The match that opens the quarterfinals of the Copa Sudamericana this Tuesday could mark Luis Suárez’s re-debut for Nacional. Back at the club that designed him for football, the striker is related to a duel against Atlético-GO at Parque Central. Until today, the Uruguayan star has faced only one Brazilian team in official games, in this case, Inter.
In 2006, young Luisito, aged 19, was part of the Nacional squad that faced Colorado four times in Libertadores, in the group stage and round of 16. The then Uruguayan promise played in three matches.
In 2004, however, Suárez was already had faced another team from Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil de Pelotas, but in a friendly, played at Bento Freitas Stadium. At the age of 17, he scored Nacional’s goal in the 3-1 defeat.
Shortly after, in early 2006, the striker played another friendly against a Brazilian, this time Flamengo, in Montevideo. At Parque Central, he started, scored a goal, and Nacional won 4-3.
+ Nacional-URU x Atlético-GO: see where to watch, lineups and more
In the two clashes against Inter in Uruguay, Suárez came off the bench. For the first phase, a goalless draw, and Inter won 2-1 in the first leg of the round of 16. In the latter, by the way, he received a Ediglê defender’s stompwho was expelled from the field.
– In an isolated move, I hit him and stepped on the athlete. I believe it was nothing, just “Migué” from Suárez. If I had VAR at that time, the referee wouldn’t even have given me the yellow card – joked Ediglê in a video recorded for the ge in 2019, remembering the game.
Luis Suárez participates in his first training session at Nacional
The only match in which he was a starter, the last between the teams, took place in Brazil. On the return of the round of 16, in Beira-Rio, the teams drew goalless and Inter advanced to the quarterfinals. In his last match in a Libertadores, Suárez received a yellow card and was substituted in the second half.
In mid-2006, the striker moved to European football, where he remained for 16 years. He played for Groningen, Ajax, Liverpool, Barcelona and Atlético de Madrid.
In 2017, for Barça, Suárez played a friendly against another Brazilian team, Chapecoense, as a way of paying tribute to the victims of the air accident with the delegation of the Santa Catarina team the previous year. At Camp Nou, the Uruguayan scored one of the goals in the 5-0 rout.
Back at Nacional, the striker should start the match against Atlético-GO on the bench this Tuesday, according to the Uruguayan newspaper El País. The match at Parque Central takes place at 19:15 (Brasília time), for the first leg of the South American Round of 16.
Luis Suárez waves to fans on his way back to Nacional, Uruguay – Photo: Getty Images