Luis Suarez and Nacional, a love story – The Review

“There’s nothing better than home.” The phrase in quotation marks belongs to one of Gustavo Cerati’s most beautiful songs. The phrase, without quotes, lives in many people when long working hours say goodbye to finally give way to that incomparable warmth of home.

These six words can also be applied in football to the countless cases of so many players who, having won everything, want to return to the clubs where they took their first steps. To first love. The list goes on forever, but these days the spotlight is stolen by a single name. One that was the big bombshell of the intercontinental card market and which generated huge expectations in Uruguay: that of Luis Suarez.

The arrival of Luis Alberto Suarez Diaz at Nacional is much more than the recruitment of elite reinforcements for the Montevideo club: it is the arrival of a current legend, one of the best center forwards of the modern era and one of the most talented Uruguayans in history.

To understand the scale of the transition, you need to rewind time until you reach the same place where you started. Luis was born on January 24, 1987 in Salto, a border town with Argentina with a lot of soccer ancestry.

He grew up in a modest family and started playing ball at a very young age. In the baby of the local team, he alternated between being a striker and scoring a goal. However, he always preferred to score goals rather than avoid them, and little by little his early career turned that way. When he was 7 years old, they moved to Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, which marked an important change in his life.

He forged a winner’s mentality from a child, even though he had to scratch it. Scarcity knocked on the doors of his house without asking for permission, so as a teenager he had to learn to make a living by tending cars with his grandfather or sweeping streets. He could no longer play barefoot and had to earn money to buy boots. Thus, thanks to perseverance and sacrifice, he settled in the lower clubs of Nacional, one of the most popular clubs in his country and the team of which he was a fan, where he would begin to write pages of fame.

But here you have to stop the story for a moment to understand it better. At the age of 15, at the bottom of “Bolso” and with some somewhat disordered interests, he meets the woman who will change his life: Sofia Balbi. “Sophie”, now his wife and mother of his children, then just a teenager, paved the way for a talented but rebellious child and outgoing, and it ended up being one of the great reasons for the career Lewis would build.

However, she went to live in Barcelona only a year after the beginning of the novel. Suarez, who was as much in love with “Sophie” as he was with football, realized that royal sport was a possible springboard to cross the lake and see her again.

At the age of 19 and after two seasons, a pile of goals and two titles at the club he loved, his first chance came to be a little closer to the woman he loved: he was approached by Groningen, from the Netherlands. It was a prelude to his arrival at Ajax, the most important Dutch club, where the beast was unleashed.

In the composition of Amsterdam, the Uruguayan got tired of drilling the net, He was a champion, became a captain and built chilling numbers such as scoring 49 goals in 38 games and a total of 111 for the club, figures that took him to the European giants: England’s Liverpool.

“El Pistolero” didn’t arrive at Anfield at the most successful moment for the successful club, but it was enough to make his mark. Despite lifting just one medal, the League Cup in 2012, the Uruguayan soon touched the hearts of the legendary Reds fans.

In Liverpool Suarez There were good times and bad times but he scored 82 goals and was superb in his final season at the institution, where he won the Golden Boot as the Premier League’s top scorer.

Alongside this, and before he enters his golden stage in Barcelona, ​​we must not forget what ‘Lucho’ means to his national team. The striker is the top scorer in the history of the sky blue representative in another love story within his big love story.

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The romance began at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, where Uruguayan “Maestro” Tabares achieved an unforgettable fourth place. There the 9 was the protagonist of one of the most iconic images in the history of the World Cup: in the quarter-finals, in a 1-1 draw against Ghana, in the last minute of extra time he saved with his hand and on the line what would have been the classification of the African team.

It was criminal. And red, of course. The scene was dark. Fearing the worst, Suarez left in tears but Ghana star Asamoah Gyan’s shot hit the post. They reached the penalty shootout and beat La Celeste there. It was the hand of God, the “charrúa” version. An idol is born.

The apotheosis came the following year. In the Copa America, which was played in Argentina, “Lucho” was the great figure of his national team throughout the tournament, where he was named the best player and scored the first goal in the 3-0 victory over Paraguay in the final of the Monumental , a result that gave Uruguay its 15th continental trophy.

In the following years, Suarez established himself as a figure and emblem of his country’s representative, based on goals, sacrifice, fight, claws and strength. It was love in measure. Like the one she was when Barcelona sought her out, curiously, the house of Sofia’s family, her other half.

The forward arrived at the Catalan club in the midst of yet another scandal in his career after being banned for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. However, he apologized, began working with a psychologist, and the best for him began.

Together with Lionel Messi and Neymar, who became his great friends, forms one of the most formidable tridents of football history. This monstrous Barca side won it all thanks to a memorable South American attack.

The area predator spent six years in the tower and became the club’s third all-time top scorer with an impressive 198 goals. But everything that goes up must come down and this invincible “Barca” began to defect little by little. With Koeman’s arrival, Suarez was sacked overnight, scorning his enormous passage through the institution, and he had, unfortunately and against his will, to seek a new destiny.

Atlético de Madrid welcomed the ageless 9 with open arms and the Uruguayan did not disappoint: he proved his worth in ‘Cholo’ Simeone’s team and led the Colchoneros to win the Spanish league, showing the world (and, mainly, to the world of “culé” which was stainless steel.

In mid-2022, aged 35 and with his final World Cup in sight, he had a decision to make. With his departure from Aleti, the possibility of going to River started to sound very strong. It seemed like a utopia, but the rumor grew bigger and bigger with each passing day, until it burst and disappeared like a soap bubble when “El Millo” was eliminated by the Libertadores.

Suarez himself admits that if River advances, it will be reinforcements that fall like a bucket of cold water on Nunes. Then the ventilator opened. And the chance for the National appeared, almost out of nowhere. His great love. Bolso fans made a shocking move on the networks to demand his return, which touched the Armas and what seemed impossible became a reality: in the twilight of the seventh month, the goalscorer confirmed that he was going home.

The arrival of the gunners sparked a revolution in Uruguay, which saw one of the best players in its history return to his country to prepare in the best possible way for Qatar. The attacker, accompanied by his family, was greeted by a crowd in Great Central Park. He made his Copa Sudamericana debut when he came on in the closing minutes of the defeat to Brazil’s Goianienze, with “El Kun” Aguero cheering him on in the stands and Messi from afar.

“There’s nothing better than home.” Cerati’s phrase and so many others became flesh in Luis Alberto Suarez, who brought his magic and goals to his first love. Because “Lucho” is the protagonist of several love stories: of Sofia, of Ajax, of Liverpool, of Barcelona, ​​of Atlético de Madrid and of Uruguay. And, of course, that of National, a story that began to be written more than 15 years ago and now awaits its second chapter.

*Text Juan Schultes; story by Raul Monti and editing by Erika Andujar.

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