April 17, 2024 12:26 pm
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Legendary Spanish Ballon d’Or Winner Luis Suarez Miramontes Passes Away at the Age of 88

Former Barcelona and Inter Milan midfielder Luis Suarez, the only male footballer born in Spain to win the Ballon D’Or, died at the age of 88 on Sunday.

Legendary Spanish footballer Luis Suarez, who made history as the only male footballer born in Spain to win the prestigious Ballon D’Or, passed away on Sunday at the age of 88. Suarez, affectionately known as “The Architect,” clinched the coveted award in 1960 and later went on to coach the Spanish national team in the 1990 World Cup.

Fond Farewell from Barcelona and Inter Milan

“Luis Suarez Miramontes has died this Sunday in Milan at 88 years old,” said Barcelona in a statement.

“He played for Barca between 1954 and 1961 before going to Inter Milan, where he is also a legend.”

Suarez began his remarkable career at Deportivo La Coruna before joining Barcelona in 1954. He experienced immense success during his seven-year stint with the Catalan giants, winning two La Liga titles and multiple other honors, including the Ballon D’Or. His exceptional performances captured the hearts of fans, dubbing him a revered figure in Barcelona’s rich footballing history.

Italy also witnessed his brilliance when Suarez moved to Inter Milan in 1961. Under the mentorship of coach Helenio Herrera, Suarez cemented his status as one of the league’s most celebrated midfielders. His mesmerizing play and technical prowess made him an integral part of Inter Milan’s success in the 1960s.

“Saying goodbye to Luisito leaves us with a deep melancholy — the nostalgia of his perfect and inimitable football, which inspired generations, is combined with the memory of a unique footballer and a great, great Inter player,” wrote Inter in a statement.

Aside from his individual accomplishments, Suarez’s contributions to the Spanish national team were equally significant. He played a pivotal role in their triumph at the European Championships in 1964 and earned 32 caps for his country.

A True Pioneer of Spanish Football

“Suarez was a stupendous player, among the best Spaniards ever in history, along with Xavi (Hernandez) and (Andres) Iniesta,” said Di Stefano in one of his last interviews before his death in 2014.

The impact of Suarez’s remarkable career resonated throughout the footballing world, with renowned Argentinean player Alfredo Di Stefano hailing him as one of the greatest Spanish footballers of all time. Known for his exceptional technique, impeccable ball control, and remarkable vision, Suarez captured the imagination of the fans with his elegance and finesse on the field.

During his time at Barcelona, Suarez netted an impressive 112 goals in 216 games, establishing himself as a prolific scorer alongside earning the prestigious Ballon D’Or accolade. However, he humbly downplayed the significance of the award, acknowledging the role luck and timing play in its determination.

“There have been many Spanish players who have deserved that award, but it depends a lot on the moment — you have to be lucky that another great contemporary player doesn’t perform as well as you,” Suarez told FIFA’s website.

“There have been great players who have never lifted the trophy.”

After his time at Barcelona, Suarez joined Inter Milan for a then-record fee, solidifying his place in the team’s glorious history. He played an instrumental role in their triumphs, securing two European Cups and three Serie A trophies, among other honors.

Legacy Beyond the Field

Following his retirement as a player in 1973, Suarez embraced a new role as a coach. He led several clubs, including Sampdoria, Genoa, Inter Milan, Como, and Cagliari. Additionally, he took charge of the Spanish national team, guiding them to the World Cup in 1990.

“Goodbye Luisito,” wrote Sampdoria on Twitter, posting a photo of the Spaniard in tribute.

Suarez’s impact extended beyond his achievements on the pitch. He left an indelible mark on the footballing community, inspiring generations of players and fans alike. His elegance and unique style of play will be remembered fondly by all who witnessed his talent.

The Spanish football federation expressed their sympathies, acknowledging the loss of a true legend of the game.

“From the RFEF we want to convey our condolences to all relatives and close friends of Luis Suarez Miramontes,” wrote the Spanish football federation on Twitter.

During his later years, Suarez embarked on a career in sports commentary on Spanish radio, sharing his insights and knowledge of the game with listeners.

Despite sharing the same name, Suarez was unrelated to the Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, who also made his mark at Barcelona.

“His father told me that if he’s called Luis, it’s my fault,” the Spaniard told So Foot in 2016.

Luis Suarez will be forever remembered as an icon of Spanish football, leaving behind a remarkable legacy that will continue to inspire future generations of players.

Source: AFP

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