Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz is a Uruguayan professional footballer who plays as a striker for Spanish club Barcelona and the Uruguay national team. Often regarded as one of the best players in the world, and also as one of the greatest strikers of all time, Suárez has won 18 trophies in his career, which include six league titles, a UEFA Champions League title at club level, and a Copa América with Uruguay. A prolific goalscorer, Suárez has won two European Golden Shoes,
an Eredivisie Golden Boot, a Premier League Golden Boot, also ending the six-year dominance of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo by winning La Liga's Pichichi Trophy in 2016. He has scored 475 senior career goals for club and country.
Suárez began his career as a youth player for Nacional in 2003. At age 19, he relocated to the Netherlands to play for Groningen, before transferring to Ajax in 2007. He won his first trophy in 2010, the KNVB Cup, finishing the season as the league's top scorer and was named Dutch Footballer of the Year. A year later, he helped Ajax secure the Eredivisie title, and scored his 100th Ajax goal. In January 2011, Suárez transferred to Liverpool, and won the League Cup in his first full season. In 2014, he was named the PFA Players' Player of the Year and the FWA Footballer of the Year as well as winning the Premier League Golden Boot, and sharing the European Golden Shoe with Cristiano Ronaldo before moving to Barcelona in a transfer worth €82.3 million, making him one of the most expensive players in football history.
In his first season at Barcelona, Suárez starred in an attacking trio alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar, helping the club win a historic second continental treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League. Messi, Suárez, Neymar, scored a total of 122 goals that season, the most for an attacking front three in Spanish football history. In his second season at the club, Suárez won his first Pichichi Trophy as well as his second European Golden Shoe, for which he became the first player since 2009 to win both awards other than Messi or Ronaldo. He ended the season with a total of 40 league goals, 14 of which came in his last five matches, and 16 assists, becoming the first player in history to top La Liga in both goals and assists.
At international level, Suárez is Uruguay's all-time leading goalscorer, and has represented his nation at three editions of the FIFA World Cup and three editions of the Copa América, as well as the 2012 Summer Olympics, and the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, where he helped his team to a fourth-place finish. At the 2010 FIFA World Cup he played an important role in Uruguay's fourth-place finish, scoring three goals, as well as controversially blocking an otherwise game-winning goal-bound extra time header with his hands during the quarter-final against Ghana. At the 2011 Copa América, Suárez scored four goals as Uruguay 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 before he was suspended from the tournament after biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.
Suárez has been a source of controversy throughout his career. As well as his goal-line handball in the 2010 FIFA World Cup against Ghana, he has also bitten opponents on three separate occasions. He has also been accused of and admitted to diving, and in 2011, the FA found him guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra, a decision Suárez disputes.
YouthSuárez lived his early years at the Cerro neighbourhood in Salto, where he played youth football at Sportivo Artigas. At age seven, he moved with his family to Montevideo, where he played youth football at Urreta FC. When he was a kid, a car ran over his foot, breaking the 5th metatarsal bone. In spite of the injury, he continued to play.
NacionalSuárez joined local side Nacional's youth team at age 14. At age 16, Suárez headbutted a referee after showing his discontent following a red card, although a sports editor claimed he "accidentally fell into the referee". One night, he was caught drinking and partying, prompting his coach to threaten he would never play unless he started playing football more seriously. In May 2005, at age 18, Suárez made his first-team debut against Atlético Junior 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 matches.
Suárez was found by a group of scouts from the Dutch club Groningen when they were in Uruguay to scout another player. As they watched, he won and converted a penalty and scored a "wonder goal" against Defensor. After watching only that match, the scouts approached Suárez and said they wanted to buy him, and after the season, Groningen paid Nacional €800,000 for him. Suárez was thrilled to go to Europe because his then girlfriend, and now wife, Sofía Balbi, had moved to Barcelona; they had maintained a long-distance relationship for a year and he wanted to move closer to her.
GroningenSuárez was 19 years old when he joined Groningen. Initially, Suárez struggled because he could not speak Dutch or English, and he played on the second team to adjust to the Dutch game. His teammate 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 teammates 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 Serbian club Partizan in his European debut on 14 September 2006.
