Luis Suarez is unquestionably one of the best players in the world. The Liverpool and Uruguay striker has just come off the season of his life. It was all set up for him to conquer the world in Brazil at the 2014 World Cup, until an injury robbed him of that chance. He started Uruguay’s second group game against England and scored just before half time. Is it the start of an injury comeback or just a flash in the pan?
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Luis Suarez’s Suffered as Serious Injury Before the World Cup
The Guardian reported that Suarez underwent knee surgery just 24 days before the World Cup began. The injury completely altered Uruguay’s World Cup preparation. Suarez had suffered meniscus damage in his right knee. The surgery was, according to Uruguany soccer official Wilmar Valdez, “a success.” An official statement from the Uruguayan soccer federation read:
Luis Suárez suffered an intense pain in his left knee after undergoing a normal warm-up. The early diagnosis was a stable injury to the external meniscus in the knee. He was examined by a scan, which confirmed a partial injury to the external meniscus. This morning the meniscus was repaired via arthroscopy at the Médica Uruguaya hospital. There was no evidence of other injuries to the knee.
His participation at the World Cup has not been ruled out. In terms of relevant clinical history, it is worth noting that he suffered a blow to his left knee during the last game of the Premier League season with Liverpool, which provoked a pain that subsided with rest following the end of the season.
2. He’s Just Had His Best Season Ever
During the season when Liverpool came closer than they had ever come to winning the EPL title, Luis Suarez led the way in the scoring charts. Despite missing the first six games of the season through suspension, Suarez still managed to be league’s top goalscorer with 31 goals. He was the joint top scorer in Europe, an honor he shared with Cristiano Ronaldo.
3. Suarez Came From the Most Humble of Beginnings
Suarez began life in the slums of Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo, having been born in a smaller city, Salto. He was the fourth of seven brothers, born into a poor working class family. Before becoming dedicated to soccer, Suarez worked as a street sweeper in Montevideo. His brother, Paolo, is also a professional soccer player in Uruguay.
4. His Career Has Been Surrounded in Controversy
Since he was a teenager, Suarez has been a controversial player. In his youth, he was accused of attacking a referee during a game. While he played in Holland, he faced a long-term suspension for biting an opposing player. In the 2011 season, Suarez was found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra. In 2013, he was also found guilty of biting another player, Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic.
5. He Credits His Wife With Motivating Him to be So Successful
In 2009, Suarez married his high school sweetheart, Sofia Balbi. The couple met while Suarez was working as street sweeper, according to an ESPN magazine article, he saved up the pennies he found in the street, to pay for their first date. When he was 16, Sofia and her family moved to Europe. Suarez is said to have used this as motivation to become so good at soccer that he could move to Europe to be with Sofia again. Something he achieved in 2006 when he moved to Groningen in the Netherlands.