Luiz Suarez, the ultimate footballing villain, the dirtiest player in the game and the supremely gifted striker has just turned 34.
His career has been been full of highs and lows. For each breathtaking goal, there has been an epic controversy, for each trophy, a disciplinary issue.
However, one thing is for sure. Players like Suarez do not come around often. To toast his mercurial talent, 90min decided to remember the five best moments of his career… so far.
Before he became a household name across Europe, Suarez cut his teeth in the Eredivisie.
An impressive spell at Groningen convinced Ajax to sign him on a five-year contract in 2007 and it did not take him long to start turning heads.
In his first two seasons for de Godenzonen, he managed 17 and 22 goals respectively, racking up a similar number of assists in each campaign as well.
However, Suarez saved his very best form for the 2009/2010 term. That season he managed a ridiculous 49 goals and 24 assists in just 48 games. That averages out as 1.5 goal involvements per appearance. Truly staggering numbers.
Uruguay were far from favourites going into the 2011 Copa America.
Despite possessing a squad containing the likes of Edinson Cavani, Diego Godin and an ageing Diego Forlan, Argentina and Brazil both boasted shorter odds with bookies around the world.
With the help of an in-form Suarez though, La Celeste managed to win their first continental trophy in 16 years.
Their star striker played in all six games, bagging both goals in a 2-0 semi-final win over Peru. His heroics continued in the final against Paraguay as well, where he scored and assisted as his side strolled to a 3-0 win.
Unsurprisingly, he was named player of the tournament.
Prior to Jurgen Klopp side’s incredible feats, the closest Liverpool had come to ending their top-flight title drought came during the 2013/2014 season.
Now, this Reds’ team was nowhere near as well drilled as Klopp’s charges, but in Suarez they possessed one of the most irresistible game changers in Premier League history.
During that campaign, Suarez hit 31 goals and racked up 17 assists in just 35 games. This included two hat-tricks and four goals in one game against poor old Norwich City.
His otherworldly form lifted Liverpool to the top of the table, three points clear of their closest rivals with three games to play. Although it did not end well, Reds fans will always remember Suarez as the man who dared them to dream.
Without Suarez, Barcelona would not have won the treble in the 2014/2015 season.
It was not just the sheer volume of his contribution – he registered 48 goal involvements in just 43 games – but also his knack for popping up at decisive moments.
He bagged a brace in the round of 16 and quarter-final stages of the Champions League, as well as scoring in the final, and also provided an assist in the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao.
Elsewhere, he scored the winner in the second Clasico of the season, a result that provided Barça with the momentum to get over the line.
Over the course of this article, we have already dropped some mind-bendingly excellent stats, but they all pale into insignificance when compared to Suarez’s 2015/2016 season.
Following up a treble-winning campaign was always going to be hard for Barça. Although his team would only return two trophies that term, Suarez’s personal performance reached new heights.
By the time he went on his summer holidays, the Uruguayan had scored 59 goals in 53 games in all competition. Not impressive enough for you? How about we add his 24 assists into the mix as well?
This campaign was Suarez at his absolute best. No defender in world football could deal with his movement, and goalkeeper’s lay awake at night worrying about having to face him one-on-one.
If you do one thing today, go and check out a goal compilation from that season on YouTube. We promise you will not be disappointed.