Ajax saw potential in Suárez and offered Groningen €3.5 million for him, but Groningen rejected the offer. Suárez was upset and brought his case to the Royal Dutch Football Association '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.
AjaxUEFA 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 the league table 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. He was suspended for seven games for biting an opponent while at Ajax.2008–09 season, Ajax head 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 one match 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 teammate Albert Luque over a free kick. Ajax ended the season in third place. Suárez scored 22 goals in 31 league matches and finished second in scoring tables, one goal behind Mounir El Hamdaoui of AZ. Suárez was also named Ajax Player of the Year.2009–10 season, Martin Jol replaced Van Basten as head coach. After the departure of Ajax 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. He had a number of multiple-goal matches throughout the season, including four in wins over Slovan Bratislava in the UEFA Europe League play-off round, VVV-Venlo and Roda JC. He scored three in the first half in another win over VVV-Venloand six against WHC Wezep in the KNVB Cup as Ajax won by a club-record margin of 14–1.
Suárez scored two goals 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 Twente.
Suárez ended the season as the Eredivisie's top scorer with 35 goals in 33 matches, and had 49 goals in all competitions. He was named Ajax Player of the Year for the second straight year and Dutch Footballer of the Year.PAOK in a UEFA Champions League qualifier. This put him in an elite group of players, including Johan Cruyff, Marco 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.
First biting incidentOn 20 November 2010, Suárez bit PSV's Otman Bakkal on the shoulder during a 0–0 draw. Ajax suspended him for two matches 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.
Transfer to LiverpoolDuring the suspension, Ajax were in contact with other European clubs interested in Suárez. On 28 January 2011, they accepted a €26.5 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 match. 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 7 goals in 13 appearances. While he was at Ajax, Suárez scored 111 goals in 159 appearances.
2010–11 seasonOn 31 January 2011, Suárez signed a five-and-a-half-year deal with Liverpool until 2016, and was the club's most expensive signing until the arrival of Andy Carroll a few hours later. Suárez requested the number seven shirt, which had been worn by Liverpool legends Kenny Dalglish, his new manager, Kevin Keegan, and Peter Beardsley 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 79th minute. He was one of Liverpool's best players during his partial season and helped Liverpool go from 12th in the league in mid-January to finish sixth. He finished the 2010–11 season with four goals in 13 games.
2011–12 seasonAfter 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 League Cup, defeating Cardiff City in penalty shootout. On 28 April, Suárez scored his first Liverpool hat-trick in a 3–0 win against Norwich City at Carrow Road. He finished sixth for the 2011 FIFA Ballon d'Or.
Racial abuse incidentThe season was marked by an incident in which Suárez was found guilty by a three-man panel from The Football Association of racially abusing Patrice Evra during a match against Manchester United in October; he was issued an eight-match suspension and a £40,000 fine. Suárez disputed this decision.
After a 1–1 draw against Manchester United on 15 October 2011, Suárez was accused of racially abusing Evra, and the FA 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 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 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 "it's not his job to own up", while Mansfield manager Paul Cox said he felt "a little bit gutted" by the "instinctive" handball, but admitted he would have accepted a goal scored like that by one of his players.
On 19 January, Suárez 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 2–3. On 2 March, Suárez scored a hat-trick against Wigan Athletic, leading Liverpool to a dominant 4–0 victory at the DW Stadium. In so doing, 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 scoring 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 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% of votes in a poll of the club's supporters.
