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Luis Suárez


Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈlwis ˈswaɾes]; born 24 January 1987) is a Uruguayan footballer who plays as a forward for English Premier League club Liverpool and the Uruguayan national team. In 2003, Suárez began his career as a youth player for Nacional, later in 2006, Suárez moved to the Netherlands to play for Groningen in the Eredivisie. Suárez transferred to Ajax in 2007. In 2008–09 he was named Ajax Player of the Year. The following year, he was made the club captain, became the league's top scorer 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, joining a group of players including Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten and Dennis Bergkamp in doing 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 at the end of the season. In February 2012, Suárez won his first trophy with Liverpool, as they won the Football League Cup. On 22 March 2014, he scored his sixth Premier League hat-trick for the club, making him the most frequent scorer of hat-tricks in Premier League history. On 27 April 2014 he won the PFA Players' Player of the Year award, becoming the first non-European to win the award.[2] Suárez also won the FWA Footballer of the Year, and was named in the 2013–14 PFA Team 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.

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, and 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.[3] On 23 June 2013, he became Uruguay's all-time record goalscorer with 35 goals. Suárez has been the source of much controversy throughout his career.[4][5][6] As well as his 2010 World Cup goal-line handball, he has also bitten three opponents,[7][8][9][10] has been widely accused of and admitted to diving,[11][12] and was found guilty by the FA of racially abusing Patrice Evra,[13] a decision Suárez disputes.[14]

Style of play

Suárez creates goal scoring chances with his powerful shot,[134] aerial ability[134][187] and "remarkable technical ability".[187] 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",[188] and Liverpool coach Kenny Dalglish said, "he's intelligent, he's had a fantastic education at Ajax."[189] Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge said his abilities allow him to get into a position to score[190] and evade defenders.[191] Suárez has been praised for his work rate,[191] and his quickness[189] that allows him to attack from the outside.[187] He also creates scoring opportunities for his teammates.[1]

Former Ajax coach Marco van Basten criticized Suárez for his tendency to pick up yellow cards.[27] Van Basten said he had a tense relationship with Suárez,[27] although he conceded, "Luis is unpredictable, he’s hard to influence but that makes him special."[27] At times, Suárez can be dominant but fail to convert his efforts into goals.[192] Despite his weaknesses, Suárez’s leadership stood out to Ajax management.[54]Suárez has also been widely accused of diving.[11][193][194][195] His manager, team-mates and various analysts have commented that this reputation for simulation has caused referees not to award him legitimate penalties.[196][197] 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.[198] Suárez has also been accused of stamping on opponents in the Premier League and the Europa League.[199][200][201] In December 2013, Spanish football website El Gol Digital ranked Suárez at 5th in its list of the world's dirtiest footballers.[202]

Personal life

Suárez was born in Salto, Uruguay, the fourth of seven brothers.[17][203] He moved with his family to Montevideo when he was seven, and his parents separated when he was nine.[203] In Montevideo, Suárez developed his football skills on the streets,[18][203] while he also had to take up work as a street sweeper.[16] His older brother, Paolo Suárez, is also a professional footballer, currently playing for Comunicaciones in Guatemala.[204] Suárez started to date Sofia Balbi, whom he eventually married in 2009, at the age of 15 in Montevideo; his focus on football strengthened when the Balbis moved to Barcelona in 2003 as a means to get to Europe and join Sofia again.[16] The contrast between his life in Europe and the poverty he left behind has been cited as the likely cause behind his occasional in-game aggression and it may explain the much more forgiving attitude of the Uruguayan public and press towards such cases, compared to Europe.[16]Suárez is of mixed race, with a black grandfather.[205] Suárez's grandmother used to call her husband "Mi Negrito", and blamed that for the alleged words her grandson used during his altercation with Patrice Evra.[206]
In 2009 he married Sofia Balbi. The couple have a daughter[17][207] and a son.

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