He's starred in a hearing aid advert and now 'El pistolero' is the latest Kop hero, a swashbuckling front runner with radar precision and an array of stupendous goals within a vast armoury.
Luis Suárez is the latest member of the Charrúas La Celeste Olímpica to reach the football peak, following in the much loved footsteps of Uruguayan greats, Nasazzi, Francescoli, Recoba and Forlan.
His single Mother had bought up seven sturdy boys, but it wasn't easy. As a disorderly teenager Suárez liked nothing more than to indulge in unruly party revelry.
It naturally affected his footballing development and the young protégé was given a callous reminder of the pitfalls and severe realities of the beautiful game. Thankfully, a final warning from the gaffer was enough for the young Uruguayan to step straight back into the groove.
At the youthful age of 11, Suárez bid goodbye to his native Salto and travelled a journey of 500 kilometres to Uruguay's capital of Montevideo, where he duly joined the ranks of the illustrious Club Nacional.
The precocious Suárez matured and developed well, debuting in 2005 against Junior de Barranquilla in the Copa Libertadores. In less than a full campaign, Suárez netted 12 and with Europe’s top scouts hovering in 2006, it was sufficient form for FC Groningen from the Dutch Eredivisie to snap up the hit man.
Wily fox Oscar Tabarez had seen quite enough, and despite not featuring in the South American under 20 Championships, and the qualifiers for the under 20 World Cup, Suárez made his international entrance in a friendly against rivals Colombia - a match in which the forward was sent off five minutes before the end.
A further 14 goals in 35 games for Groningen secured a transfer to Ajax, where Suárez supported Huntelaar and Pantelić on the way to hitting more than a hundred goals at the Amsterdam Arena. In doing so he joined a select group listing Cruyff and Van Basten as prominent members.
In 2009 Martin Jol made Suárez his captain skipper immediately after Thomas Vermaelen's switch to North London, and in 2010 he was named Dutch Footballer of the Year after scoring 49 goals in all competitions for the Amsterdammers.
Suárez, who has uncharacteristically pointy ears on Pro Evo Soccer, also won the KNVB Cup with the Dutch giants that year. The goals were enough to make Suárez one of the continents most accomplished and sought after marksmen.
Despite scoring three goals at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Suárez achieved global notoriety by infamously handling a goal bound shot on the Uruguayan goal line during his nations Quarter Final showdown with Ghana. He was immediately red carded, but Asamoah Gyan missed the penalty and subsequently lost the game on shootout. Suárez was immediately installed as the pantomime villain of global football.
With this pricey acquisition, Liverpool are getting a supreme target man with blistering pace, power, shooting, and aerial power. With the edge of an assassin, Suárez is a prototype centre forward with the ruthless cutting edge of a shark.
Unlike Torres he has a short fuse that the opposition will look to tap into, and is known to freely delve into the dark arts. These are characteristics and aspects of his game and character that the coaching staff must work to eradicate immediately.
The deadly Uruguayan has the hallmarks of a great and is set to become the rage with the Liverpool fans.
Suárez joins Liverpool during a most crucial period in the Reds' history. Champions League football is the number one priority and Liverpool’s climb out of this transition phase will rely on the Uruguayan gelling with his team mates, and providing the much needed firepower necessary to bolster a sustained league run for Kenny Dalglish’s men.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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