Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Tribute to Luis Alberto Suarez
Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈlwiz 'swares]; born 24 January 1987), commonly known as Luis Suárez and nicknamed "El Pistolero" (The Gunfighter), is a Uruguayan international footballer who plays for Premier League club Liverpool as a striker. Suárez also plays for the Uruguayan national team. He has been praised as an excellent goal scorer with "remarkable technical ability" who is also known for creating chances for his teammates.
Suárez was born in Salto, Uruguay, and moved with his family to Montevideo, where he grew up with a single mother and six siblings. In 2005, he began his professional career at Montevideo side Nacional. At age 19, in 2006, he moved to the Netherlands with Eredivisie side Groningen. Suárez transferred to Ajax in 2007 and made a major impact at the Amsterdam club. In 2008–09 he was named club Player of the Year and he led Ajax in scoring, although he was suspended for both fighting with a teammate and for getting seven yellow cards on the season. The following year he was made the club captain, he 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. But that season he was also involved in an incident in which he bit the shoulder of PSV player Otman Bakkal. He was branded the "Cannibal of Ajax" and suspended seven games. During his suspension, in January 2011, he transferred to Liverpool for €26.5 million. Suárez was one of Liverpool’s best players during his partial season and helped the club move from twelfth in the league in mid-January to finish sixth.
Suárez represented Uruguay at the youth level in the 2007 U-20 World Cup. In 2007 he scored in his senior team debut against Columbia but was also sent off for a second yellow card. In the 2010 World Cup he played an important role for Uruguay's fourth place finish and he scored three goals. But he was also involved in one of the tournament's most controversial incidents in the final minutes of extra time against Ghana; in a tied game, he saved a goal with his hands to prevent his team from losing. He was given a red card, but the ensuing penalty kick was missed and Uruguay advanced after winning the shootout. He was labeled a villain and a cheat but also as a hero for sacrificing himself for his team. In 2011, Suárez scored four goals for Uruguay as they won a record fifteenth Copa América, and he was named Player of the Tournament.