Second biting incidentOn 21 April 2013, during a 2–2 draw with Chelsea in a Premier League match 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 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 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 Liverpool had previously promised to allow him a transfer if the club failed to qualify for the 2013–14 UEFA Champions League. The following day, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said 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 YearOn 14 August, Suárez appeared to reverse his position about wanting to leave the club, with reports stating 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 contrition" to his teammates 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 defeated 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 matches, "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 5 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 defeated 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 which took Liverpool top of the league with six matches remaining. On 20 April, he scored in a 3–2 win at Norwich 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 matches, winning the Premier League Golden Boot, with Sturridge as runner-up, as Liverpool came second in the league and returned to the UEFA 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 suspensionOn 11 July 2014, Suárez agreed with Barcelona on a five-year contract for an undisclosed transfer fee. However, according to a leaked document by Football Leaks, the fee was £64.98 million, making him one of the most expensive players in world football history. Barça confirmed 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. He was also banned from entering 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 and requested the sanctions be reduced or the suspension to be lifted. The parties were heard at a hearing which took place at the CAS offices in Lausanne, Switzerland, 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 forwards Lionel Messi and Neymar had already been substituted off by the time Suárez took to the pitch.
2014–15 seasonSuárez made his competitive debut for Barcelona on 25 October, starting in attack with Lionel Messi and Neymar away to Real Madrid in 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.
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, saying, "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 seasonSuárez 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. On 20 April, he again scored four times in a match, as well as assisting three further goals for teammates, as Barça won 8–0 away at Deportivo de La Coruña in La Liga. Only three days later, he scored another four goals in a 6–0 home win over Sporting de Gijón, for which Suárez became the first player to score four times in two consecutive matches in the history of La Liga. On 30 April, Suárez became the second player in the history of the club to reach the milestone of 35 goals in a single season.
On the final day of the 2015–16 La Liga season, Suárez scored a hat-trick in a 3–0 victory at Granada to win the Spanish championship for Barça and registered 40 league goals for the season to win the Pichichi Trophy, for which Suárez became the first player since 2009 to win both the Pichichi and the European Golden Shoe other than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Fourteen of his goals came in his last five matches. Suárez also led the league in assists, tied at 16 with Messi, becoming the first player ever to lead La Liga in both goals and assists.
On 22 May 2016, Suárez suffered a season-ending injury during Barcelona's 2–0 victory over Sevilla in the 2016 Copa del Rey Final. The club confirmed after the match that Suárez had suffered an injury to his right hamstring, and would likely miss at least part of the upcoming Copa América Centenario with his national football team. For Uruguay, Suárez also previously missed part of the 2014 World Cup and the entire 2015 Copa América through suspension. The front three of Messi, Suárez and Neymar finished the season with 131 goals, breaking the record they had set the previous year for most goals by an attacking trio in a single season.
2016–17 seasonSuárez opened his goal scoring account by scoring a goal in the first leg of the 2016 Supercopa de España against Sevilla and winning the match 0–2. In the first match of the 2016–17 La Liga season, Suárez scored a hat-trick in a 6–2 victory against Real Betis in which he scored his first free-kick goal for Barcelona. Suárez made his 100th Barcelona appearance in a 2–1 defeat at home to Alavés. Though unable to score, Suárez claimed the distinction of scoring more goals and assists in his first 100 matches in Spain than both Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi; Suárez contributed 88 goals and 43 assists in his first 100 matches for Barcelona, compared to Ronaldo's 95 goals and 29 assists, and Messi's 41 goals and 14 assists.
Suárez opened his UEFA Champions League account for the season with two goals in a 7–0 defeat of Celtic; this was followed by another goal in a 5–1 defeat of Leganés. On 11 January 2017, Suárez scored his 100th goal for Barcelona in a Copa del Rey round of 16 match against Athletic Bilbao.
On 7 February, Suárez scored and was later sent off for a second yellow in the semi-final match of the Copa del Rey against Atlético Madrid for an alleged foul on Koke, his first red card competitively for Barcelona, meaning he would miss the final. In an interview after the match, Suárez said he strongly disagreed with the decision, and wished to appeal it, saying, "I'm laughing at that second yellow, it's not even a foul. I did absolutely nothing. I hope the club will appeal it."
2017–18 seasonOn 23 September, Suárez scored in Barcelona’s win over Girona in the first ever Catalan derby for the opposition. On 14 October, Suárez maintained Barcelona’s undefeated start to a La Liga season with a late header against Atlético Madrid at the Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid. He scored twice against Leganés in a 3–0 win at the Estadio Municipal de Butarque on 18 November. On 17 December, Suárez scored two against Deportivo La Coruña in a 4–0 win. Less than a week later, Suárez opened the scoring for Barcelona in a 3–0 win over Real Madrid at the Bernabéu.
