Luis Suarez: Player Profile

Suarez Returns For El Clasico

Personal information 
Full name: Luis Alberto Suarez Diaz
Date of birth: (1987-01-24) 24 January 1987
Age: 27
Place of birth: Salto, Uruguay
Height: 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position: Striker

Club information 
Current team:

Youth career 
2003–2005: Nacional

Senior career 
2005–2006 Nacional 34 Appearances, 12 goals
2006–2007 Groningen 37 Appearances, 15 goals
2007–2011 Ajax 159 Appearances, 111 goals 
2011–2014 Liverpool 133 Appearances, 82 goals 
2014– Barcelona 0 Appearances, 0 goals

National team
2006–2007 Uruguay U20 4 Appearances, 2 goals
2012 Uruguay U23 3 Appearances, 3 goals 
2007– Uruguay 79 Appearances, 42 goals

All eyes will be on Luis Suarez when he returns for Barcelona in the 'Clasico' this weekend. The time is drawing near to make his Barcelona debut, and manager Luis Enrique will be pondering how to utilise him against Real Madrid. The Premier League's Golden Boot winner will be relishing the chance to show that Barca didn't make a mistake in paying such a fortune for his signature, and there is no better opponent than Real Madrid to prove his point.

His four-month ban for biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup expires the night before Enrique's side travel to the Santiago Bernabeu to face their rivals on October 25. The main obstacle to Suarez having an impact on the game is a possible lack of match fitness. Having not played in an official match since that ill-fated game during the World Cup, there's no doubt that Suarez won't be at the peak of his powers. However, even a half-fit Suarez still has something to offer. Barcelona have looked to get Suarez as many minutes on the pitch as possible in recent weeks, so he's up to speed. It started with a cameo appearance at the Joan Gamper friendly about a week before the season began. That was mainly about him saying hello to the fans rather than to build up his fitness. However, as soon as Barcelona got the all-clear from FIFA to allow him to train with his team-mates, it's been all systems go. First, Barcelona arranged a training ground friendly against Barcelona B, which saw Suarez net twice. He then pulled off the same trick for Barcelona B in a friendly against Indonesia U19s. Making his international comeback in a friendly late last week, Suarez helped create Uruguay's only goal in a 1-1 draw with Saudi Arabia. It took until the second half for Suarez to muster the chance for Uruguay in Jeddah, but it was single-handedly created by the controversial £75million striker. Suarez won the initial free-kick after a rash challenge near the half-way line before peeling away from defenders to meet the resulting cross. Some claimed he looked chubby when playing in the friendly against the Indonesian youth side, but Enrique said he saw the same Suarez that had turned out for Liverpool. He has settled down in Barcelona, moving away from the in-laws and finding his own place near Javier Mascherano. Those two have been close during their time at Barcelona, with Mascherano—or Jefecito (little boss) as he is affectionately known—showing him the ropes. Johan Cruyff is another player who had a delayed start to life at Barcelona, but hit the ground running when he was allowed to begin.

Luis Suarez was presented with the Golden Shoe trophy by his former Liverpool manager, Kenny Dalglish, at a ceremony in Barcelona. Suarez, who signed for Barcelona in the summer, receives the award having finished last season – along with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo – as scorer of the most league goals in Europe. The pair each scored 31 times, Suarez’s goals coming for Liverpool. The 27-year-old Uruguay striker said on receiving the trophy: “I want to thank all the most important people in my life, my wife and my children. And of course everyone at Liverpool – all my colleagues, not just last year but over the whole three and a half years I was at the club. A message from the Liverpool captain, Steven Gerrard, was played during the event in which the midfielder had nothing but kind words for his former team-mate. “Huge congratulations from myself, Luis’ ex-team-mates and everyone connected to Liverpool Football Club,” the midfielder said. “This is a very special award and it is thoroughly deserved. You were unbelievable all season for us, a magical player, and Barcelona are very lucky to have your services moving forward. I’m sure there are many more individual awards to come. Good luck for the future, mate, we miss you very much.” 

Luis Suarez will wear number ‘9’, a number he inherits from Alexis Sanchez. Others that have worn the famous shirt include, Ibrahimovic, Eto’o, Kluivert and Ronaldo. In Suarez, Barca have a classic goal-getter – the kind of player whose primary objective is to put the ball in the back of the net. There have been 18 others in the last two decades. The most recent example was David Villa, signed in 2010, although in three seasons at the Camp Nou he was usually played out wide. Luis Suarez becomes the seventh South American striker that Barca have had in the last two decades. The 27 year old striker has been leading goalscorer in both the Eredivisie and the Premier League and he has never scored less than 10 goals in a league season. Suarez is famed as a striker but can play anywhere in the forward line and also supplies plenty of assists. He provides magic and goals. One of the biggest stars on the global football stage, having just scored 31 goals in 33 games to top the scoring charts in the Premier League. At Anfield, his stats improved along with his team’s performances, which almost resulted in Liverpool winning the championship for the first time in 24 years. The Uruguayan is quick and unpredictable and can shoot with either foot, making him a lethal addition to any strike-force. But Luis Suarez doesn’t only score. He also gives assists. In 2007/08, his team-mate Klaas-Jan Huntelaar topped the Dutch scoring charts with 33 goals, 17 of which had come from Suarez assists. And last season, more than half of Daniel Sturridge’s 21 Premiership goals, 12 in all; came from passes delivered by the Uruguayan. The two combined broke the all-time EPL goalscoring record for an attacking duo with their 52 goals.

Suarez’s speed makes him the perfect centre-forward, but he can also play on the right or left. It makes no difference. He’ll still get his team goals. Suarez is also the main man in his national team. He led Uruguay to the Copa America 2011 title, where he was also named Player of the Tournament. Along with Diego Forlan and Edinson Cavani, he also played a key role in getting Uruguay into the 2010 World Cup semi-finals. The Uruguayan hit man is the sort of explosive player that settles huge ties like Clasicos, and it almost seems like fate that he will contribute something against Los Blancos on his Barcelona debut.