association Writers player of the year. He finished the season with 31 goals in 33 games, winning the Premier League Golden Boot, with Sturridge as runner-up, as Liverpool came second in the league and returned to the Champions League. Suárez also won the Barclay's Premier League Player of the Season award. As the Premier League's top scorer with 31 goals he also shared the European Golden Shoe with Cristiano Ronaldo. On 21 May 2014, Suárez ranked number one on "Europe's most influential player" list of the year, ahead of Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimović and Cristiano Ronaldo, according to a study by Bloomberg of the top five European leagues.


Signing and suspension

On 11 July 2014, Barcelona announced that the club and Suárez had agreed on a five-year contract for a fee reported by the English press in the region of £75 million (€94 million), making him one of the most expensive players in world football history. On 19 August, Barcelona reported the fee as €81 million. The club confirmed that Suárez would wear the number 9 shirt for the 2014-15 season.

Suárez missed the first part of the season after being found guilty of biting Italian player Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. As part of the suspension, he was banned from all "football-related activities," including training for Barcelona, for four months (until 26 October). He was also banned from setting foot in any stadium, even as a spectator, during the same period.

On 24 July, Suárez and his lawyers filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) located in Lausanne, Switzerland, and requested that the sanctions be reduced or the suspension to be lifted. The parties were heard at a hearing which took place at the CAS offices on 8 August. Six days later, the CAS confirmed the ban imposed by FIFA against Suárez, who remained suspended from football for four months, as well as a nine-match ban in internationals, the first of which was served in the Uruguay's round of 16 match against Colombia in the 2014 World Cup. However, the CAS removed the player's "football-related activities" ban, and was allowed to train with Barcelona. As a result of this ban, Suárez was banned from participating in the 2015 Copa América.

The CAS permitted Suárez to play in friendly matches, and he made his Barcelona debut on 18 August against Club León of Mexico at the Camp Nou, replacing Rafinha for the final 14 minutes of an eventual 6-0 win in the Gamper Trophy. Fellow attackers Lionel Messi and Neymar had already been substituted by the time Suárez took to the pitch.

2014-15 season

Suárez made his competitive debut for Barcelona on 25 October, starting in attack with Lionel Messi and Neymar away to Real Madrid in the El Clásico. Although he set up Neymar for the opening goal in the fourth minute, Suárez was substituted in the second half and Barcelona lost 3-1. He scored his first goal for the club on 26 November in a 4-0 win at APOEL in the UEFA Champions League group stage. On 20 December he scored his first league goal for the club in his eighth La Liga match, contributing to a 5-0 home win against Córdoba CF.

On 24 February 2015, Suárez scored twice as Barça defeated English champions Manchester City 2-1 in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie. On 4 March, he scored in Barcelona's 3-1 Copa del Rey semi-final win over Villarreal to qualify the club for its 37th Spanish Cup final. On 8 March, Suárez scored twice in a 6-1 home win over Rayo Vallecano. On 22 March 2015, Suárez scored the winning goal for Barcelona in the 2-1 victory over Real Madrid at Camp Nou. In the post match press conference, his coach Luis Enrique lauded Suárez, stating: "Very few players can score a goal like he did, and that is why we signed him. He can decide games. He's a pure scorer, who needs very little to finish."

On 15 April, Suárez scored two goals in a 3-1 UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg victory over Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes. He nutmegged PSG defender David Luiz twice before scoring both goals. On 2 May, he scored his first hat-trick for the club, in 8-0 win at Córdoba. Suárez scored in the Champions League Final against Juventus on 6 June in Berlin, putting the team back into the lead in an eventual 3-1 win by converting the rebound after Gianluigi Buffon saved from Messi; the win sealed a treble for the team.

Suárez ended his first season at Barcelona with 25 goals and 20 assists in all competitions. The Barcelona attacking trio of Messi, Suárez and Neymar, dubbed MSN, ended with 122 goals, the most in a season for an attacking trio in Spanish football history.

2015-16 season

Suárez opened the season by scoring and assisting on a goal in Barcelona's 5-4 extra-time victory over Sevilla in the 2015 UEFA Super Cup, on 11 August 2015. The next day, he was named one of the three finalists for the 2015 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award.

On 31 October, Suárez scored in a 2-0 away win against Getafe after being assisted with a backheel from Sergi Roberto. This was his 11th goal of the season and his 300th senior career goal. On 21 November, Suárez scored twice in Barcelona's 4-0 away win against Real Madrid.

On 17 December, Suárez scored all three goals as Barcelona defeated Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande 3-0 in the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup semi-final in Yokohama, Japan, becoming the first player to score a hat-trick in the competition's history. He then scored twice in Barcelona's 3-0 win over Argentine club River Plate in the final. Suárez finished the tournament as top scorer with five goals and was also named the best player of the tournament.

On 3 February 2016, Suárez scored four goals in the 7-0 Copa del Rey win against Valencia.

International career

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 United States, 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 for dissent. 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, committing a professional foul 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 said he had no alternative, was acting out of instinct, and would do it again if it helped his team win. Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac said the play was an "injustice" and Suárez was labelled a villain and a cheat. Others viewed him as a hero. Due to the automatic suspension that accompanies a red card, Suárez sacrificed himself in the semi-final 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 quarter-finals, 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 semi-final 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 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.

2013 Confederations Cup

Suárez was selected in the Uruguay squad to play in Brazil at the 2013 Confederations Cup. He scored a curling free-kick from 30 yards (27 m) in a 2-1 defeat to Spain in their opening game at Recife on 16 June. He then scored twice after appearing as a substitute in Uruguay's 8-0 win over Tahiti, making him the Uruguay national team's all-time top-goalscorer with 35 goals, surpassing his team-mate Forlán. Uruguay were eventually knocked out at the semi-final stage, losing 2-1 to Brazil in Belo Horizonte.