After the mid season break, on 14 January Suárez scored twice in a 4–2 comeback win at Real Sociedad. Suarez scored a hat-trick in a 6–1 win over Girona at the Camp Nou on 24 February. On 31 March, late goals from Suarez and Messi secured a 2–2 draw against Sevilla at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán. On 14 April, Suárez scored as Barcelona defeated València 2–1 to secure the longest unbeaten streak in La Liga history.
On 21 April, Barcelona won their fourth consecutive Copa del Rey title in beating Sevilla 5–0 in Madrid, with Suárez scoring twice. Barcelona held on for a dramatic 2–2 draw against Real Madrid on 6 May to extend their unbeaten streak in the league, with Suárez and Messi scoring the goals for Barca, before Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale drew Real level. Barcelona's record unbeaten streak came to an end on 13 May losing to Levante 4–5. Barcelona mounted a comeback after trailing 1–5, with Suárez scoring one and new club record signing Philippe Coutinho scoring a hat-trick.
2018–19 seasonOn 2 September 2018, Suárez scored twice for Barcelona in an 8–2 win over newly promoted Huesca. A week later he scored in their 2–1 victory at Real Sociedad, as the club made it four wins out of four in La Liga. On 28 October, Suárez scored a hat-trick in a 5–1 home win over Real Madrid in El Clásico. Suárez is only the second Barcelona player to score a hat-trick in El Clásico in La Liga since Romário in 1994.
International careerSuárez 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 finals, 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 U.S. won 2–1 and Uruguay was eliminated from 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 85th 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 play-offs and scored five goals.
2010 FIFA World CupIn 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 match, a 3–0 win over South Africa, Suárez drew a penalty and assisted Álvaro Pereira's stoppage time goal. In the final match of the group stage, 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 match went into extra time. Late in extra time, Ghana sent a free-kick into the box, and 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 match, 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 head coach Milovan Rajevac said the play was an "injustice" and Suárez was labelled a villain and a cheater. 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 the penalty would be missed, and his team would later win.
While Suárez was suspended for the semi-final match for his red card against Ghana, Uruguay "lacked a second striker
2011 Copa AméricaIn the 2011 Copa América, 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, 1-0 against Mexico, and two draws, against Peru and Chile. In the quarter-finals, Uruguay drew with tournament hosts Argentina 1–1 after regulation and extra time. 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 opening goal as Uruguay defeated Paraguay 3–0 for their record 15th Copa América title. Suárez scored four goals during the tournament and was named MVP of the Tournament.
2012 Summer OlympicsOn 9 July 2012, Suárez was selected for the Uruguay Olympic football team alongside Liverpool teammate Sebastián Coates to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games. In the first pre-tournament warm-up game against Chile on 11 July, Suárez scored a hat-trick for Uruguay as they came from 0–2 down to win 6–4 in a thrilling match.
As one of Uruguay's three overage players, Suárez was named as captain for the Olympic Games. After an opening win over the United Arab Emirates, Uruguay were defeated by Senegal and Great Britain and eliminated at the first round. Suárez failed to score during the tournament.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 teammate Diego Forlán. Uruguay were eventually eliminated in the semi-finals, losing 2–1 to Brazil in Belo Horizonte.
2014 FIFA World Cup, third biting incidentSuárez ended the 2014 World Cup qualification campaign as top scorer in the South American section with 11 goals in 14 matches. In November 2013, Uruguay defeated Jordan 5–0 on aggregate in an intercontinental play-off to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.
On 22 May, Suárez underwent emergency surgery on his left knee. He was confined to a wheelchair for a time, leading to rumours 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 play in the match. 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 match 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 and 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, 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 match 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 ruled him out of 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 the 1994 World Cup. He was also banned from taking part in any football-related activity for four months and fined CHF100,000. The seven-member FIFA panel studied the incident from 34 camera angles and rejected Suárez's defence that the bite was as a result of an accidental collision, instead finding the bite was "deliberate, intentional and without provocation... with the intention of wounding or at least of destabilising him". The severity of the penalty was due to the fact 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 eliminated from the World Cup.
