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Luis Suarez on Adapting to Change

Luis Suarez is one of football’s most feared players.

He’s famous for his speed and his ability to tackle, and infamous for the many times he has bitten players of the opposing team during gameplay.

Needless to say, his reputation precedes him.

Suarez was born a middle son among seven brothers in Salto, Uruguay. When he was small, his parents found it very tough to find a job in the little town of Salto and often thought of moving to the capital, Montevideo, in the hope of finding work to support the large family. After a long search, his mother found a job in the capital and the entire family was forced to move with her.

Suarez was a small town boy and didn’t like living in a huge city. He missed the peaceful and laidback ways of his hometown.

“The change of city, the way of talking – because they talk differently there and of course they make fun of you. We came to a city where it was practically impossible to play barefoot on the grass. Of course I was going to miss it. But we had to get used to all of that as best we could.” – Luis Suarez, Vamos que Vamos

Two years later, his parents separated and Suarez was devastated. In a small amount of time everything had changed: a new city, new school, new friends, new surroundings, new routine, and on top of everything, his parents’ divorce.

“I went through a phase in which the football wasn’t going well for me and I didn’t want to study. I didn’t like to train. I only liked playing the games and that way it was going to be very difficult for me to achieve something. I got really angry. I was a rebel and that worked against me.” – Luis Suarez, Vamos que Vamos

Things were so bad for Luis that he didn’t make the cut into a Uruguayan club, Nacional’s youth team. He was given a second and final chance by Wilson Pírez, the delegate of Club Nacional.

Suarez had a tough decision to make. He was only 14 but wanted to support his family and to do that, he had to try to go far as he could in the professional football world.

At a training session, he saw a few of his team mates get boots from the club and at that time, he set a goal for himself to get those boots too.

“If a move doesn’t come off for me, I want to keep trying it, and trying it and trying it. I really, really, really want to score. And I guess in life it’s the same for me. If I want something, I really, really want that something. And if I don’t get it, I get mad.” – Luis Suarez, Vamos que Vamos

And, as they say, the rest is history. Suarez currently plays for one of the best football clubs in the world, Barcelona FC, and is regarded as one of soccer’s top strikers.

Pírez may have given Suarez the second chance to pursue his dreams, but it was Suarez’s ability to overcome adversity, set goals for himself and persevere that has helped him become the successful athlete he is today.


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Further Reading:

Luis Suarez: Crossing The Line: My Story by Luis Suarez

Image Credit: weloba.com

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