Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz (American Spanish: [ˈlwis ˈswaɾes]; born 24 January 1987) is a Uruguayan professional footballer who plays for Spanish club Barcelona and the Uruguay national team as a striker. In July 2014, he moved from Liverpool to Barcelona for a fee of £65 million (€82 million), making him one of the most expensive players in football history. The transfer took place after he had won the European Golden Shoe in the previous season with Liverpool. Suárez is widely regarded as one of the best strikers in the world. In October 2015, he scored his 300th senior career goal for club and country.
Suárez began his career as a youth player for Nacional in 2003. He signed for Groningen in the Netherlands in 2006 and transferred to Ajax in 2007. In 2010 he helped Ajax win the KNVB Cup while becoming the league’s top scorer with 35 goals in 33 games. He was also named Dutch Footballer of the Year, scoring 49 goals in all competitions. In the 2010–11 season, he scored his 100th Ajax goal, joining a group of players which include Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten and Dennis Bergkamp. In January 2011, Suárez transferred to English Premier League club Liverpool for €26.5 million (£22.8 million). In February 2012, Suárez won the Football League Cup with the club.
In April 2014, he was named the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and the FWA Footballer 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. In his first season at Barcelona, Suárez starred alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar, an attacking trio dubbed MSN (Messi, Suárez, Neymar), and helped the club win the continental treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League.
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.
Suárez creates goal scoring chances with his powerful shot, and “remarkable technical ability”. Known for his direct running towards goal, Suárez has a particular penchant for nutmegging opponents (putting the ball through their legs). Harry Redknapp said that Suárez could play anywhere, either as the target man or behind as a second striker.
With 45 goals in 84 games for Uruguay, Suárez is the all-time record goalscorer for his national team. At the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa he played an important role in Uruguay’s fourth-place finish, scoring three goals, and also blocked an extra time goalbound header with his hands during the quarter-final against Ghana. At the 2011 Copa América, Suárez scored four goals for Uruguay as they 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.
Suárez has been the source of much controversy throughout his career. As well as his 2010 World Cup goal-line handball, he has also bitten three opponents, the latest being Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup, has been accused of and admitted to diving, and the English Football Association found him guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra, a decision Suárez disputes.
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