On the same day the ban was announced, the Uruguayan Football Association said it would appeal the suspension. 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 head 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 all was forgotten and his hope that FIFA would reduce Suárez's suspension.
On 3 July, the AUF appealed 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 club 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".
Copa América Centenario and 2018 FIFA World CupOn 25 March 2016, after over a year of international absence for Uruguay, Suárez scored an equalizer against Brazil in Recife for a 2–2 draw in the qualification process for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Suárez was included in Uruguay's 23-man squad for the Copa América Centenario, although a hamstring injury sustained in the 2016 Copa del Rey final on 22 May put his place in the team in jeopardy. Although he remained in the squad, he missed both of his national side's opening group losses to Mexico and Venezuela, which resulted in a first-round elimination from the tournament. He was once again left on the substitutes' bench in Uruguay's final 3–0 group win over Jamaica on 13 June.
Suárez scored twice on 10 October 2017 as Uruguay won 4–2 at home to Bolivia in their final World Cup qualifying match, thus securing their place for the tournament in Russia. In March, Uruguay won the 2018 China Cup, and Suárez scored his 50th international goal with a penalty against the Czech Republic in the semi-finals, winning it himself when fouled by goalkeeper Jiří Pavlenka. He won his 100th cap on 20 June 2018 in Uruguay's second group match at the World Cup, scoring the only goal against Saudi Arabia at the Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don to advance the nation into the last 16. In the final group game on 25 June, Suárez scored Uruguay’s opener with a free kick into the bottom corner in a 3–0 win over hosts Russia. In the Round of 16 match against Portugal on 30 June, he set-up Cavani's opening goal in an eventual 2–1 victory. Uruguay were eliminated from the tournament following a 2–0 defeat to France in the quarter-finals on 6 July.Ecuador in the team's opening group match of the tournament, also setting up the opener scored by Nicolás Lodeiro.
In the quarter-finals against Peru on 29 June, he had a goal disallowed by VAR for offside, and was subsequently the only player to miss his spot-kick in the resulting penalty shoot-out, following a 0–0 draw after regulation time, which saw Uruguay eliminated from the competition.
Style of playSuárez creates goal scoring chances with his powerful shot, and has "remarkable technical ability" according to his FIFA profile. Known for his direct running at players, Suárez has a particular penchant for nutmegging opponents. Liverpool fans used to say he was so good, "he could nutmeg a mermaid". Harry Redknapp said that Suárez could play anywhere – as the target man or behind as a second striker. Uruguay head coach Óscar Tabárez called Suárez "a great forward, an elite player among forwards in the world", and 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 many scoring opportunities for his teammates, as is reflected in his high number of assists.
Former Ajax coach Marco van Basten criticised Suárez for his tendency to receive 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.
ControversiesSuárez has been widely accused of diving. His manager, teammates 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 his actions were "unacceptable" and that he would be dealt with "internally" by the club. During the 2018 World Cup game against Portugal, after collisions with Portuguese players, Suarez twice acted like he had a head injury despite Suarez's head not being touched.
Suárez has received infamy for the multiple occasions he has bitten opponents. In a Group D matchup at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Suarez was shown to have bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini, resulting in FIFA suspending Suarez from all football activities for 4 months. While playing for Liverpool, Suarez bit Chelsea player Branislav Ivanović in a Premier League match, and was punished with a ten match ban. In an earlier incident while playing for AFC Ajax he was caught biting PSV Eindhoven player Otman Bakkal and was suspended for seven games. Suárez has also been accused of stamping on opponents in the Premier League and the UEFA Europa League.
Due to his diving, biting, stamping, and other antics, Suárez has been frequently labelled as a pest and a cheat. In December 2013, Spanish football website El Gol Digital ranked Suárez at fifth in its list of the world's dirtiest footballers.