2014 FIFA World Cup, 3rd biting incident

Suárez ended the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign as top scorer in the South American section with 11 goals. In November 2013, Uruguay beat Jordan 5-0 on aggregate in an intercontinental play-off to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

On 22 May, Suárez underwent emergency surgery on his left knee. He was confined to a wheelchair for a time, leading to rumours that he would be unable to participate in the World Cup. He was named as a substitute for Uruguay's first match, a 3-1 defeat to Costa Rica, but did not take part in that game. Suárez started Uruguay's second match against England and scored both of the team's goals in a 2-1 win at the Arena Corinthians in São Paulo.

For Uruguay's final group game against Italy on 24 June, Uruguay needed a win to advance to the knockout stage while Italy only needed a draw. Around the 79th minute with the score at 0-0, Suárez clashed with Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini while waiting for a cross. Replays showed that Suárez lunged at Chiellini and bit his shoulder (Chiellini showed bite marks), followed by Suárez falling and clutching his face. The controversial incident made headline news around the world. As the Italian players protested to Mexican referee Marco Antonio Rodríguez for not penalising Suárez for the bite, Uruguay won a corner and scored. The game would finish 1-0 to Uruguay as they qualified for the knockout stage and eliminated Italy.

Two days later, on 26 June, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee banned Suárez for nine international matches, effective immediately, meaning he would take no further part in the World Cup. The ban certainly rules him out of the 2015 Copa América as well. It was the longest such ban in World Cup history, exceeding the eight-match ban handed to Italy's Mauro Tassotti for breaking the nose of Spain's Luis Enrique at USA '94. He was also banned from taking part in any football-related activity (including entering any stadium) for four months and fined CHF100,000. The severity of the penalty was due to the fact that it was Suárez's third biting offence, as well as what FIFA saw as a lack of remorse. Soon after the suspension was announced, online gambling firm 888poker cancelled its sponsorship deal with Suárez. With Suárez banned, Uruguay lost their next match 0-2 to Colombia and were knocked out of the World Cup.

On the same day the ban was announced, the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) said it would appeal against the decision. Suárez's lawyer said that "we don't have any doubts" of a European-based campaign against Suárez. Various Uruguayan individuals defended Suárez, questioning if he had actually bitten Chiellini, and criticised the severity of his ban, including: President of Uruguay José Mujica, who labelled the ban "fascist" and called FIFA "a bunch of old sons of bitches"; AUF president Wilmar Valdez; Uruguay captain Diego Lugano; and Uruguay coach Óscar Tabárez, who resigned from two FIFA posts in protest of the ban. The Uruguayan media were also noted to have been in a defiant and defensive mood. For non-Uruguayan parties, Chiellini, who was bitten, called the ban "excessive", while international players' union FIFPro called for Suárez to "receive all the support he needs" and that the "focus should be on the rehabilitation and serious treatment" of Suárez.

Six days after the incident, on 30 June, Suárez apologised to Chiellini through Twitter and vowed never to repeat the incident, while writing that the "physical result of a bite" occurred in a collision with Chiellini. Chiellini responded through Twitter indicating that all was forgotten and his hope that FIFA would reduce Suárez's suspension.

On 3 July, the AUF made the appeal against Suárez's ban, but it was rejected by FIFA on 10 July. With Suárez's ban not preventing him from transferring to another club, it was announced on 11 July that Suárez had agreed to move to Barcelona. Days before the transfer, Suárez's apology to Chiellini had been praised by various Barcelona individuals. Barcelona club president Josep Maria Bartomeu said the apology was "honourable", sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta welcomed Suárez as being "humble enough to admit an error" while new signing Ivan Rakitić commended Suárez's "character and strength".

Style of play

Suárez creates goal scoring chances with his powerful shot, and "remarkable technical ability". Known for his direct running towards goal, Suárez has a particular penchant for nutmegging opponents (putting the ball through their legs).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 then 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 that allows him to attack from the outside. He also creates scoring opportunities for his team-mates.

Former Ajax coach Marco van Basten criticised 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.

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 City in an October 2012 match. This led his manager Brendan Rodgers to comment that his actions were "unacceptable" and he would be dealt with "internally" by the club. Suárez has also been accused of stamping on opponents in the Premier League and the Europa League. In December 2013, Spanish football website El Gol Digital ranked Suárez at 5th in its list of the world's dirtiest footballers.

Personal life

Suárez was born in Salto, Uruguay, the fourth of seven boys. His older brother, Paolo Suárez, is also a professional footballer, currently playing for Sonsonate in El Salvador, and is a dual Salvadoran-Uruguayan citizen.

Suárez moved with his family to Montevideo when he was seven, and his parents separated when he was nine. In Montevideo, Suárez 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 2 minute altercation; the FA judged his evidence unreliable, en route to an eight-match ban.

Suárez started to date Sofia Balbi at the age of 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 Sofia again. Suárez married her in 2009, and the couple have a daughter and a son. On 11 July 2014, Suárez joined Barcelona, allowing him to live closer with his wife Sofia's family. Suárez was quoted saying “'[Liverpool] 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, titled Crossing the Line - My Story.


Suárez has a sponsorship deal with German sportswear and equipment supplier, Adidas. Suárez starred in a 2014 advert for Beats with other global football stars including Neymar and Thierry Henry, with the theme of 'The Game Before The Game' and the players' pre-game ritual of listening to music.