Uruguay and Barcelona striker, Luis Suarez has shared his inspiring life story.
He talked about the sacrifices he made to get to where he is today.
He revealed, he was playing football in the street barefooted.
Read his interview below…
“I have sacrificed so much to be where I am and fought so hard for it. I can’t conceive of anyone wasting even five minutes in a game. I can’t bear the idea of not trying to make the most of every single second. There are only three million people in Uruguay but there is such hunger for glory: you’ll do anything to make it, you have that extra desire to run, to suffer. I can’t explain our success but I think that’s a reason.
“I played in the streets with my friends, barefooted. That was the way we lived. I never had the chance to say to my mother or father: ‘I want these boots.’ It’s different in Europe. They have it easier. I saw that already in Holland. Kids of 17 or 18 years old were given cars already. Audis. Big cars. In Uruguay, you don’t have that. That can be an advantage: you don’t give everything on the pitch if you have it all.”
He continued; ” We were poor but luckily we used to eat 3 meals a day. I am not ashamed to say that I used to work in fixing cars when i was 11. I used to lie to my mom and tell her that I’m with my friends so I can go and work because we needed money.”
Now Suárez does. It makes no difference. He could have become comfortable but has not. The lessons are learned, the character forged. “People say to me: ‘How can you run so much, how can you suffer so much, how can a defeat hurt you so much?’ Because there is so much effort and sacrifice behind it. I think Latin Americans value their position more than other players.
“And the pressure is greater than people realize. It makes you do things that you never imagined: eat more, eat less, act differently,” he says. “It does something to you. There have been games when I’ve said to myself: ‘Why was I so stressed, why did I feel under such pressure when all I ever wanted was to play football?’ As time passes, you realize you have to be more mature, that you have to take the games as just another game. Still give everything, still, care, but not live it beforehand. Just play it. Don’t get tense and wound up before the game.
“Coaches have told me I can help the team much more if I don’t talk if I don’t moan. You reflect. Oscar Tabarez [Uruguay’s manager], in a game against Peru in the qualification for the World Cup, told me I had let him down because he had placed a lot of trust in me, but he gave me another chance. I remember a game against Argentina too when he said to me: ‘Luis, either you calm down or I take you off.’ I could not carry on playing so crazily. In the second half, I focused better, I scored, I played better. Coaches who are intelligent see that. They warn you and that helps. Advice coming from the right people is always welcome.
“At Liverpool too. Steven [Gerrard] said to me during the game against United: ‘Prove you’re one of the best players in the world, that’s what matters.'”