Luis Suárez has just joined the elite group of players who have scored 500 or more goals with club and national team after finding the net in Atlético Madrid’s duel against Alavés.
Suárez, 34, is Spain’s second top scorer this season after signing for Atlético in a free transfer from Barcelona last September.
The veteran’s goals keep Diego Simeone’s team at the top of the LaLiga table, beating Real Madrid and his former teammates at Barça.
Among active players, only the heavyweight quartet of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robert Lewandowski rank ahead of Suarez on the all-time goalscorer charts.
A stellar career has seen the Uruguayan forward win a number of individual and collective awards, including four LaLiga titles, a Champions League and four Copa del Rey trophies. He won the Copa América with Uruguay in 2011 and is also his country’s top scorer, with 63 goals, ahead of Edinson Cavani and Diego Forlán.
Suárez emerged at Nacional in Uruguay before moving to Europe at the age of 19 in 2007 with Groningen de la Eredivisie. One season was enough to convince Ajax to sign him, and Suárez became the captain of the Dutch giants in a three-year span that made him the league’s standout player. Suarez scored a total of 81 Eredivisie goals with Ajax, 35 of them in 2009-10, a record for a foreign player in the Netherlands.
After signing for Liverpool in 2011, he was the Premier League’s top scorer in 2013-14, scoring 31 goals in 33 games as Liverpool battled for the title. He also shared the European Golden Boot with Cristiano Ronaldo.
After joining Barcelona for € 81 million in 2014, he formed a lethal attacking trident with Messi and Neymar that saw Barça win La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the triplet with the Champions League in his first season. Suárez surpassed Messi and Ronaldo in 2015-16 with 40 league goals to win his second European Golden Boot.
He is the only player, besides Messi and Ronaldo, who has been crowned the top scorer in LaLiga in the last decade.
Barça and new manager Ronald Koeman considered that Suárez exceeded the requirements last summer, as the club looked to rebuild after the 8-2 defeat in the Champions League to Bayern Munich.
He has proven his critics wrong at Atlético de Madrid so far and broke Cristiano Ronaldo’s record for the best scoring start by a LaLiga player in the 21st century by scoring 16 goals in his first 17 games.