Player Profile - Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez Having His Best Season To Date

Personal information
Full name: Luis Alberto Suarez Diaz 
Date of birth: 24 January 1987 (age 29)
Place of birth: Salto, Uruguay
Height: 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position: Forward

Club information
Current team: Barcelona
Number: 9

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 93 Appearances, 79 goals   

National career
2006–2007 Uruguay U20 4 Appearances, 2 goals 
2012 Uruguay U23 3 Appearances, 3 goals
2007– Uruguay 84 Appearances, 45 goals 

Luis Suarez remains on course to clinch the coveted European Golden Shoe award, as he netted his 35th league goal of the season last Saturday as the Spanish giants survived a tricky encounter with Real Betis during Saturday's La Liga action, beating the Andalusians 2-0 to reclaim the top spot in the standings. Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t feature for his side due to injury and was therefore unable to close the gap at the summit. 

Jonas remains alongside Ronaldo on 31 goals, as he failed to find the back of the net in Benfica’s 1-0 win over Vitoria Guimaraes. Although Messi remains the undoubted star of this wonderful Barcelona team, increasingly it's Suarez who is the one expected to administer the decisive blow. 

All eyes were on Suarez, as Barcelona headed to Real Betis last Saturday evening after the Uruguay forward netted eight goals in his previous two games. After missing a hatful of chances on the night, the Blaugrana man eventually got his name on the scoresheet late on. It was a strike that effectively ended the contest, cementing a vital win for Barcelona and a spot at the top of the table again. Suarez has been vital to Barca pulling themselves out of the slump that allowed the capital clubs back into the title picture. 

The Uruguayan has now been involved in 50 La Liga goals this season (35 goals, 15 assists), a league high. With just a few games remaining in the majority of European leagues, time is running out for elite forwards from across the continent to beat Suarez to that prestigious golden boot award. The Barcelona man is in a battle to secure the league title for his side, too, meaning there will be no let up from him between now and the end of the campaign. 

With silverware in sight, expect the 29-year-old to preserve the impeccable standards he’s showcased as of late and add this individual accolade to the La Liga title. Much has been made of Barca's devastating forward trio, but Neymar and Messi were together for the team's unsuccessful 2013/14 campaign. It took the arrival of Suarez to make things work. The numbers have been remarkable too. 

Suarez has 54 goals in all competitions this season – that the highest tally of his professional career, with his previous best being 49 goals in 48 games in the 2009/10 season with Ajax Amsterdam. But there's more to his game. He presses and harries so others don't have to. Suarez creates goal scoring chances with his powerful shot, and remarkable technical ability. 

Known for his direct running towards goal, Suarez has a particular penchant for nutmegging opponents (putting the ball through their legs). Harry Redknapp said that Suarez could play anywhere – as the target man or behind as a second striker Suarez 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. With 15 La Liga assists, he's directly contributed to more goals than anyone in Europe's top-five leagues.  

We could have a new winner, folks! After an eight-year duopoly of Messi and Ronaldo, there could be a new name inscribed on the Ballon d’Or in 2016. The fixation with that particular duel is finally fading, allowing new contenders to emerge, notably Suarez and Neymar. Obviously, it’s only May. Nobody has ever won the award for tearing it up in winter. Like Oscar season in Hollywood, the timing is often as important as the display. 

But the Uruguayan is currently eclipsing his rivals – while playing with a selflessness rarely seen at the top – and has a genuine chance of being crowned the globe’s finest player... if he can keep it up. Suarez said he was "not angry" after he was omitted from last year's three-man shortlist, but privately he might have felt at least a little aggrieved. The Uruguayan was outstanding in 2015, scoring 49 goals in all competitions an especially remarkable figure considering he didn’t even start playing until October because of the FIFA suspension. He’s doubled that number in his second season, as his love affair with FC Barcelona moves up to a whole new level and combining with Messi and Neymar to devastating effect. Suarez is still prone to grabbing the headlines for the wrong reasons, but he tops La Liga's scoring charts this season and there is no disputing his spell-binding quality.