Luis Suarez is one of the most talented and controversial footballers of his generation. The Uruguayan striker is renowned for his goalscoring prowess, creativity, and intensity on the pitch, but has also been involved in several biting and racism scandals throughout his career.
Suarez currently plays for Atlético Madrid and the Uruguay national team. He has previously played for major clubs including Liverpool, Barcelona and Ajax. Suarez has won numerous honors at both club and international level.
In this comprehensive article, we will explore Suarez’s background, career, net worth, records, family, achievements and relationships. Read on to learn everything about one of football’s most polarizing characters.
Luis Suarez’s Background and Early Life
Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz was born on January 24, 1987 in Salto, Uruguay. He was raised in a poor family and had a difficult childhood.
Suarez developed a passion for football at a young age and joined his first youth team at age 7. He moved to the capital Montevideo as a teenager to pursue his football dreams, but struggled with homesickness and considered quitting.
However, Suarez persevered and eventually caught the eye of top Dutch club Groningen, who signed him as a teenager in 2006. This move proved to be the big break that launched his professional career in Europe.
How Old is Luis Suarez? Age and Early Club Career
Luis Suarez is currently 36 years old. He was born in 1987.
After moving to Groningen in the Netherlands, Suarez made his professional debut at age 19 in 2006. He was later sold to Ajax Amsterdam in 2007 where he really began to make his mark.
During his time at Ajax from 2007-2011, Suarez blossomed into a prolific goalscorer and also won honors including the Eredivisie league title and KNVB Cup. He scored 111 goals in 159 total games for Ajax, attracting attention from top clubs around Europe.
Suarez’s Transfer to Liverpool and Prime Years (2011-2014)
In January 2011, Luis Suarez made the move to English club Liverpool for £22.8 million. This marked a major step up in his career to a historically big Premier League club.
Suarez experienced a rocky start to his Liverpool career, serving bans for racial abuse and biting incidents in his first two seasons. However, his on-pitch ability was undeniable as he led Liverpool’s attack.
The 2013/14 season proved to be Suarez’s best and most controversial at Liverpool. He formed a feared striking partnership with Daniel Sturridge and scored 31 league goals, but also faced a lengthy ban for biting an opponent.
Despite the controversies, Suarez became a hero for Liverpool fans and won major individual honors including the PFA Players’ Player of the Year. He nearly led the club to their first Premier League title in 2014.
Transfer to Barcelona and Continued Success (2014-2020)
After lighting up the Premier League, Luis Suarez fulfilled his ambition of joining Spanish giants Barcelona in 2014 for €81 million.
At Barcelona, Suarez formed part of the legendary attacking trio of “MSN” alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar. He had a prolific debut season, scoring 16 goals to help Barca win the treble.
During his six seasons at Camp Nou, Suarez won an impressive haul of trophies including four La Liga titles, four Copa del Reys, the Champions League, and FIFA Club World Cup.
He scored 198 goals in 283 games for Barcelona, cementing his reputation as one of the deadliest strikers in the world. Suarez enjoyed great success at club level and built strong chemistry with Lionel Messi in particular.
Joining Atlético Madrid (2020-Present)
In the summer of 2020, Barcelona made the decision to let Suarez go as part of a rebuilding project under new coach Ronald Koeman.
Suarez promptly signed with Spanish rivals Atlético Madrid on a free transfer. Showing he still had much to offer, Suarez fired Atletico to the La Liga title in his debut 2020/21 season, winning his fifth league crown in Spain.
Now aged 36, Suarez remains an important player under manager Diego Simeone at Atlético as he approaches the late stages of his illustrious club career.
Luis Suarez’s Net Worth, Salary and Sponsorships
According to estimates, Luis Suarez has a net worth of approximately $70 million as of 2024. His net worth has steadily increased over his long playing career thanks to lucrative contracts and endorsements.
At the peak of his career, Suarez earned around $20 million per season in salary from Barcelona. He was once the 3rd highest paid soccer player behind Messi and Ronaldo.
Currently at Atlético Madrid, Suarez earns a reported $150,000 a week or $7.8 million annually in wages. His boot deal with Adidas is also worth several million per year.
In his career, Suarez has had endorsement deals with major brands like Pepsi, 888poker, Abitab, and more. His long track record of success with top clubs contributes to his high net worth.
Luis Suarez’s Wife and Family
Luis Suarez has been married to his wife Sofía Balbi since 2009. The couple first met as teenagers in Uruguay before Suarez’s career took off.
Suarez and Sofia have three children together – a daughter Delfina (born 2010) and two sons named Benjamin (born 2013) and Lauti (born 2018). He likes to keep his family life relatively private.
