Wednesday, March 23, 2016

El Pistolero is back - Luis Suárez returns for Uruguay

A very special night awaits football fans around the globe, particularly those in South America. In the night between Thursday and Friday (1:45am CET), Luis Suárez returns to Uruguay's squad after a break of nearly two years.

Luis Suárez. (Photo: Getty Images)
After biting Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup group stage in a heated battle with Italy, Barcelona's striker had been suspended for 4 months of club football and 9 internationals, excluding friendlies. Since Uruguay exited the World Cup relatively early, the suspension caused Suárez to miss last year's Copa América in its entirety. Additionally, Uruguay had to start their 2018 World Cup campaign without the countries' best goalscorer.

It did not seem to distract Uruguay all that much. The two-time world champion continued their solid track under Óscar Tabárez, winning three out of their first four qualification matches. The only loss came in unlucky fashion against group leading Ecuador. During the upcoming games against Brazil and Peru, El Pistolero is back and seemingly ready to go. 

Suárez: "I know it is special, because so much time has passed. But more than anything else, I feel like a player that came here to give his absolute best."

His opponents are shaking in the corners already, considering his recent form with Barcelona along with Lionel Messi and Neymar, whom he will meet on Friday. "Suárez is unstoppable", Brazilian defender Gil says. "Suárez is an excellent striker, an excellent player." Atlético's Filipe Luis tends to agree with his colleague: "He is able to bring a game out of its balance. We cannot give him any space."

While respecting the pressure he will be under, the 29-year old feels prepared: "I have worked on controlling my fear in the last few weeks, my nerves when it comes to the supporter's euphoria. But I'm very relaxed, because the team as a whole has a big responsibility and will give it their best when they play for the national team."

Especially Uruguay's fans always stayed loyal to their star striker during his absence and tough times. "It really is special for me to be back with my people. Through everything I had to go through, they were always on my side. They all know: I'm more than thankful. Now I have to demonstrate my gratitude and do a good job on the pitch, so Uruguay wins points in a difficult qualification group."
Nearly two years after his last competitive game for his country, Luis Suárez is back. Will he roar again right away or will his comeback be more of a quiet one? We have no other option than to wait and see.


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