Luis Suarez signs short-term deal to join boyhood club Nacional
Montevideo (AFP) – Luis Suarez has signed a short-term contract to join boyhood club Nacional in Uruguay ahead of the World Cup in Qatar, the club’s president announced on Wednesday.
Suarez revealed on social media on Tuesday that he has a preliminary deal to return to the team where he started his career and on Wednesday Nacional president Jose Fuentes told Sport 890 radio station that the star 35-year-old had signed a five-month deal. Contract.
Both Suarez and the club president said on Tuesday that some details still needed to be ironed out, but Fuentes told Sport 890: “It’s already done, it’s already resolved.”
The former Liverpool and Barcelona star is Uruguay’s all-time top scorer and is set to feature in his fourth World Cup later this year.
Fuentes said Suarez is expected to arrive in Uruguay this weekend and could make his Copa Sudamericana debut as early as Tuesday – South America’s equivalent of the Europa League – against Brazilians Atletico Goianiense.
The president said Suarez received several other offers ‘but he told me that he decided to come to Nacional’.
It was believed that Suarez intended to stay in Europe, but he was looking for a club that could guarantee him first-team football in the build-up to the World Cup, due to the November 21 kick-off.
Three clubs in Turkey and one in Italy are said to be after the top striker, while there are also reportedly offers from Major League Soccer and Argentina’s River Plate.
But Nacional fans had flooded social media with a massive campaign to convince the prodigal son to return.
Last Thursday, in a game against Cerrito, 15,000 Nacional fans donned Suarez face masks and started cheering after nine minutes – in reference to his favorite shirt number.
On Tuesday, he thanked the fans for “the great affection shown to me and my family in recent days”, and said it was impossible “to reject the possibility of returning to play for Nacional”.
“Now we will start working on his arrival. We will celebrate his arrival as he deserves,” Fuentes said.
– The biter –
Suarez, who left Atletico Madrid at the end of last season and still lives in Spain, started his career at the Nacional, making his debut aged 18 in May 2005.
After winning two Uruguayan titles with Nacional, he moved to Groningen in the Netherlands as a teenager and then to Ajax a year later.
There he caught the eye of Liverpool and after three and a half seasons in England he moved to Barcelona for a fee of over €80m.
He enjoyed his most successful spell in Catalonia, winning four Spanish league titles and the Champions League in 2015, while winning La Liga again with Atletico in 2021.
He rose to prominence at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa when his last illegal goal clearance in the quarter-finals against Ghana prevented the Black Stars from becoming the first African nation to reach the last four of the tournament.
Suarez was sent off for a deliberate handball but Uruguay survived the ensuing kick and then progressed on penalties.
Four years later, in Brazil, he disgraced himself by biting Italian Giorgio Chiellini, for which he received a record nine-match ban from world football governing body FIFA – it was the third time he had he was biting an opposing player.