Following Suarez’s transfers around Europe, his wife and kids have moved with him to all his major club destinations. Family support has been important for Suarez despite living away from his native Uruguay.
Career Records, Awards and Achievements
- Uruguay’s all-time leading goal scorer (68 goals in 138 games)
- Fourth highest goalscorer in Barcelona’s history (198 goals)
- Won 17 major trophies with Barcelona (2015 Champions League, 4 Liga titles, etc)
- Premier League Golden Boot winner in 2013/14 season (31 goals for Liverpool)
- PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 2013/14
- Copa America Best Player in 2011
- European Golden Shoe winner twice (2014, 2016)
- La Liga Pichichi Trophy winner twice (2016, 2017)
- FIFA FIFPro World XI 5 times
- UEFA Champions League Team of the Season (2014/15)
- Named in UEFA Team of the Year in 2014
- Ballon d’Or nominee for world’s best player multiple times
Controversies and Disciplinary Issues
While undoubtedly one of the best strikers of his generation, Suarez’s career has been marked by major controversies and disciplinary issues including:
- 2010 World Cup – Suarez committed a deliberate handball on the goal line to deny Ghana a winner in the quarter-finals. He was sent off but Uruguay prevailed in penalties.
- 2011 Suspension – Suarez received an 8-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra during an incident in the Premier League. He was also fined £40,000 by the FA.
- Multiple Biting Incidents – Suarez infamously bit opponents on 3 different occasions in his career – Ottman Bakkal (2010), Branislav Ivanovic (2013), and Giorgio Chiellini (2014). This earned him lengthy bans.
- 2014 World Cup – Suarez bizarrely bit Italian defender Chiellini on the shoulder and was handed a 4 month ban from all football activities by FIFA.
These disciplinary issues have tarnished Suarez’s reputation in the game despite his world class ability. He has been labelled the most controversial footballer of his generation.
Luis Suarez’s Relationship and Rivalry with Lionel Messi
At Barcelona from 2014-2020, Luis Suarez formed a legendary partnership and close friendship with Lionel Messi.
Together with Neymar, Messi and Suarez formed the club’s deadly “MSN” attacking trio that led Barcelona to new heights. Suarez assisted many of Messi’s goals.
Off the pitch, Messi and Suarez built a strong bond over their families, their kids became close friends, and the two superstars supported each other at Barcelona for many years.
However, there was also an element of rivalry between them as the two forwards competed to be Barcelona’s main scorer. Suarez gave Messi motivation to keep performing at his best.
Since Suarez’s departure from Barcelona in 2020, the two have remained good friends but now battle against each other in La Liga as Messi is at PSG.
In conclusion, Luis Suarez’s legacy in football is a complex one tainted by disciplinary issues, but his sheer ability and will to win cannot be denied. At his peak, Suarez was one of the most feared strikers in the world, breaking records for both club and country.
His goalscoring exploits for Ajax, Liverpool and Barcelona have etched his name into history. Suarez has won numerous honors and awards at both the club and individual level. On the international stage, he became Uruguay’s greatest ever goalscorer.
However, Suarez’s unsporting behaviors like biting and racism have led to multiple lengthy bans that affected his teams. He is one of the most controversial characters in modern football. Yet his passion and skill continue to captivate fans when focused solely on football.
As Suarez enters the twilight of his career, his legacy will be defined by both his world-class talent and excessive aggression in equal measure. There is no doubting his status as one of the most polarizing, but gifted players of his generation.
Frequently Asked Questions about Luis Suarez
What nationality is Luis Suarez?
Luis Suarez is a Uruguayan national who represents the Uruguay national team in international football. He was born and raised in Salto, Uruguay.
How many goals has Suarez scored in his career?
Suarez has scored over 500 senior career goals for club and country. He is Uruguay’s all-time leading scorer with 68 goals. At club level, he has scored 198 goals for Barcelona, 82 goals for Liverpool, and 111 goals for Ajax among others.
What position does Luis Suarez play?
Suarez plays as a striker or forward, primarily as a central striker but also comfortable playing on the wings. He is known for his creativity, technique, and eye for goal.
Which club does Luis Suarez play for now?
After 6 seasons at Barcelona, Suarez currently plays for Atlético Madrid in La Liga, having signed for them as a free agent in 2020.
What number does Luis Suarez wear?
Suarez has worn the number 7, 9 and 11 shirt during his club career. At Barcelona, he wore number 9, while for Atlético Madrid he wears number 9. For Uruguay national team, he wears number 9.
Why did Suarez leave Barcelona?
In the 2020 summer transfer window, Barcelona made the decision to terminate Suarez’s contract as part of a rebuilding project under new coach Ronald Koeman. This led to Suarez joining rivals Atlético Madrid after 6 successful seasons at Barcelona.