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One of the world’s best football players, Luis Suárez, has returned to his home country of Uruguay.

Despite being number 5 of the world’s top ten active goal-scorers, Suárez opted to return to his boyhood club of Nacional in Uruguay when his contract in Europe came to an end in June this year. He arrived last weekend and was received by tens of thousands of fans.

It’s clear that Suárez, who is 35, is not ready to put himself out to pasture yet. According to the press, his plans are to prepare for and ideally take Nacional to finals in Uruguay and South America’s second most important club competition, the Copa Sudamericana. As well as arrive in the best conditions to play for Uruguay in the FIFA World Cup in Qatar later this year.

Suárez is the top striker in Uruguayan history having scored a record 68 goals in 132 professional games. For comparison, Edinson Cavani, the second highest active Uruguay goal-scorer and number 6 of the world’s top ten active goal-scorers has netted ten fewer goals in 133 games. (Remarkably, both Uruguay strikers occupying the world’s top ten were born a month apart in the Uruguayan city of Salto. How come a nation of 3.5 million breeds such footballing aces?)

The football star Luis Suárez chose Uruguay

Luis Suárez was free to choose any club after his contract with Atlético Madrid was not renewed in June. Typical Uruguay: the president of Nacional only reached out to Suárez after the striker made public in an interview that he was surprised he had not been contacted by his old team. Nacional fans went mad at the possibility and the hashtag #SuárezANacional was tweeted over 50,000,000 times according to the club.

A multitude of fans held up A4 sheets with the hashtag printed on it at games. Local figures including the labour minister changed their social media profile photos to Suárez’ picture.

The clincher may have been a family decision to return home. So Uruguayan again.

This is a guy who could’ve played pretty much anywhere in the world for top dollar and instead he chose to return home. #GottaLoveUruguay


Cover photo credits: Luis Suárez Twitter account

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