Author(s): Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez was a young boy already in love with football by the time his family moved from the countryside to Uruguay's capital, Montevideo. The guile and trickery of the street kid made an impact with the country's biggest club, Nacional, before he was spotted by Dutch scouts who brought him to Europe. Suarez was lured from Ajax to Merseyside by another iconic number 7, Kenny Dalglish. From that moment, he terrorised Premier League defences, driving a resurgent Liverpool towards their most exciting top-flight season in 24 years. But there is another side to Luis Suarez: the naturally fiery temperament which drives his competitiveness on the pitch. There was the very public incident with Patrice Evra of bitter rivals Manchester United, and the biting of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic. Then during the World Cup finals in Brazil, in a physical encounter against Italy, he bit defender Giorgi Chiellini on the shoulder. Banned from football for four months, derided by the press, he was marched out of the country. In the summer's final twist, he became one of the most expensive footballers of all time, moving from Liverpool to Barcelona.
In Crossing the Line, Luis Suarez talks from the heart about his intriguing career, his personal journey from scrapping street kid to performer on football's biggest stage, and the never-say-die attitude that sometimes causes him to overstep the mark.
Luis Alberto Suarez Diaz was born in the Uruguayan city of Salto in January 1987. His family moved to Montevideo when he was seven. After several years of graft he broke into the first team of local side Nacional, and then earned the right to take his chance in Dutch football - first with Groningen and then with giants Ajax, where he amassed a century of goals for the club and was named Footballer of the Year in 2010. In January 2011, Liverpool paid GBP22.8m to take Suarez to Anfield, making him the club's most expensive signing at the time. Suarez scored on his debut in front of the Kop, and then proceeded to write himself into Merseyside folklore, scoring 82 goals in just 133 appearances. He finished the 2013-14 season with 31 League goals from 33 matches, in the process sharing Europe's Golden Shoe with Cristiano Ronaldo, and being named Footballer of the Year by the FWA and Players' Player of the Year by the PFA. On 11 July 2014, Barcelona announced that they had signed Suarez. At international level, he is Uruguay's all-time record goal-scorer, and in 2011 he fired his country to victory in the Copa America. Suarez is married with two children.