Uruguay have entered the final of the Copa America, and they are all set to do battle with Paraguay in a bid to gain their 15th crown, on Sunday, July 24. Uruguay’s success this year has been made possible by one player, who has stood up to be counted, when it mattered the most: Luis Alberto Suarez.
The 24-year old striker scored twice in the space of six minutes of the second half, in their semi-final with Peru, and that broke the back of Uruguay’s rivals. Suarez who plays for Liverpool, in the English Premier League, began his senior professional career with Uruguayan club side, Nacional, in 2005. During his two-year stint with Nacional, the club won the national championship. In his very first season, Suarez scored 13 goals, in just 16 appearances, for the club.
His prolific goal scoring caught the attention of Dutch Club Groningen who offered him a lucrative contract; he stayed with the club for two seasons after which he moved to another Dutch club, Ajax, with whom he remained for four years, before Liverpool signed the Uruguayan striker, in 2011. Throughout his club career in Europe, Suarez has remained as prolific as ever, scoring 15 goals in 37 appearances for Groningen, 81 goals in 115 appearances for Ajax, and 4 goals in 13 appearances for Liverpool.
Suarez joined the Uruguay national team in February 2007, in a match with Colombia, a game that Uruguay won 3-1. The young striker made his presence felt with two goals in four 2010 world cup qualifiers, the goals coming against Bolivia and Chile. The partnership that he formed on the field with Diego Forlan has served the Uruguay side well, and continues to do so, even at the ongoing Copa America.
His brilliant performance in the qualifiers earned Suarez a place in the team for FIFA World Cup 2010. Uruguay went on to beat Ghana in the quarter-finals, eventually losing to Holland in the semi-finals.
Suarez found himself in the starting eleven in all three of his team’s group matches, and scored his first world cup goal, in Uruguay’s win against Mexico. Suarez was instrumental in Uruguay’s qualifying for the round of 16, in which they took on South Korea. Suarez scored a brace in the game, to help vanquish the Asian outfit 2-1, and take Uruguay to their first quarter-finals, in 40 years.
Diego Forlan, like Suarez, scored three goals at the world cup, and their partnership in attack played a crucial role in Uruguay’s brilliant performance in the world cup. and the thought of facing Suarez in tandem with Forlan must cause Paraguay’s defenders sleepless nights, ahead of the final of the Copa America. (Click here for a preview of the final match between Uruguay and Paraguay.)
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.