Luis Suarez’s 15-year spell in Europe with Groningen, Ajax, Liverpool, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid is over after agreeing a free transfer to boyhood club Nacional
Luis Suarez has confirmed he’s re-joining boyhood club Nacional following his Atletico Madrid exit earlier this summer.
The former Liverpool striker, 35, first joined Nacional 21 years ago and came through the ranks at the Uruguayan club before moving to Europe in 2006. He’s since spent his playing career in the Netherlands, England and Spain but is now set to return home.
Suarez is one of the greatest strikers of his generation, scoring more than 500 goals for club and country. He’s played for some of the biggest clubs in the world, including the Reds, Ajax and Barcelona – winning trophies in four countries and at international level.
The 132-cap international’s trophy cabinet includes five La Liga titles, the Eredivisie title, Champions League, EFL Cup and Copa America. He’s won just one trophy in South American football – the Uruguayan title – and is hoping for more success on his return.
Suarez showed plenty of potential during his one full season at Nacional, scoring 12 goals in all competitions to help them clinch the title. He signed for Groningen in 2006, spending one term with the Dutch minnows before being snapped up by Ajax in 2007.
“I’ve now reached a pre-agreement in order to join Nacional, it was impossible for me to say no to this opportunity,” revealed Suarez in a social media video. “I hope final details will be resolved soon in order to complete the deal officially.”
There’s been a lot of talk over Suarez’s future recently with rumours suggesting his former Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard was interested in bringing him to Aston Villa. There was also talk of a move to the MLS as several clubs – including David Beckham’s Inter Miami – were keen, while Borussia Dortmund reportedly offered him a deal.
Yet Nacional managed to secure Suarez’s services following a campaign from the club’s supporters. At a home game earlier this month, around 20,000 fans wore Suarez masks. They also held up banners encouraging him to join and loudly chanted his name.
Nacional are one of the most successful clubs in South America – winning 48 Uruguayan titles, the Copa Libertadores three times and various other honours. They are currently top of the aggregate league and on course to win another domestic crown.
Speaking earlier this month, Suarez discussed a return to South America with Argentine side River Plate. He also dropped a hint about joining Nacional.
“I was very excited about the possibility of going to River Plate to fight to win the Copa Libertadores,” Suarez told reporters. “It was a dream that I had to win a cup in South America. However, as soon as River were eliminated that possibility is over.
“A month and a half ago I declared that I was not going to leave Europe, but River insisted and insisted so much that I came to consider that possibility. As much as one says something, when the time comes you will consider it. You are excited that they love you so much. A player needs to see affection. River was giving it to me and Nacional could have tried that.”