Media and sponsorshipSuárez had a sponsorship deal with German sportswear and equipment supplier Adidas, before switching to rivals Puma in 2018. 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. In Uruguay, Suárez has also appeared in advertisements for Abitab, Antel, Cablevisión, Garnier, Pepsi and Samsung.
Suárez features in EA Sports' FIFA video game series: as a result of Suárez's ban for his bite on Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup, players in FIFA 15 were unable to select Suárez until his ban ended on 26 October.
Active on social media, Suárez has over 35 million Instagram followers as of May 2020, the most for a person from Uruguay.
Personal lifeSuárez was born in Salto, Uruguay to Sandra Diaz and Rodolfo Suárez, the fourth of seven boys. His older brother, Paolo Suárez, is also a professional footballer, currently playing for Isidro Metapán in El Salvador.
Suárez moved with his family to Montevideo when he was seven, and his parents separated when he was nine. In Montevideo, he developed his football skills on the streets, while also taking up work as a street sweeper at the age of 15. 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 two-minute altercation; the FA judged his evidence unreliable en route to issuing him an eight-match ban. His mother also supported the claim Suárez made that using the word was not racist in Uruguay. She said it was "normal", and that it was "a word people use with their friends. It's like calling someone fat, thin or whatever."
Suárez began dating Sofía Balbi at age 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 Sofía again. Suárez married her in 2009, and the couple have a daughter named Delfina and two sons named Benjamin and Lauti. He has a tattoo of his daughter’s name Delfina on his wrist which he kisses as part of his goal celebration – this celebration routine is featured in EA Sports’ video game FIFA 15 as "Kiss The Wrist". On 11 July 2014, Suárez joined Barcelona, allowing him to live closer with his wife Sofía's family. On the move, Suárez said, " 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, Crossing the Line – My Story.
- Primera División: 2005–06
- Eredivisie: 2010–11
- KNVB Cup: 2009–10
- Football League Cup: 2011–12
- La Liga: 2014–15, 2015–16, 2017–18, 2018–19
- Copa del Rey: 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18
- Supercopa de España: 2016, 2018
- UEFA Champions League: 2014–15
- UEFA Super Cup: 2015
- FIFA Club World Cup: 2015
- Copa América: 2011
- Ajax Player of the Year: 2008–09, 2009–10
- Dutch Footballer of the Year: 2009–10
- Eredivisie Golden Boot: 2009–10
- IFFHS World's Best Top Division Goalscorer: 2010, 2014, 2016
- Copa América Player of the Tournament: 2011
- FIFA Ballon d'Or: 6th place 2011, 5th place 2015
- PFA Team of the Year: 2012–13 Premier League, 2013–14 Premier League
- Liverpool Player of the Season: 2012–13, 2013–14
- Premier League Player of the Month: December 2013, March 2014
- Liverpool Players' Player of the Season: 2013–14
- Liverpool Goal of the Season: 2013–14
- PFA Players' Player of the Year: 2013–14
- FWA Footballer of the Year: 2013–14
- Premier League Player of the Season: 2013–14
- Premier League Golden Boot: 2013–14
- FSF Player of the Year: 2013–14
- ESM Team of the Year: 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16
- European Golden Shoe: 2013–14, 2015–16
- UEFA Best Player in Europe Award: 2014, 2015, 2016
- Trofeo EFE: 2014–15
- UEFA Champions League Team of the Season: 2014–15, 2015–16
- FIFA Club World Cup Golden Ball: 2015
- FIFA Club World Cup Golden Boot: 2015
- FIFA Club World Cup MVP of the Final Match Trophy: 2015
- La Liga Pichichi Trophy: 2015–16
- La Liga World Player of the Year: 2015–16
- Barcelona Player of the Season : 2015–16
- UEFA La Liga Team of The Season: 2015–16, 2016–17
- FIFA FIFPro World11: 2016
- FIFA FIFPro World11 2nd team: 2014, 2015, 2017
- FIFA FIFPro World11 3rd team: 2018
- FIFA FIFPro World11 4th team: 2013
- FIFA FIFPro World11 nominee: 2019
- La Liga Player of the Month: May 2016, December 2017, October 2018, December 2019